In January of 2020, the sports world experienced an awful tragedy when NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter died in a helicopter accident.
Bryant and his teen daughter Gianna tragically died along with seven more individuals who were in the helicopter.
As rescuers and authorities responded to the crash, photos were taken of the twisted and burned bodies which should have remained private. However, they did not.
Now, Bryant’s widow Vanessa is suing the LA County Sheriff’s Office and its officer, Joey Cruz, for allegedly sharing the photos of the crash scene with members of the public and media for no justifiable reason.
Trial Begins Today
The trial begins today. Vanessa seeks justice for the photos which Cruz allegedly shared out at a bar and which Vanessa fears will someday be put online or visible to her or her kids.
The knowledge that these photos have been released to others traumatized her and the other survivors enormously. Vanessa wants some justice.
According to the lawsuit, Vanessa gets sick to the stomach and deeply traumatized as well, thinking about Cruz and other members of the public seeing her husband and child’s destroyed bodies in graphic photos.
Kobe had three other children in addition to Gianna, namely Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. They all survive the death of him and Gianna.
Vanessa is worried about how much extra trauma they could have if they see photos of their dad’s dead body online at some point, thanks to Cruz’s alleged unprofessional conduct.
Sheriff's Dept. under fire as trial starts over Kobe Bryant crash photos https://t.co/Q5EenPXWsv
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) August 10, 2022
The Focus of the Trial
The trial is going to include statements from Vanessa, LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and Kobe’s best friend, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka.
The exact amount Vanessa is looking to win in this case is unclear, but it is many millions in amount.
Bryant was among the nine deaths that occurred in January of 2020. His death at 41 shocked the basketball world; his fearless and inspiring attitude to sports and life was celebrated following his untimely passing, along with Gianna.
The LA County Sheriff’s Office says there is no proof any of these crash scene photos were ever publicly shared or distributed and denies Vanessa’s accusations.
They say the idea the images “might” surface at some later point in the media or online is speculative and cannot serve as sufficient grounds for a legal proceeding.
Invasion of privacy trial begins today for people who took photos of Kobe Bryant on January 26 2020. pic.twitter.com/kgsP7OjVtk
— Sports Man (@SportsM83105469) August 10, 2022
The Bottom Line
The trial remains to happen, so keep your eyes on it. There is no doubt Bryant’s death continues to sadden the world and his legend will continue to live on.
This lawsuit won’t bring him or Gianna back, but if these photos have been shared improperly, then it would at least be a measure of justice in keeping a tragedy more private to the family it happened to and not the whole world.
This article appeared in FreshOffThePress and has been published here with permission.