The NBA star’s widow filed the claim on May 8th, seeking damages for emotional distress, mental anguish, and invasion of privacy. It states that after arriving at the scene of the Calabasas crash on January 26th, the deputies took pictures of “dead children, parents, and coaches” and later shared them publicly.
Grief-stricken Vanessa Bryant is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for gruesome photos of a helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna that have been leaked online.
One deputy has reportedly shared the photos with a woman at a bar, and two firefighters took inappropriate selfies at the scene. At least eight deputies in total are deemed responsible, reports People.
Vanessa Bryant claims she asked Sheriff Alex Villanueva to keep the footage secure in the morning of the tragedy when she witnessed the authorities taking pictures. However, as the Department would later admit, “there was no investigative purpose for deputies to take pictures at the crash site. Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes,” the suit claims.
“‘Mrs. Bryant is deeply worried that all copies of the sheriff’s deputies’ photos have not been accounted for, and that it is only a matter of time before she or her daughters encounter them on the Internet.”
Vanessa Bryant’s spokesperson added that they wish to hold the Sheriff’s Department accountable and make sure other families of victims do not face the same emotional anguish, reports The Daily Mail.
The Calabasas helicopter crash claimed nine lives in total. Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, the Orange County College baseball coach John Altobelli with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, assistant basketball coach at the Mamba Sports Academy Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester with her daughter Payton and pilot Ara Zobayan all died in the tragedy.