Vanessa Bryant has filed a claim that seeks for emotional distress and mental anguish over photos that were taken by LA County Sherriff’s Department deputies and eventually shared with unauthorized people, according to People. The claim was obtained via court documents by the publication. It also asserts that the graphic photos unlawfully showed the corpses of her husband, Kobe Bryant, their daughter Gianna and seven other passengers, all of whom were in a fatal crash on Jan. 26.
Vanessa claims that after being told by Sheriff Alex Villanueva the morning of the accident, that the photos would be handled privately, his deputies did the exact opposite.
“In reality, however, no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies were at the scene snapping cell-phone photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches,” court papers stated. “As the Department would later admit, there was no investigative purpose for deputies to take pictures at the crash site. Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes.”
Vanessa’s claims further state that it took a month’s time for her to find out about the photos via news outlets on the internet. As if she isn’t grieving enough, she now worries that the images will one day show up in a search executed by herself or one of her three daughters, Natalia, Bianka or Capri.
“This [filing] solely is about enforcing accountability, protecting the victims and making sure no one ever has to deal with this conduct in the future,” a spokesperson for the Bryant family told People in a statement. “When a family suffers the loss of loved ones, they have the right to expect that they will be treated with dignity and respect. The deputies in this case betrayed that sacred trust. This claim is intended to hold the Sheriff’s Department accountable and to prevent future misconduct.”