Vanessa Bryant has filed a lawsuit after sheriff's deputies reportedly took and shared graphic photos from the helicopter crash site where her husband and daughter were killed.
Bryant, widow of late Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, on Tuesday sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, with her lawsuit saying that after her husband, their daughter Gianna, and seven others were tragically killed in a helicopter crash in January, "no fewer than eight sheriff's deputies at the crash site" took "photos of the dead children, parents and coaches" and that deputies then inappropriately shared them, The Hollywood Reporter and TMZ report.
"The gratuitous images soon became talked about within the department, as deputies displayed them to colleagues in settings that had nothing to do with investigating the accident," the lawsuit says, per the Reporter. "One deputy even used his photos of the victims to try to impress a woman at a bar, bragging about how he had been at the crash site."
The lawsuit also says that Bryant "lives in fear" that the photos will leak and that "she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online," per TMZ.
The Los Angeles Times had reported on deputies sharing photos from the crash site in February, and Bryant's attorney in a statement at the time called this an "unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families" while calling for those involved to "face the harshest possible discipline." Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that deputies "admitted they had taken" the photos and that he ordered for them to be deleted. He also said that "we've communicated in no uncertain terms that the behavior is inexcusable."
Bryant's lawsuit filed is reportedly seeking damages "in an amount to be proven at trial."