Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa lives “in fear” that photos of the 2020 California helicopter crash that killed the basketball star, their daughter Gianna and seven others will “go viral,” according to a Monday court filing.
Bryant, 39, filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County after first responders admittedly snapped and shared pictures from the grisly Calabasas scene. She submitted six pages of new comments this week after the county moved to have her invasion of privacy claim dismissed, according to The Washington Post.
“These deputies and firefighters took the worst thing that has ever happened to me — the worst thing that could happen to any mother or spouse — and made it worse,” Bryant reportedly stated in the filing.
The court filing reportedly alleged that close-up pictures of Kobe and Gianna’s remains were shared to “at least 28 LASD devices and by at least a dozen firefighters,” some of whom flaunted “the photos in a bar while pantomiming dismemberment and showing off the photos over cocktails at an awards gala.”
The wife of the Lakers legend wrote that she had already seen one picture that supposedly depicted her late husband’s remains, according to the report.
Los Angeles County contented that officials ordered the pictures to be deleted, and they were not shared publicly. It had also argued that it was unclear if Bryant’s and other plaintiffs’ emotional distress was caused by the photos or the actual disaster, and ordered her and other plaintiffs to take a psychiatric exam, a request that was overturned by a judge.
“I will never be able to shake the anguish from knowing that the officials who are supposed to keep us safe treated Kobe and Gianna with such callous disrespect,” the grieving widow reportedly wrote in Monday’s filing. “For the rest of my life, one of two things will happen: either close-up photos of my husband’s and daughter’s bodies will go viral online, or I will continue to live in fear of that happening.”
Kobe, 41, Gianna, 13 and seven others — Christina Mauser; Payton and Sarah Chester; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; and pilot Ara Zobayan — died when their chopper smashed into a hillside in dense fog on the way to a youth basketball tournament on Jan. 26, 2020.
The county reached a $2.5 million settlement with some of the victims over the illicit photos last month. Bryant’s case is scheduled to go to trial in February.
Family members of the victims reached a confidential settlement agreement with the helicopter company involved in the crash earlier this year.
With Post wires