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Vanessa Bryant reveals LA Sheriff promised to secure Kobe’s crash site from any photographs

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It’s nearing almost two years since the world experienced the sorrow of the unforeseen passing of NBA great Kobe Bryant and his13-year-old daughter Gigi, both of whom lost their lives in a helicopter crash. The father and daughter along with seven other passengers were onboard a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter, which had crashed in the hills of Calabasas around 10 am in the morning of 26th January 2020 and in the wake of the horrific crash, Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant had requested the Los Angeles County sheriff to keep the crash site secure from any photographs.

However, Vanessa later launched a federal lawsuit against the county, claiming that the photos had been shared by first responders, which had put the family in a state of trauma.

As per the court documents obtained by the USA TODAY Sports, sheriff Alex Villanueva had asked Vanessa Bryant following the crash if he could help her in any way, and the widowed wife had pleaded with the sheriff to make sure no one is able to photograph her dead husband and daughter.

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“And I said: ‘If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, please make sure that no one takes photographs of them. Please secure the area,’” Vanessa Bryant’s statement that was recorded in the deposition states, “And he said: ‘I will.’ And I said: ‘No, I need you to get on the phone right now and I need you to make sure you secure the area.’” [H/T Sportstar]

Los Angeles County seeking psychiatric evaluation for Vanessa Bryant

The lawsuit filed by Vanessa Bryant alleges privacy breach, contending that the first responders, which include firefighters and the deputies of the LA sheriff, shared “gratuitous photos” of Kobe, Gigi and the others who lost their lives in the crash with a bartender.

On the other hand, an internal investigation in the sheriff’s department revealed that the photos were actually passed on by deputies and not the first responders as they were not directly involved in the primary investigation of the crash.

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However, Attorneys for Los Angeles County insisted that while Vanessa and the rest of Kobe’s family undoubtedly suffered “severe emotional distress”, they claim that the trauma that Kobe’s family endured had not been a result of photography leaks, and is seeking psychiatric evaluations for Vanessa and her family members, as well as those who lost their loved ones in the crash.

“Ms. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online,” stated the court documents. [H/T Sportstar]

Highlights:

  • Vanessa Bryant launched a federal lawsuit for the alleged leak of photographs from Kobe Bryant’s crash which were visited by LA sheriff deputies and first reponders
  • Vanessa revealed the sheriff had promised her that the photos were not going to be leaked
  • LA County insists psychiatric evaluation for Vanessa Bryant and the family members of those who lost their lives in the crash
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