Trial over Kobe Bryant crash photos begins in LA

Wife Vanessa Bryant says people 'gawked at gratuitous images of her deceased husband and child'

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A trial began on Wednesday in Los Angeles, California, in Vanessa Bryant's invasion of privacy lawsuit over photos of her late husband and NBA star Kobe Bryant's fatal helicopter crash.

The lawsuit filed in the US District Court in September 2020 seeks undisclosed damages.

Ms Bryant claims that members of the Los Angeles County sheriff's and fire departments shared gruesome images of the crash in unofficial settings, including to patrons in a bar.

“Mrs Bryant feels ill at the thought that sheriff's deputies, firefighters and members of the public have gawked at gratuitous images of her deceased husband and child,” the lawsuit states.

“She lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online.”

LA County officials have argued that the “severe and emotional and mental injuries” were not caused by the county or the photos but by the crash itself.

Bryant, his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven other people perished in the crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26, 2020.

Ms Bryant has also filed lawsuits against the helicopter charter company and the deceased pilot's estate.

The county already agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a similar case brought by families of others who died in the crash, according to ESPN.

Bryant was 41 when he died. The Los Angeles Lakers great and 18-time All-Star won five NBA championships and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2020.

Updated: August 10, 2022, 7:55 PM