Kobe Bryant’s widow will receive $16 million from Los Angeles County over photos of Kobe’s body at the crash site of the 2020 helicopter. When Deputies and Firefighters took and shared the photos, Vanessa Bryant claimed her privacy had been invaded.
A Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department unit is accused of taking photos of Kobe and Gianna’s mangled helicopter after it crashed, killing all occupants.
Vanessa Bryant argued in his lawsuit that the photos were unlawfully taken and violated his family’s privacy during an extremely difficult time.
She testified tearfully that she still has panic attacks when she thinks they might be out there a month after she lost her husband and daughter and that the news of the photos compounded her still-raw grief.
“I live in fear every day of being on social media and these popping up,” she testified. “I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up.”
She was awarded $15 million along with co-plaintiff Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter died in the crash as well.
“We’re grateful for a jury and a judge who gave us a fair trial,” said Chester’s lawyer Jerry Jackson.
Bryant’s attorneys did not present jurors with a suggested dollar amount for their client, but Chester’s defense lawyer gave them guidelines that could have meant millions for each plaintiff.
She and her lawyer declined to comment outside the courtroom on Wednesday. In the SUV, her face was still streaked with tears as she walked past television cameras and reporters.
On Jan. 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, was traveling with Gianna and seven other people when their helicopter crashed into hills in Calabasas west of Los Angeles.