- Vanessa Bryant is suing the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department after deputies allegedly shared photos of the January 26 helicopter crash that killed her husband, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant.
- The claim said the department’s response to reports of deputies allegedly sharing photos was “grossly insufficient” and that Bryant was “distressed to learn that the department did not initiate a formal investigation” until after the Los Angeles Times first reported it in March.
- “This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families,” an attorney for Bryant told the LA Times.
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Vanessa is filing a legal claim against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department after deputies allegedly shared photos of the helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe Bryant and 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The claim stated that the deputies who allegedly shared the photos are liable for “negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of her right to privacy,” according to the LA Times report.
“In reality, however, no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies were at the scene snapping cell-phone photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches,” the claim stated. “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 claim goes on to say that the department’s response to the incident was “grossly insufficient,” and that Bryant “was distressed to learn that the department did not initiate a formal investigation until after the LA Times broke the story.”
Kobe, Gianna, and seven other passengers aboard the helicopter were all killed in the crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva “personally assured” Vanessa Bryant that deputies had the scene secured to ensure the Bryant family’s privacy, the claim said.
However, a complaint filed to the department alleged a deputy had taken photos of the crash and showed them at the Baja California Bar & Grill in Norwalk, the LA Times reported.
Sources told the LA Times that Villanueva ordered deputies to quietly delete the photos.
Bryant’s attorney Gary Robb requested an internal investigation following reports of distribution of such photos, saying those responsible should be subject to the “harshest possible discipline.” Villanueva announced the investigation in March, which the Office of the Inspector General will monitor, the LA Times reported.
“This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families,” Robb told the LA Times.
As of Friday, the LASD told the LA Times that the matter “is still under investigation and pending.”