Vanessa Bryant Claims Kobe Bryant Crash Photos Were Widely Circulated
Attorneys for Vanessa Bryant claim graphic images of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant have been shared widely without Bryant’s consent.
According to newly filed documents claim, “Discovery has shown that the close-up photos of Gianna and Kobe’s remains were passed around at least twenty-eight Sheriff’s Department devices and by at least a dozen firefighters, and shown off in bars and at an awards gala.”
Bryant’s legal team says county law enforcement and emergency personnel tried to cover evidence of the photos. “It has also shown that Defendants engaged in a cover-up, destroying the direct forensic evidence of their misconduct and requiring extensive circumstantial evidence to establish the full extent of that misconduct,” Bryant’s attorneys said in the documents.
The helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant in January 2020 also killed 13-year-old Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, 46, 14-year-old Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, and Christina Mauser, 38, including the pilot. The National Transportation Safety Board blamed pilot Ara Zobayan for making a series of poor decisions and became disoriented in the clouds over Calabasas, California, and couldn’t see where he was flying.
In September 2020, Bryant filed a lawsuit, seeking damages for emotional distress, undisclosed damages, claiming civil rights violation, negligence and violation of privacy with the alleged image leak. The county requested to dismiss the lawsuit, but a federal judge denied it after determining enough evidence to move forward.
Skip Miller, an attorney representing the county, denied there were no grim images of the scene. “The county did not cause Ms. Bryant’s loss and, as was promised on the day of the crash, none of the county’s accident sit photos were ever publicly disseminated. The county did its job and looks forward to showing that at trial,” said Miller.
The trial is scheduled for February 22, and lawyers predict it will go for about 15 days. Bryant’s witness list will include Sheriff Alex Villanueva, current and former law enforcement officials, and journalists.