Kobe Bryant’s widow will receive a settlement of nearly $29 million in a lawsuit where she accused multiple police officers and firefighters of sharing photos taken after the tragic helicopter accident in 2020.
Vanessa Bryant agreed to accept the settlement in exchange for dropping the lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and firefighters, whom she sued a few months after the accident. She accused them of taking photos with their mobile phones at the scene of the tragedy, including some that showed the bodies of Kobe Bryant and his daughter. Vanessa Bryant announced that the money will go to the charitable foundation established in their memory.
“Today’s settlement marks the culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous fight to hold those accountable for their grotesque behavior. She fought for her husband, her daughter, and for all the families who have had to endure the same lack of respect for their loved ones,” said Luis Li, Vanessa Bryant’s attorney.
Li stated that the settlement amount is $28.85 million, which includes the $15 million in damages awarded by a federal court in August 2022, when firefighters and police officers were found guilty of violating privacy and causing emotional distress.
Vanessa Bryant sued Los Angeles County after rescuers shared photos of the NBA star, his daughter, and other victims of the terrible accident in 2020. The photos did not become public, but the nine jurors decided in 2022 that taking photos of the victims and sending the images to others represented a serious violation of privacy and emotionally affected the NBA star’s widow.
The photos circulated mostly among sheriff’s office and fire station employees, sometimes even in an entertainment context, including being shown by some employees playing video games and others attending an award event. The images from the accident scene were also seen by some of the employees’ wives.
Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter accident on January 26, 2020, west of Los Angeles, California.