- Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow, is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
- She says deputies leaked images of the helicopter crash, causing her emotional distress.
- Los Angeles County filed a motion to have Bryant take a psychiatric exam ahead of the trial.
Los Angeles County wants Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow, to take a psychiatric exam before the case goes to trial, media outlets reported Sunday.
Bryant sued the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in September 2020, accusing deputies of sharing photos of the January 26, 2020, helicopter crash that killed nine people, including her husband and their daughter Gianna.
She accused the deputies of “negligence” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of her right to privacy.”
In a court filing Friday, the county filed a motion that requests Bryant and others involved in the lawsuit get independent medical examinations to determine if they suffered emotional distress because of the leaked pictures or because of the crash itself, CNN reported.
The county is arguing that the emotional distress was caused by the helicopter crash and not the sharing of the pictures, according to NBC News.
“Plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety, and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims,” the county said in the motion.
Attorneys for Bryant said the request was an attempt at “scorched earth discovery tactics designed to bully Plaintiffs into abandoning their pursuit of accountability,” NBC News reported.
Bryant’s attorneys also told CNN that the county should try to find “less intrusive” ways to evaluate emotional stress.
“It does not take an expert – and it certainly does not take an involuntary eight-hour psychiatric examination – for a jury to assess the nature and extent of the emotional distress caused by Defendants’ misconduct,” her attorneys said.
In her lawsuit, Bryant said she expressed concern that paparazzi were able to access the crash site. She said she was reassured that law enforcement would secure the site.
In March, Bryant won a lawsuit to get the names of four officers who allegedly took pictures of the crashed helicopter.
A hearing on the county’s request for the psychiatric exams is scheduled for November 5, with the trial scheduled to start in February 2022, according to CNN.
Attorneys for Bryant did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.