Troubled basketball star Kobe Bryant's sexual assault allegations have already cost him one of his lucrative endorsement deals.

The LOS ANGELES LAKERS ace, 24, will not have his endorsement deal with the maker of NUTELLA chocolate spread renewed, in part because of the sexual assault charges standing against him.

A spokesman for FERRERO says the Italian company has discontinued all promotions involving Bryant.

The spokesman says in a press release, "Ferrero USA's contract with Kobe Bryant expires in January 2004. Marketing plans established earlier this year did not contemplate a contract renewal. In keeping with this decision, and considering the recent developments, Kobe's image on Nutella labels and promotional material is being phased out."

Bryant is charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman on 30 June (03) at a mountain resort in Edwards, Colorado. Bryant insists he had consensual sex with his accuser.

Among Bryant's other endorsement deals are highly lucrative contracts with NIKE and SPRITE.

06/08/2003 02:14