Vanessa Bryant settles for $28.85M over Kobe's crash photos

2023-03-01 06:34

Vanessa Bryant and her children will receive $28.85 million from the county of Los Angeles, as a result of the settlement reached between the two parties. 

Credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Credit AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Vanessa Bryant settled her remaining claims against the County of Los Angeles on Tuesday over the sharing of graphic photos of her husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna after the two were killed in a helicopter crash in 2020.

Per the terms of the settlement, Vanessa Bryant and her children will receive $28.85 million from the county, a total that includes $15 million awarded to Vanessa Bryant by a federal-court jury in August 2022.

"Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant's courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct," Bryant attorney Luis Li said in a statement.

Free throws this season

Points made: 20,2
Accuracy: 77,5%
Place in standings: 4
Record max: 35
Record min: 10
Most made FTs: Anthony Davis

"She fought for her husband, her daughter, and all those in the community whose deceased family were treated with similar disrespect. We hope her victory at trial and this settlement will put an end to this practice."

The lead lawyer representing the county called the settlement "fair and reasonable."

In August 2022, Vanessa Bryant appeared emotional, often crying and struggling to maintain her composure, in her testimony before the Los Angeles County court. Kobe Bryant's widow, 41, said first responders, who took photos of her dead 13-year-old daughter Gianna, "violated" the girl, and added she was devastated to learn that such images were taken in spite of Sheriff Alex Villanueva assuring her the crash scene would be secured.

"I feel devastated, hurt and betrayed by the county employees who leaked the photos," she uttered, adding that she has not yet seen those images because she wants to remember her loved ones "as they were." 

Vanessa Bryant couldn't hold back her tears describing how she had to "leave the house" so her family wouldn't see her cry when she read in an article in the Los Angeles Times that the photos were allegedly being spread online.

The lawsuit was filed jointly by Vanessa Bryant and Chris Chester, a widower who lost his wife and daughter, also 13 years old, in this incident on January 26, 2020 in which 9 people died. Along with Chester and Bryant's loved ones, the crash killed Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; Christina Mauser, 38; and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.

Chris Chester settled his claims against the county for almost $20 million in September 2022.

In 2021, Vanessa Bryant reached a financial settlement with the helicopter company she had sued for the accident. The investigators claimed that the helicopter pilot was disoriented due to the fog and maintained that he did not follow the established piloting protocol when flying in dense cloud cover.

First responders reportedly took more than 100 photos of the crash scene, including the bodies of the decedents, and then shared them mostly among other employees of the county sheriff's and fire departments (though spouses and at least one bartender also reportedly saw the photos).

The helicopter was on its way to Kobe Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, at the time of the crash. Kobe was set to coach Gianna's basketball team.


We want to hear from you. Be the first to comment!

Add comment

  Subscribe   Total comments: 0

We have the right to remove comments which are offensive, contains abusive language, or violates other rules of the website