Wife of the late basket legend, Kobe Bryant, Vanessa, has sued the L.A. County Sheriff and his department, claiming they caused her severe emotional distress when deputies allegedly took personal cellphone photos of the bodies of her husband and daughter, Gigi, at the scene of the helicopter crash that took their lives.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, “no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies at the crash site, pulled out their personal cell phones and took photos of the dead children, parents and coaches. The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification.
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“The lawsuit goes onto allege the photos were the subject of conversation within the sheriff’s department with deputies showing their colleagues the pictures that had no investigative purpose.”
The lawsuit further noted how the photos were exposed when a deputy was at a bar and showed the photos to a woman he was trying to impress. The bartender overheard the conversation, blew the whistle and called the sheriff’s department.
Vanessa stated in the suit that it was at that moment Sheriff Villanueva tried to cover it all up by going to the Sheriff’s substation that responded to the crash to tell the deputies that if they deleted the photos they would not face disciplinary action.
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The suit also claims the purpose of his talk was for the destruction of the evidence. The lawsuit claims Villanueva did not tell the families about the photos and they only learned of it in the media when the story broke that deputies took the photos.
The lawsuit claims that the Sheriff never gave the family straight answers and now Vanessa is in constant fear the photos will be leaked, “Ms. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including punitive damages. So far, there has been no word back from the Sheriff’s Department.