Seth Udinski, FISM News
Only days after the sports world remembered the late Kobe Bryant on his birthday, Bryant’s widow Vanessa has been awarded a substantial amount of money in a lawsuit over a controversial photo leak from the helicopter crash that killed her husband, her daughter Gianna, and seven others in January of 2020.
Vanessa Bryant was awarded $16 million in damages on Wednesday after the courts confirmed that the first responders who leaked the photos violated her and her family’s rights to privacy, according to a report from ESPN.
Following the announcement, Mrs. Bryant shared a photo on Instagram of her with Kobe and Gianna with text reading, “All for you! I love you! JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi!”
Bryant had filed the suit along with another family member with deceased loved ones, Chris Chester, who lost his wife and daughter in the accident. Chester was reportedly awarded $15 million.
The photos were disturbing and depicted clear images of the victims in the aftermath of the crash. ESPN further reported that the photos were shared by first responders in a cavalier way, without permission or respect to the Bryant family and the other victims’ families:
The pictures were shared mostly among employees of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire departments, including by some who were playing video games and attending an awards banquet. They also were seen by some of their spouses and in one case by a bartender at a bar where a deputy was drinking.
In her testimony in the trial, not long after her husband’s death, Bryant said,
I live in fear every day of being on social media and these popping up. I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up.
Fans and supporters of the Bryant family are hopeful this resolution will give the Bryants a sense of peace as they continue to grieve the loss of their two loved ones.
Kobe Bryant is still fresh on the minds and hearts of Los Angeles Lakers fans and NBA fans nationwide. Fans recognized Wednesday, August 24 as “Kobe Bryant Day,” an homage to the numbers 8 and 24, which Bryant wore during his brilliant 20-year career with the Lakers.