AceShowbiz - Vanessa Bryant shared how she found out about the death of her husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna Bryant. In a new court deposition, Vanessa said that she found out the fatal helicopter crash, which killed her loved ones, on social media.
After Vanessa gave a deposition for the case in a Zoom video conference on October 12, a transcript of her words was filed in court on Friday, October 22. According to Vanessa, their family assistant knocked on their door around 11.30 A.M. on the day of the crash, telling her that there was an accident with five survivors. At the time, she did not know if Kobe and Gianna survived.
Later around the same time, TMZ broke the news of the NBA star's death in the accident. All nine people aboard the helicopter died during their trip toa teen basketball tournament at Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy when the aircraft crashed into a hill in Calabasas, California, amid heavy fog.
Vanessa, who sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and other agencies for emotional distress over unauthorized photos of the human remains at the crash site, said in the deposition that she tried to call Kobe, but there was no answer from the basketball legend. She then called her mother to ask her to "spot me with the littles," referring to her and Kobe's other daughters Bianca and Capri. The couple also shares daughter Natalia.
"As soon as I was on the phone with my mom, I was holding onto my phone, because obviously I was trying to call my husband back," Vanessa claimed, adding, "and all these notifications started popping up on my phone, saying 'RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe.' "
She then revealed that the authorities asked to come to a police station in Malibu, the closest one to the crash site, because they couldn't tell her anything over the phone. When she arrived at the local airport, the helicopter owners refused to fly her to the crash site because the weather conditions were too bad. Eventually, Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka drove her and Natalia to the Malibu police station in the teen's car. After waiting, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told her what happened.
Vanessa didn't want anyone took pictures of her husband, her daughter and their friends, so she told the sheriff, "If you can't bring my husband and baby back, please make sure no one takes photographs of them. Please secure the area." The sherrif allegedly replied, "All is good. The area is secure. There's an umbrella over the area."
During the deposition, Vanessa said that it was "up to the jury" when it comes to monetary damages. As for the emotional distress that the pictures caused her, she explained, "Emotional distress means that not only do I have to grieve the loss of my husband and child, but for the rest of my life I'm going to have to fear that those photographs of my husband and child will be leaked."
Back in May, lawyers for Los Angeles County responded to Vanessa's lawsuit, writing, "The county does not condone this showing of accident site photographs and has taken corrective personnel actions accordingly. That does not mean, however, that plaintiff has viable legal claims. The two seminal cases involve public dissemination of pictures of human remains, and that did not occur here. The photographs were not given to the media and were not posted on the internet. They were not publicly disseminated."