The first full week of Vanessa Bryant’s trial against Los Angeles County ended on Friday, August 19th, with the NBA All-Star’s widow and mother of his children taking the stand.
Even while fighting for justice for her love, she celebrated his life.
As reported by AllHipHop.com, Vanessa Bryant is suing the County after LA Sheriff’s deputies and LA County Fire Department captains shared graphic photos of her husband Kobe Bryant and her daughter Gigi of Bryant’s 2020 fatal helicopter accident.
The crash happened on January 26th, 2020, and by March of that year, at the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Vanessa Bryant’s lawyers filed her complaint.
During the trial, and before Bryant took the stand, a county coroner “described the scene’s utter carnage, offering jurors insight into the horrifying images likely captured by the first responders who snapped improper photos — some including human remains — that would make their way to several people in the aftermath of the crash, ultimately prompting an agency-wide effort to keep them contained,” according to the Insider.
One of those human remains was of the athlete. A bartender who saw the leaked images identified Kobe by his skin tone and the tattoos on his arm and said, “there were just parts.”
During their testimonies, law enforcement, both deputies and captains, said that they took the pictures and shared them with others because their curiosity got the best of them.
Some believed it was a mandate of the job and two deputies confessed that taking the flicks and sharing them was a way to “alleviate stress.”
The County hired outside counsel to assist in this case. Mira Hashmall, who is working with the municipality, said, “… The testimony in this trial has repeatedly shown that County emergency personnel responded heroically to the January 2020 helicopter crash and that since then, the County has successfully prevented any of its site photography of the incident from ever being publicly disseminated.”
She continued, “It is undisputed these images do not exist in the media or on the Internet, and the families have never seen them.”
“A neutral forensic examination confirmed there are no remaining photos containing victims’ remains,” remarked Hashmall. “The County is not responsible for the Plaintiffs’ decision to publicize in this trial the graphic details of the fatal injuries suffered by their loved ones — precisely the information the County has worked tirelessly over the last two and a half years to keep confidential.”
Still, Vanessa Bryant took the stand on Friday and declared what they did was wrong, and this case is about making them pay for exploiting her husband’s death because he was famous.
TMZ reports she learned about the photographs being shared by the Los Angeles Times, saying the news destroyed her, a very different story than what Hashmall said.
“I felt like I wanted to run down the block and scream,” Vanessa Bryant stated. “I can’t escape my body. I can’t escape what I feel.”
She felt “blindsided, devastated, hurt, and betrayed” by the officers and first responders.
“I trusted them,” she said. “I trusted them to not do these things.”
She mentioned how they took pictures of Gigi and moved her body so they could get their photos, saying how this further betrayed the #girldad even in his death.
“They took advantage that Daddy couldn’t protect her,” she said. “He was at the morgue.”
Bereaved, sobbing, and still powerfully strong, she said, “Nobody should ever have to see their family in that way.”
The widow remembers her babies through various tributes on Instagram. The most recent would be a birthday tribute for Kobe, who would have been 44 today (August 23rd) had he survived the crash.
She posted a throwback pic on social media of the two hugging as he wore his 2009 Los Angeles Lakers championship T-shirt and hat.
The caption was simply, “Happy birthday, baby! I love you and miss you so much! #44 ❤️ @kobebryant.”
Long life the Black Mamba.