Vanessa Bryant says she 'lives in fear' that photos of Kobe and Gianna's remains will 'pop up' on social media

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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Vanessa Bryant, the widow of the late Kobe Bryant, has testified that she lives in fear every day of having images of her husband and daughter's remains "pop up" on social media.

Bryant, whose husband and 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people who tragically died in a fatal helicopter accident in January 2020, is currently suing Los Angeles County for invasion of privacy after it was discovered that first responders captured and consequently privately shared photographs of the devastating incident, per BBC News.

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Vanessa Bryant was married to famed NBA player, Kobe Bryant, from 2001 until his death in 2020. Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy

In her lawsuit, the former LA Lakers player's widow is seeking an unspecified amount for the emotional distress she suffered as a result of the images being shared, saying it left her feeling both "helpless" and "disgusted," Insider has reported.

During her emotional testimony on Friday (August 19) 40-year-old Bryant recalled the moment she learned of the graphic photos in the media: "I felt like I wanted to run, run down the block and scream [...] It was like the feeling of wanting to run down a pier and jump into the water. The problem is I can't escape. I can't escape my body."

In the testimony, which lasted for three hours, Bryant detailed how she received a call about a Los Angeles Times story covering the leaked images. At that time, she was holding her seven-month-old baby.

"I bolted out of the house and around to the side so my girls wouldn't see," Bryant testified. "I was blindsided again, devastated, hurt. I trusted them. I trusted them not to do these things."

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Vanessa Bryant (pictured at her husband and daughter's memorial) is suing Los Angeles County ofr invasion of privacy. Credit: UPI / Alamy

BBC News detailed how jurors in the lawsuit have heard evidence that a sheriff's deputy had taken images of the accident on his cellphone and consequently showed them to a bartender as he was having a drink. Another patron enjoying a drink at the same bar filed an official complaint after the incident.

Several firefighters who responded to the January 2020 incident also reportedly captured cellphone images, showing them to others at an awards banquet.

A coroner giving evidence in the trial described to the jurors the terrifying scene of the crash, which caused injuries so horrific to the victims that their bodies had to be identified scientifically. This gave the jury an idea of just how disturbing the images would have been.

While the images were only circulated privately, and fortunately didn't find their way to news outlets, Bryant still suffered emotional distress after discovering that the images were in existence. "I live in fear every day of being on social media and these popping up," she testified this week. "I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up."

Bryant - who has three other daughters aged 19, five, and three - also testified that she has had severe panic attacks as a result of her distress. Often, this leaves her feeling out of breath.

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Jurors heard details about the terrifying scene of the crash, which killed Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. Credit: frederic REGLAIN / Alamy

The jury also heard from the officers who captured the photos. Per Insider, they gave several reasons for capturing and then sharing the images, with one saying that he did so in order to "alleviate stress." Another officer simply stated that he was curious.

The devastating lawsuit has also brought to light other evidence that indicates LA County officials attempted a cover-up. Lawyers acting on behalf of Vanessa Bryant stated that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) went to lengthy efforts to conceal the existence of the images following complaints from civilians that they'd witnessed officers showing the gruesome images, including a complaint from the widow of one of the crash's victims, Insider has revealed.

After receiving the complaints, it was alleged that the LASD issued a deletion order to the whole department to conceal any potential evidence.

Vanessa Bryant was the final witness for the prosecution, and the defense will continue with their case next week.

Featured image credit: Image Press Agency / Alamy

Vanessa Bryant says she 'lives in fear' that photos of Kobe and Gianna's remains will 'pop up' on social media

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of the late Kobe Bryant, has testified that she lives in fear every day of having images of her husband and daughter's remains "pop up" on social media.

Bryant, whose husband and 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people who tragically died in a fatal helicopter accident in January 2020, is currently suing Los Angeles County for invasion of privacy after it was discovered that first responders captured and consequently privately shared photographs of the devastating incident, per BBC News.

wp-image-1263166055 size-full
Vanessa Bryant was married to famed NBA player, Kobe Bryant, from 2001 until his death in 2020. Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy

In her lawsuit, the former LA Lakers player's widow is seeking an unspecified amount for the emotional distress she suffered as a result of the images being shared, saying it left her feeling both "helpless" and "disgusted," Insider has reported.

During her emotional testimony on Friday (August 19) 40-year-old Bryant recalled the moment she learned of the graphic photos in the media: "I felt like I wanted to run, run down the block and scream [...] It was like the feeling of wanting to run down a pier and jump into the water. The problem is I can't escape. I can't escape my body."

In the testimony, which lasted for three hours, Bryant detailed how she received a call about a Los Angeles Times story covering the leaked images. At that time, she was holding her seven-month-old baby.

"I bolted out of the house and around to the side so my girls wouldn't see," Bryant testified. "I was blindsided again, devastated, hurt. I trusted them. I trusted them not to do these things."

wp-image-1263166054 size-full
Vanessa Bryant (pictured at her husband and daughter's memorial) is suing Los Angeles County ofr invasion of privacy. Credit: UPI / Alamy

BBC News detailed how jurors in the lawsuit have heard evidence that a sheriff's deputy had taken images of the accident on his cellphone and consequently showed them to a bartender as he was having a drink. Another patron enjoying a drink at the same bar filed an official complaint after the incident.

Several firefighters who responded to the January 2020 incident also reportedly captured cellphone images, showing them to others at an awards banquet.

A coroner giving evidence in the trial described to the jurors the terrifying scene of the crash, which caused injuries so horrific to the victims that their bodies had to be identified scientifically. This gave the jury an idea of just how disturbing the images would have been.

While the images were only circulated privately, and fortunately didn't find their way to news outlets, Bryant still suffered emotional distress after discovering that the images were in existence. "I live in fear every day of being on social media and these popping up," she testified this week. "I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up."

Bryant - who has three other daughters aged 19, five, and three - also testified that she has had severe panic attacks as a result of her distress. Often, this leaves her feeling out of breath.

wp-image-1263166058 size-full
Jurors heard details about the terrifying scene of the crash, which killed Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. Credit: frederic REGLAIN / Alamy

The jury also heard from the officers who captured the photos. Per Insider, they gave several reasons for capturing and then sharing the images, with one saying that he did so in order to "alleviate stress." Another officer simply stated that he was curious.

The devastating lawsuit has also brought to light other evidence that indicates LA County officials attempted a cover-up. Lawyers acting on behalf of Vanessa Bryant stated that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) went to lengthy efforts to conceal the existence of the images following complaints from civilians that they'd witnessed officers showing the gruesome images, including a complaint from the widow of one of the crash's victims, Insider has revealed.

After receiving the complaints, it was alleged that the LASD issued a deletion order to the whole department to conceal any potential evidence.

Vanessa Bryant was the final witness for the prosecution, and the defense will continue with their case next week.

Featured image credit: Image Press Agency / Alamy