Vanessa Bryant agrees 28.85m settlement over photos of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash
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Vanessa Bryant has agreed a final $28.85 million settlement with Los Angeles County over leaked photos from the helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna in January 2020.
The 40-year-old model was originally awarded $16 million in damages last August after a jury found the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and Fire Department (LAFD) had caused emotional distress by sharing photos from the January 2020, cut to $15 million due to a clerical error, and she has now reached a complete agreement with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which also covers any future claims from her and the late basketball legend’s daughters Natalia, 20, Bianka, six, and three-year-old Capri.
The settlement is still “conditional upon court approval” for the minor children.
Vanessa’s lawyer, Luis Li said in a statement: “Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct.
“She fought for her husband, her daughter, and all those in the community whose deceased family were treated with similar disrespect. We hope her victory at trial and this settlement will put an end to this practice.”
Mira Hashmall, partner at the Miller Barondess law firm and lead trial counsel for LA County in the case, said the settlement was “fair and reasonable.”
She added in a statement: “This settlement now concludes all County-related litigation related to the tragic January 2020 helicopter crash. We hope Ms. Bryant and her children continue to heal from their loss.”
The $28.85 million figure includes the $15 million Vanessa was awarded last August.
Her co-plaintiff, Chris Chester – who lost his wife Sarah and 13-year-old daughter Payton in the crash – previously agreed a $19.95 million settlement.
Vanessa and Chris had sued Los Angeles County for emotional distress and mental anguish after learning members of the department had shared photos that featured the remains of the victims.
They alleged the pictures were publicly shared on at least 28 devices owned by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and by more than a dozen first responders.