Vanessa Bryant scored another lawsuit victory that legally compels high-ranking officials in Los Angeles to testify about the crash scene photos that were allegedly leaked on Jan. 26, 2021.
In an L.A. County courthouse, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick granted the motion filed by Bryant, 39, the widow of the incomparable Kobe Bryant, to provide testimony under oath, according to Eyewitness News. Bryant is suing the county for millions after first responders reportedly took and, in some cases disseminated, photos of the bodies of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others following the helicopter crash in suburban Los Angeles.
The Bryant matriarch stated in legal documents that she and her family suffered excruciating emotional distress, on top of the pain caused by their deaths, after discovering that sheriff’s deputies snapped and shared gruesome photos. She is seeking damages for invasion of privacy and negligence.
In a statement obtained by Eyewitness News in L.A., the sheriffs department said: “Sheriff Alex Villanueva looks forward to offering his testimony and bringing clarity to the decisions he made which successfully led to no pictures allegedly taken ever seeing the light of day.”
The attorney for LA County disagreed with the decision rendered by the judge.
“While we disagree with the court’s decision, we will make both the Sheriff and Fire Chief available for deposition,” read a statement from Skip Miller, an attorney representing the county, according to Eyewitness News. “Their testimony will not change the fact that there is no evidence any photos taken by County first responders have ever been publicly disseminated.”