Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby
Vanessa Bryant is suing Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and his department for severe emotional distress after deputies allegedly took photos at the helicopter crash site which included the bodies of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi.
According to the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, “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 alleges that the photos were shown to colleagues and had no investigative purpose.
Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the photos were leaked when a deputy was trying to impress a woman at a bar by revealing the photos to the woman. The bartender overheard the conversation and notified the sheriff’s department. Following this incident, Sherrif Villanueva tried to cover the “department’s indiscretion” by telling deputies that if they erased the photos they wouldn’t be punished. As a result of the Sheriff’s actions, his alleged interference was destruction of evidence. The families of the nine victims were notified of the photos when the story broke.
“No fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies at the crash site, pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches,” claims the lawsuit. “The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification.”
Eight months following the accident, Bryant is seeking unspecified damages, including punitive damages.
We will continue to keep the Bryant family in our prayers.