The 40-year-old widow revealed that she had panic attacks after learning that they had shared images of the crash. These images were taken by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and firefighters at the time of the crash.
According to a federal jury, the county now has to pay Mrs. Bryant for emotional distress. Co-plaintiff Christopher Chester will also recieve $15m.
Mrs Bryant’s husband Kobe Bryant, 41, daughter Gianna, 13, and six family friends died when their helicopter crashed in California in January 2020.
Mr Chester lost his wife Sarah and daughter Payton in the crash.
The families of the victims were enraged after a report by Los Angeles Times which claimed state employees took pictures and shared them.
In November 2021, the state tried to settle with the families for $2.5m but Mrs. Bryant declined the offer.
At the witness stand last week, Vanessa Bryant recalled the time at home when she read the report.
“I bolted out of the house and I ran to the side of the house so the girls couldn’t see me. I wanted to run… down the block and just scream,” she said.
She also said she felt ‘blindsided’ by the news of the leak and revealed that she lives in fear everyday of having these images pop up on social media.
“I don’t ever want to see these photographs,” she said. “I want to remember my husband and my daughter the way they were.”
A lawyer for the county unsuccessfully argued that “site photography is essential”. He also added that the photos had not been posted anywhere publicly.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, played for the LA Lakers throughout his career. Many consider him one of the greatest players in the game’s history.
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