Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa Bryant is reportedly suing Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) for allegedly sharing the Kobe Bryant crash photos. On January 26, 2020, the NBA legend, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others were tragically killed in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California. In March, allegations were raised against the LASD for leaking graphic photos from the crash site. Subsequently, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed that eight unnamed deputies from the department were involved in sharing the graphic photos. Reports suggested the deputies were told to take those photos down but are unclear whether the accused were punished by the LASD.
The reports of the Kobe Bryant crash photos being leaked were condemned by Vanessa Bryant and her attorneys who stated action will be taken against the department. Latest reports suggest Vanessa Bryant has indeed filed a lawsuit against the LASD. People magazine claims to have procured a copy of the Vanessa Bryant lawsuit which states Kobe Bryant's wife filed the lawsuit last week at the LA County Superior Court. The report further claims that Vanessa Bryant and her attorneys were seeking damages for mental anguish and emotional distress.
According to international reports, a new bill introduced in the California legislature makes it an offence to share photos of bodies taken at crimes scenes. If the case is accepted by the court and LASD deputies are found guilty, the charges would carry a one-year jail term along with a fine of up to $5,000.
Vanessa Bryant previously filed a lawsuit in February against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp - the company which owned and operated the helicopter that crashed near Calabasas. A lawsuit was also filed against the helicopter’s pilot, Ara Zobayan, who also died in the crash.
Meanwhile, Ara Zobayan's brother Berge Zobayan claims the passengers were negligent and were at fault in the said crash. Berge Zobayan claims he reviewed the documents that were filed in response to the Vanessa Bryant lawsuit and claimed that the Kobe Bryant pilot, his brother, should not be held responsible. Berge Zobayan's attorneys have reportedly stated the passengers knew the risk involved in flying under fog and it was their negligent behaviour which was responsible for the crash. Per reports, Zobayan's attorneys will demand the Vanessa Bryant lawsuit for the wrongful death of her husband and the other passengers be dismissed.