A trial began in Los Angeles in Vanessa Bryant’s invasion of privacy lawsuit regarding photos of her late husband Kobe Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash. Bryant’s case has been combined with a similar case brought by Chris Chester, whose wife and 13-year-old daughter also died in the crash.
The basketball superstar and his teenage daughter were among nine people who died when their chopper smashed into a hillside near Los Angeles in January 2020. Kobe Bryant was 41 when he died. The Los Angeles Lakers great and 18-time All-Star won five NBA championships and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2020.
“At least 11 (sheriff’s) personnel and a dozen firefighters shared the photos within 24 hours of the crash,” Bryant’s attorneys wrote in court papers.
“In the following weeks, one (sheriff’s) deputy flaunted photos of remains at a bar, another texted photos to a group of video game buddies, and (county fire) personnel displayed photos at an awards gala.
“Mrs. Bryant feels ill at the thought that sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, and members of the public have gawked at gratuitous images of her deceased husband and child,” the lawsuit states. “She lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online.”
Los Angeles County officials have argued that the “severe and emotional and mental injuries” were not caused by the county or the photos but by the crash itself. Vanessa Bryant has also filed lawsuits against the helicopter charter company and the deceased pilot’s estate.
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