Kobe Bryant’s widow has filed suit over the unauthorized release of death scene photos taken by Los Angeles officials following the sports icon’s fatal helicopter crash.
Vanessa Bryant was left devastated in January after the Los Angeles Lakers legend and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people who lost their lives when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, Calif.
It subsequently emerged that pictures taken at the death scene had been passed around deputies at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, prompting officials to formally apologize to the families and vow to ensure the shots were deleted – even though it was unclear who snapped the images.
Now Vanessa has launched legal action over the “inexcusable and deplorable” behaviour, seeking damages for emotional distress and mental anguish, according to court papers obtained by People.com.
In the documents, she expresses concern over the thought her three daughters, Natalia, Bianka, or Capri, may come across the images online in the future.
“This (filing) solely is about enforcing accountability, protecting the victims and making sure no one ever has to deal with this conduct in the future,” a Bryant family spokesperson explains in a statement.
“When a family suffers the loss of loved ones, they have the right to expect that they will be treated with dignity and respect. The deputies in this case betrayed that sacred trust. This claim is intended to hold the Sheriff’s Department accountable and to prevent future misconduct.”
It’s not the first lawsuit Vanessa has filed over Kobe’s tragic loss – she is also suing officials at the helicopter company for wrongful death.