Kobe Bryant’s widow awarded $16m over leaked crash photographs

Kobe Bryant’s widow awarded $16m over leaked crash photographs


obe Bryant’s widow has been awarded $16 million (£13.5m) in damages after graphic photographs of the helicopter crash which killed the basketball star and his daughter have been leaked.

A US jury agreed that the photographs, shared by Los Angeles County deputies and firefighters, invaded Vanessa Bryant’s privateness and precipitated emotional misery.

NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna have been amongst victims killed within the 2020 helicopter crash. That they had been travelling to a youth basketball recreation when the helicopter crashed into hills in Calabasas west of Los Angeles on January 26.

The jury reached the decision on Kobe Bryant Day, which is well known in Los Angeles on August 24 as a result of it represents his jersey numbers – 8 and 24 – and is the day after his birthday. He would have turned 44 on Tuesday.

After the decision, Mrs Bryant posted a photograph on Instagram of herself along with her husband and daughter.

“All for you!” the caption learn. “I like you! JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi!”

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna

/ AP

The images have been shared largely between workers of the LA County sheriff’s and hearth departments together with by some who have been taking part in video video games and attending an awards banquet.

They have been additionally seen by a few of their spouses and in a single case by a bartender at a bar the place a deputy was ingesting.

Vanessa Bryant tearfully testified throughout the 11-day trial that information of the photographs compounded her still-raw grief a month after dropping her husband and daughter, and that she nonetheless has panic assaults on the thought that they could nonetheless be on the market.

“I reside in concern day by day of being on social media and these popping up,” she testified. “I reside in concern of my daughters being on social media and these popping up.”

Chris Chester, whose spouse and daughter have been additionally among the many 9 individuals killed within the crash, was awarded $15 million.

Mrs Bryant declined remark exterior courtroom Wednesday. Her face was nonetheless streaked with tears as she walked previous TV cameras and dozens of reporters and climbed into an SUV.

Vanessa Bryant along with her daughter Natalia (2L) and shut buddy Sydney Leroux

/ AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Mrs Bryant’s lawyer Luis Li advised jurors that the close-up photographs had no official or investigative goal, and have been mere “visible gossip” shared out of a grotesque curiosity.

County legal professional J Mira Hashmall argued throughout the trial that the photographs have been a essential instrument for assessing the scenario.

She acknowledged that they need to not have been shared with everybody who noticed them.

However she emphasised that the photographs had by no means appeared publicly, and had by no means even been seen by the plaintiffs.

She mentioned that meant that Sheriff Alex Villanueva and different officers had taken decisive and efficient motion once they ordered those that had the photographs to delete them.

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