Vanessa Bryant wins $16 million lawsuit over Kobe and Gianna's helicopter crash pictures
Vanessa Bryant was said to have broken down in tears when the verdict was reached.
Kobe Bryant's wife, Vanessa, has won a $16 million (€15.972m) lawsuit against Los Angeles County over photos taken of her late husband's helicopter crash.
Emergency services attached to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department were accused of taking photos of the LA Lakers star and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna's mangled helicopter after the aircraft crashed in January 2020, killing all those on board. The lawsuit argued the photos were unlawfully captured and invaded the Bryant family's privacy.
The Daily Mail reports Vanessa broke down in tears when the verdict was read out less than a day into deliberations after a two-week trial.
Bryant's lawyers had argued Vanessa was entitled to $40 million.
Relatives of other victims of a crash were awarded $2.5 million in compensation following a similar lawsuit.
Vanessa opted not to join that lawsuit, instead launched one with Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter also died in the crash, MailOnline reported.
During the trial, Vanessa told how she lived in fear that the photos would pop up again and cause her to relive the trauma: “I want to remember my husband and my daughter the way that they were," she said.
Vanessa added: “I don't ever want to see these photographs. I have three little girls!"
According to People, Vanessa, who has three other children, Capri, three, Bianka, five, and Natalia, 19, explained how on the morning of the accident she visited the Lost Hills Sheriff Station and asked Sheriff Alex Villanueva to make sure the Calabasas crash site was protected from the paparazzi.
The 40-year-old mum reportedly told Villanueva: “If you can't bring my babies back, can you please secure the area?" Soon after the accident, allegations that first responders had shared crash site photos were reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Bryant said: “I trusted them not to do these things."
While Kobe’s body was found on the day of the crash, Gianna’s wasn’t recovered until the day after, when it was found in a ravine.
The trial heard how first responders shared photographs with members of the public. A bartender was also shown the images and a deputy allegedly messaged them to a friend.