The late Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, has admitted that she always worries that pictures of her late husband and daughter’s remains would “surface up” on social media.
According to BBC News, Bryant is currently suing Los Angeles County for invasion of privacy after it was discovered that first responders took and subsequently privately shared photographs of the tragic incident. Bryant’s husband and her daughter Gianna, 13, were two of the nine tragically deceased in a fatal helicopter accident in January 2020.
According to Insider, the widow of the former LA Lakers player is suing for an undisclosed sum for the mental pain caused by the sharing of the photographs, claiming that it left her feeling “helpless” and “disgusted.”
Bryant, 40, described in her moving statement on Friday (August 19) how she first became aware of the horrific images in the news: “I felt like I wanted to run, run down the block and scream […] It was like the feeling of wanting to run down a pier and jump into the water. The problem is I can’t escape. I can’t escape my body.”
Bryant described how she got a call regarding a Los Angeles Times article reporting the leaked pictures in her three-hour-long testimony. She had her kid, who was seven months old, in her arms.
“I bolted out of the house and around to the side so my girls wouldn’t see,” Bryant testified. “I was blindsided again, devastated, hurt. I trusted them. I trusted them not to do these things.”
According to BBC News, the jury in the lawsuit has heard testimony that a sheriff’s deputy took pictures of the incident with his iPhone and then showed them to a bartender while he was enjoying a drink. After the incident, a different customer having a drink at the same establishment made a formal complaint.
According to reports, several of the firefighters who responded to the event in January 2020 took pictures with their cellphones and shared them with others at an awards ceremony.
The frightening collision scene, which left the victims with injuries so terrible that their bodies had to be recognized scientifically, was detailed to the jury by a coroner testifying at the trial. The jury was able to gauge how upsetting the photographs would have been as a result.
Bryant had emotional pain after learning that the photographs existed, despite the fact that they were only shared privately and fortunately never made it to news organizations. “I live in fear every day of being on social media and these popping up,” she testified this week. “I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up.”
Bryant, who also testified that she has three other daughters who are 19, 5, and 3, has experienced significant panic attacks as a result of her anguish. She frequently feels out of breath as a result of this.
The officers who took the pictures testified before the jury as well. According to Insider, they provided a number of justifications for taking and subsequently publishing the pictures, with one of them stating that he did so to “alleviate tension.” Another cop only expressed his curiosity.
Other evidence that suggests LA County officials tried to cover up the incident has also come to light as a result of the damaging litigation. According to attorneys representing Vanessa Bryant, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) made extensive efforts to hide the existence of the images after receiving complaints from citizens who had seen officers display the graphic images, including one from the widow of one of the crash victims.
It was claimed that the LASD issued a deletion order to the whole department after receiving the complaints in an effort to hide any potential proof.
The defense will continue its case the following week after Vanessa Bryant, the prosecution’s final witness, has concluded.