Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow, is suing Los Angeles County after claiming law-enforcement officials and firefighters distributed photos of her husband and daughter’s bodies. Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, died in a helicopter crash along with seven others in January 2020.
According to Bryant’s lawyers, 28 L.A. County Sheriff’s Department devices and another 12 firefighters’ devices shared photos of Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant’s bodies. The photo sharing allegedly took place at bars and an awards gala.
L.A. County attempted to get Bryant’s case dismissed in November, but a federal judge rejected the motion earlier this month. In his decision, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter said Bryant’s case contains “genuine issues of material fact for trial.”
The case will now move to trial in Los Angeles, and Bryant’s lawyers set their witness list Thursday. The witness list includes, but is not limited to, Vanessa Bryant herself; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant’s former Lakers teammate; L.A. County sheriff and fire department employees; and Sharia Washington, Kobe Bryant’s sister.
While Bryant is suing L.A. County for invasion of privacy and negligence, her lawyers are accusing the county of additional wrongdoing.
“(County) defendants engaged in a coverup, destroying the direct forensic evidence of their misconduct and requiring extensive circumstantial evidence to establish the full extent of that misconduct,” Luis Li, Bryant’s attorney, said in a statement.
Bryant’s trial begins Feb. 22 and will last around 15 days, per USA Today.