Vanessa Bryant has reached a $28.85 million settlement with Los Angeles County in a lawsuit over photos taken of the helicopter crash in which her husband, Kobe Bryant, and one their daughters, Gianna Bryant, died. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
March 1 (UPI) -- Vanessa Bryant, the widow of NBA star Kobe Bryant, has reached a $28.85 million settlement with Los Angeles County over photos taken of the 2020 helicopter crash in which her husband and one of their daughters died.
The agreement was announced Tuesday, with Mira Hashmall, lead trial counsel for Los Angeles County, saying in a statement that it includes the $16 million Vanessa Bryant was awarded by a federal jury in August and resolves any outstanding legal issues as well as potential future claims.
"We hope Ms. Bryant and her children continue to heal from their loss," Hashmall said.
Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, were among the nine people who died Jan. 26, 2020, when the helicopter they were aboard crashed in the city of Calabasas, Calif.
Vanessa Bryant, along with Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter were also killed in the crash, sued Los Angeles County over law enforcement sharing photos they had taken of the crash site.
They alleged the sharing of the photos was an invasion of privacy and caused them emotional distress as the images contained bodies of those who died.
Vanessa Bryant had testified during the trial that she lives in fear of seeing the photos pop up on social media.
A deputy had admitted to the court that he had shown images of the crash at a bar. A second officer said he had shared photos while play video games. And a third testified that he sent photos from the scene to people he didn't know.
"Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant's courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct," Luis Li, Venessa Bryant's lawyer, said in a statement. "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."
Chester also received an additional $4.95 million on top of the $15 million he was previously awarded by a jury.