Vanessa Bryant Suit Against L.A. County Claims Graphic Photos of Kobe Bryant & Daughter Gianna Were Shared At Bars & Award Gala
As we quickly approach the two year anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death, new details continue to surface. Reportedly, Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant claims L.A. law-enforcement officials and fire fighters shared photos of her husband and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, just hours after they were killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020. Vanessa claims the photos were passed around by at least 28 police officers and at least a dozen firefighters in bars and at a media awards gala. The claims were brought to the forefront in new court documents filed on Thursday (Jan.20). Attorneys for Bryant allege in the document that sheriff’s deputies and firefighters tried to hide evidence of the photographs. Her attorney Luis Li said,
“It has also shown that defendants engaged in a cover-up, destroying the direct forensic evidence of their misconduct and requiring extensive circumstantial evidence to establish the full extent of that misconduct.”
In the new documents filed, Vanessa Bryant’s attorney alleges that a private citizen attending the 2020 Golden Mike Awards witnessed LA County Fire Department Public Information Officer Tony Imbrenda talking about the photos and showing them to others. Reportedly, officials later said the photos were deleted, and the witness did not see the photos for themselves.
The new documents also reveal details that the photos were shown in at least two bars in the days following the deadly crash. A bartender in Norwalk, California stated a Los Angeles police officer allegedly showed him the photos at the bar. Reportedly, another bartender in Bellflower, California, stated they spoke to a patron who relayed graphic details after allegedly observing photos of the victims’ remains from a friend in law enforcement who had been stationed at the crash scene to provide security and keep coyotes away from the bodies.
As previously reported, Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit in 2020. She slammed Los Angeles county with the suit after she reportedly claimed the graphic photos that captured the lifeless bodies of her husband and daughter were passed around by first responders. Allegedly, firemen and law enforcement would later confess to sharing the photos with their associates, casually showing them in places such as a local bar. Bryant claimed that their actions have damaged her emotionally.
Just last month, a California judge denied Los Angeles County’s request to dismiss Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit against them. Reportedly, Los Angeles County lawyers had filed a motion for summary judgment in an effort to dismiss the case entirely. U.S. District Judge John F. Walter denied that motion citing there was a need and legitimate reason to go to trial.
“There are genuine issues of material facts for trial.”
He added that his role as a judge is not
“To weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Vanessa Bryant is seeking damages for emotional distress and mental anguish in relation to the alleged image leak. The trial is set to begin in February 2022.