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Kobe Bryant’s widow is suing LA Sheriff over leaked photos of NBA star’s corpse

Kobe Bryant’s widow will go to court on Wednesday in her multimillion-dollar case against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department over leaked photos of the bodies of the NBA star and his daughter, who both died in a helicopter crash in 2020.

Vanessa Bryant, in her federal privacy infringement lawsuit, alleges that deputies did not take the photos for investigative purposes and shared them with firefighters responding to the accident scene.

“Close-up photos of Gianna and Kobe’s remains were relayed on at least 28 sheriff’s devices and by at least a dozen firefighters, and displayed in bars and at an awards ceremony,” the suit said.

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and other parents and players were flying to a girls’ basketball tournament when their chartered helicopter crashed into fog in the Calabasas Hills, west of Los Angeles, on Jan. 26, 2020.

Kobe Bryants widow is suing LA Sheriff over leaked photos

Vanessa Bryant’s suit claims that “close-up photos of Gianna and Kobe’s remains were passed on at least 28 sheriff’s department devices and by at least a dozen firefighters, and were displayed in bars and at an awards ceremony.”

A month before the fatal crash, Kobe and Vanessa Bryant pose for a photo at Sean Combs' 50th birthday party in Los Angeles

A month before the fatal crash, Kobe and Vanessa Bryant pose for a photo at Sean Combs' 50th birthday party in Los Angeles

A month before the fatal crash, Kobe and Vanessa Bryant pose for a photo at Sean Combs’ 50th birthday party in Los Angeles

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna were photographed at a Lakers game in December 2019, a month before the fatal helicopter crash.

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna were photographed at a Lakers game in December 2019, a month before the fatal helicopter crash.

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna were photographed at a Lakers game in December 2019, a month before the fatal helicopter crash.

Vanessa Bryant has reportedly asked authorities not to allow anyone to take photos of their bodies, but claimed she later learned that firefighters and officers were passing photos (Pictured: Calabasas crash site in January 2020)

Vanessa Bryant has reportedly asked authorities not to allow anyone to take photos of their bodies, but claimed she later learned that firefighters and officers were passing photos (Pictured: Calabasas crash site in January 2020)

Vanessa Bryant has reportedly asked authorities not to allow anyone to take photos of their bodies, but claimed she later learned that firefighters and officers were passing photos (Pictured: Calabasas crash site in January 2020)

‘Mrs. Bryant feels sick to think that sheriffs, firefighters and the public have gawked at free images of her late husband and child,” the lawsuit said. “She lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online.”

Vanessa’s attorney said a private individual attending the 2020 Golden Mike Awards — a telecast night held less than a month after the crash — witnessed Tony Imbrenda, a public information officer for the LA County Fire Department, speak about the accident. pictures and showed them to others.

A bartender in Norwalk, California, said a Los Angeles police officer showed him the photos.

The widow reportedly told LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva on the day of the crash, Jan. 26, 2020, to secure the crash site and not allow photos when she learned there were no survivors.

“If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, make sure no one takes pictures of them,” she said.

Federal security officials blamed the pilot error on the wreckage.

The new documents also reveal details that the photos were shown in at least two bars in the days following the crash.  A bartender in Norwalk, California stated that a Los Angeles police officer showed him the photos at the bar

The new documents also reveal details that the photos were shown in at least two bars in the days following the crash.  A bartender in Norwalk, California stated that a Los Angeles police officer showed him the photos at the bar

The new documents also reveal details that the photos were shown in at least two bars in the days following the crash. A bartender in Norwalk, California stated that a Los Angeles police officer showed him the photos at the bar

1660140517 73 Kobe Bryants widow is suing LA Sheriff over leaked photos

1660140517 73 Kobe Bryants widow is suing LA Sheriff over leaked photos

Vanessa has previously said that the photos showing her husband and daughter’s deaths were “out there,” causing her “ongoing fear and anxiety,” and that she had trouble sleeping and was depressed as a result.

Vanessa Bryant has also sued the helicopter charter company and the deceased pilot’s estate.

The county has argued that Bryant suffered emotional distress from the deaths, not the photos, which had been removed by the sheriff.

They said the photos have never been publicly distributed in the media, on the Internet or in any other way, and that the lawsuit is speculative as to the damage she could suffer.

A law following the crash makes it a crime for first responders to take unauthorized photos of deceased people at the scene of an accident or crime.

The county has already agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a similar lawsuit brought by two families whose relatives died in the January 26, 2020 crash.

Vanessa Bryant hasn’t settled her case, indicating she’s looking for more.

The lawsuit was ugly at times.

When the county requested a psychiatric assessment from Bryant to determine if she had suffered emotional distress because of the photos, her lawyers criticized the “scorched earth discovery tactics” used to bully her and other victims’ relatives to keep their to stop lawsuits.

The county responded by saying it sympathized with Bryant’s losses and dismissed her case as a “money robbery.”

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