Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa awarded $16m over leaked photos of helicopter crash

25 August 2022, 11:38

Vanessa Bryant has been awarded $16 million in damages over the death of her husband and daughter.

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The widow of late NBA player Kobe Bryant has been awarded $16 million (£13.5 million) in damages after a court concluded that his death was unlawfully photographed by first responders.

Vanessa Bryant had been involved in a court battle as she sued the Los Angeles County first responders for invading her privacy after some of them took images of the crash which killed Kobe and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna, as well as seven others in January 2020.

During the 11-day trial, she testified that the images cause her emotional distress and she still has panic attacks at the thought that they might still be out there.

Watch Vanessa Bryant's heartbreaking speech at Kobe & Gianna’s memorial service

The family pictured in 2016
The family pictured in 2016. Picture: Getty Images

The images of the crash were shared mostly between the employees of the LA County police and fire departments, and some were also seen by some their spouses and even a bartender.

During the court battle, Bryant testified that “I live in fear every day of being on social media and these popping up."

She also said that she feared her daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri would stumble across the images online.

Vanessa Bryant shares heartbreaking Kobe & Gianna tribute: "I can’t process both at the same time"

Vanessa and Natalia Bryant leaving the courtroom after the verdict.
Vanessa and Natalia Bryant leaving the courtroom after the verdict. Picture: Getty Images

Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter were also killed in the crash, was awarded $15 million in damages.

Vanessa and her lawyer declined to comment outside court, and was visibly crying as she walked past television cameras to leave the court room.

The cause of the crash has been blamed by Federal safety officials on a pilot error.

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