How Vanessa Bryant won a stunning $31 million victory involving gruesome Kobe crash photos


In February 2020, the Los Angeles Occasions reported that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies had shared graphic photographs of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others.

The revelation triggered a serious scandal on the Sheriff’s Division that culminated Wednesday, when a jury ordered Los Angeles County to pay Vanessa Bryant, widow of Lakers star Kobe Bryant, and one other man $31 million in damages.

The trial marked the fruits of an intensely private, two-year authorized combat for Vanessa Bryant and Chris Chester, who misplaced his daughter and spouse within the crash. Bryant typically expressed outrage over the conduct of deputies.

On the witness stand final week, Bryant mentioned she had been watching TV with household at residence when she realized that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies had shared ugly photographs of the helicopter crash that killed her husband and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

Portrait illustration of Kobe and Gianna Bryant with a wall of fan messages around them.

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, marks the one-year anniversary of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant and 7 others.

(Constance Brantley / For The Occasions)

“I bolted out of the home,” Vanessa Bryant testified Friday in federal court docket in Los Angeles. As soon as she discovered a spot the place her different three daughters couldn’t hear her, she mentioned, “I broke down and cried, and I needed to run down the block and simply scream.”

Bryant mentioned she felt betrayed by deputies she had trusted to guard her household.

“I anticipated them to have extra compassion — respect,” Bryant testified. “My husband and my daughter deserve dignity.”

Throughout the trial, her attorneys documented how the photographs had unfold from the telephones of deputies and firefighters on the crash scene on a steep hillside in Calabasas: They have been flashed from a sheriff’s deputy’s cellphone display screen to a bartender in Norwalk. They have been proven to firefighters and their spouses throughout an awards gala at a resort in Common Metropolis in what amounted, one witness mentioned, to a “occasion trick.” They have been handed from one deputy to a different because the pair performed video video games.

After the decision, Vanessa Bryant posted a photograph on Instagram of her, Kobe and Gigi with the caption: “All for you! I like you. JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi.”

Here’s a abstract of The Occasions reporting on the crash photograph scandal:

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