The widow of basketball star Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant has filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County sheriff, Alex Villanueva, claiming deputies shared unauthorized photos of the crash that killed her husband, their 13-year-old daughter and seven others.
After the Jan. 26 crash, reports surfaced that graphic photos of the victims were being shared. Vanessa Bryant was “shocked and devastated” by the reports, the lawsuit states. The suit seeks damages for negligence, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
She has also filed against the pilot saying he was careless and negligent to fly in the fog and should have aborted the flight. The brother of the pilot has said in a court filing that Bryant knew the risks of helicopter flying and his survivors aren’t entitled to damages from the pilot’s estate, Also, the manufacturer, Island Express, which says it is not responsible for damages, calling the crash, among other things, “an act of God” and “an unavoidable accident” that was beyond its control.
Villanueva previously told news media that eight deputies took or shared graphic photos of the scene and he ordered the images deleted. The sheriff said the department has a policy against taking and sharing crime scene photos, but it does not apply to accident scenes.
“That was my No. 1 priority, was to make sure those photos no longer exist,” Villanueva previously told NBC News. “We identified the deputies involved, they came to the station on their own and had admitted they had taken them and they had deleted them. And we’re content that those involved did that.”
Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit alleges the sheriff’s actions constituted a “cover-up” of the misconduct. The suit was filed Thursday.
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