“I was holding my phone, because obviously I was trying to call my husband back, and all these notifications started popping up on my phone, saying” RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe, “” Vanessa Bryant said in an Oct. 12 statement.
They were on their way to a basketball game at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks when the crash occurred, Lady Mavericks team manager Evelyn Morales said at the time.
Vanessa Bryant testified in her lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department and Los Angeles County, alleging that department employees took photos of the helicopter crash site, including photos of body that would be her husband and daughter.
“Because no one should ever have to endure this kind of pain and fear from family members. The published photos are not good. “
Bryant said on the day of the accident, representatives from the Sheriff’s Department repeatedly refused to answer questions about the condition of his family members until Sheriff Alex Villanueva arrived and told him personally that they were deceased.
“And he said, ‘Can I do something for you? “And I said, if you can’t bring my husband and baby back, make sure no one takes a picture of them,” Bryant said, according to the transcript of the deposition. “Please secure the area. And he said: I will. “
Bryant said she was worried that “fans, drones or helicopters” would take footage of the scene, according to the transcript.
The sheriff’s department declined to comment on the ongoing trial.
The deposition often became controversial and moving as defense attorney Louis Miller asked Bryant to view several photos that Bryant’s attorneys submitted as evidence, which showed scenes from the accident that were sent to Vanessa Bryant or streamed online.
“I don’t want to watch this,” said Bryant, occasionally holding his hand over the video conference screen. “It’s terrible. “
Miller also asked Bryant to discuss the possibility that she has post-traumatic stress disorder. The partially edited transcript does not indicate Bryant’s response.
Los Angeles County has asked the court to force Bryant to undergo a psychiatric exam.
Bryant said the aftermath of the crash and the leaking of photos were so traumatic that she kept the clothes Kobe and Gianna Bryant wore at the time of their deaths.
“And if their clothes represent the state of their body, I can’t imagine how someone could be so callous and have no respect for themselves or our friends, and just share the pictures as if they were animals in the street, ”she said.