Vanessa Bryant says she learned about husband, daughter’s deaths hours after helicopter crash
Vanessa Bryant, the widow to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, said that she didn’t learn about her husband and daughter’s deaths until hours after the fatal helicopter crash in Jan. 2020.
Bryant’s comments came in a transcript of a deposition for a lawsuit between her and Los Angeles County.
Bryant is suing the county after photos were leaked by officials of her deceased husband and daughter at the helicopter crash site.
According to her deposition, a family assistant informed Vanessa around 11:30 a.m. on the day that Kobe Bryant and her daughter, Giana Bryant, were in a helicopter accident, but that five people survived, The New York Times reported.
Bryant said she assumed her husband and daughter were among those who survived, but as she tried to contact them she started seeing people posting about their deaths on social media.
Bryant did not officially know her husband and daughter were dead until hours after the incident occurred and news had spread about their deaths online.
In her case, Bryant is suing for the emotional distress she endured from the photos that were shared online of her loved ones at the crash site.
Bryant recalled telling Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva not to let any photos of the crash be taken and to secure the site.
“And I said: ‘If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, please make sure that no one takes photographs of them. Please secure the area,’” Bryant said, according to the Times. “And he said: ‘I will.’ And I said: ‘No, I need you to get on the phone right now and I need you to make sure you secure the area.’”
The county is currently seeking to have all the plaintiffs in the case undergo medical examinations that would include a psychiatric evaluation to determine the extent of the emotional damage the photo leaks caused the family members.
The request caused 10 plaintiffs, including all young children, to exit the case, according to the Times.
Bryant would not say in her deposition if she will be seeking a monetary amount in the lawsuit, stating it would be up to the jury.