Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow, is suing Los Angeles County after claiming law-enforcement officials and firefighters distributed photos of her husband and daughter’s bodies.
On Thursday (Jan. 20), Bryant’s attorneys filed an update to her ongoing lawsuit. They allege that the graphic photos were passed around by at least 12 county firefighters. Additionally, the images were shown at local bars and by a firefighter at a gala for the 2020 Golden Mike Awards, which is held for broadcast journalists in Southern California.
Bryant’s lawyers believe the firefighters and deputies tried to conceal evidence of the pictures. “It has also shown that defendants engaged in a cover-up, destroying the direct forensic evidence of their misconduct and requiring extensive circumstantial evidence to establish the full extent of that misconduct,” they said in the documents.
As REVOLT previously reported, in 2020, Bryant filed a lawsuit against the county after learning that first responders and deputies took graphic photos of the remains of the January 26, 2020 crash. Images of Kobe’s body were reportedly shared with a bartender and a patron at a local bar by a deputy trainee. A firefighter also showed the gruesome photos to a group of off-duty firefighters and their partners.
Skip Miller, attorney for Los Angeles County, told People in December that none of the images were shared with the public.
“While the County sympathizes with Ms. Bryant’s tragic loss, it did not cause the crash that claimed the lives of her husband and child,” Miller said at the time. “Rather, it responded to that crash and, at her specific request, set up a no-fly zone, undertook extensive efforts to keep the public and paparazzi away, and made sure none of the investigative photos were ever publicly disseminated.”
“The County did its job and believes there is no merit to this lawsuit,” he added.
Bryant is seeking damages for emotional distress and mental anguish for the photograph leak.
Bryant’s trial begins Feb. 22 and will last around 15 days, per USA Today.