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25 Aug, 2022 10:15

Kobe Bryant widow wins multimillion-dollar payout

Vanessa Bryant was awarded the money following a Los Angeles County lawsuit
Kobe Bryant widow wins multimillion-dollar payout

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of NBA star Kobe Bryant, has been awarded a sum of $16 million following her lawsuit against Los Angeles County which came after photographs of her late husband were shared amongst emergency workers shortly after he, their 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in early 2020. 

Bryant had sued  Los Angeles County for an invasion of privacy after she had alleged that gruesome pictures from the crash site had been shared with a bartender, as well as to around 30 people at a firefighters' banquet.

She had also told the court that she had suffered from panic attacks after she discovered that photographs of her husband at the crash site existed and had been shared between various people.

Another person, Chris Chester, whose wife and young daughter also died in the crash, was awarded a sum of $15 million, which takes the total payout to $31 million.

Bryant, who had given emotional testimony earlier in the court case in which she said that she lives in constant fear of the gruesome photographs of her husband being leaked online for her children to see, broke down in court and wept when the verdict was read.

Speaking in court last week, Bryant told the court of her reaction when she learned of the photographs.

I bolted out of the house and I ran to the side of the house so the girls couldn't see me. I wanted to run… down the block and just scream,” she said.

I don't ever want to see these photographs,” she said. “I want to remember my husband and my daughter the way they were.”

She refused to speak to the media when exiting the court.

Bryant's lawyer, Luis Li, said the developments surrounding the photographs “poured salt in an open wound and rubbed it in”.

Legal representation for Los Angeles County, meanwhile, stated that crash site photography is “essential” to help emergency workers navigate to emergency sites, particularly remote ones such as that at which Bryant died. 

Vanessa Bryant had also filed a lawsuit against the company who owned the helicopter, as well as against the estate of the deceased pilot. Los Angeles County had previously settled a case brought by families of others who died in the crash, paying out $2.5 million.

Bryant, though, had refused to settle the case.

Kobe Bryant is a five-time NBA champion and is generally regarded as one of the best players in the history of the sport.

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