Vanessa Bryant, the widow of the basketball legend Kobe Bryant, revealed she learned about her husband’s death through social media posts – hours before she received the official confirmation from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
“I was holding onto my phone because obviously, I was trying to call my husband back, and all these notifications started popping up on my phone, saying ‘RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe,” commented Vanessa in a deposition on October 12.
On January 26, 2020, a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, claimed nine lives, including Kobe Bryant, 41, and Gianna Bryant, 13. They were on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for his daughter’s basketball game when the crash happened, Lady Mavericks team director Evelyn Morales shared at the time.
Vanessa’s deposition came as part of the ongoing lawsuit against the Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Fire Department, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. She accused the department officials of taking and circulating photos of the crash site.
Reportedly, Vanessa had placed an explicit request when speaking to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to maintain the dignity of her husband and daughter’s death. “If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, please make sure no one takes photographs of them. Please secure the area.”
The lawsuit alleges that despite this request, images of the crash site were soon in circulation. Particularly disturbing was how these images also captured the bodies of the victims of the crash. The lawsuit’s main allegations include invasion of privacy, causing severe emotional distress. CNN details how the basketball superstar’s widow has held on to the clothes that Kobe and Gianna were wearing during the crash.
“And if their clothes represent the condition of their bodies, I cannot imagine how someone could be so callous and have no regard for them or our friends, and just share the images as if they were animals on the street,” she said.
“I want accountability,” added Vanessa, underlining her reason behind the federal lawsuit.