Vanessa Bryant has been awarded $16 million in damages after a jury found that naturalistic photos of the helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant were released.
The pair died in the incident in January 2020, along with seven others, and a jury in Los Angeles has now found that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and Fire Department (LAFD) shared photos of Vanessa’s loved ones and her co-defendant Chris Chester. organs, and caused emotional distress by doing so.
According to PEOPLE, the LASD was ordered to pay $10 million to Vanessa and $9 million to Chris — who tragically lost his wife Sarah and their 13-year-old daughter Peyton in the crash — and the LAFD was ordered to fork over $6 million each.
After the sentencing on Wednesday (24/08/22), Vanessa shared a photo of herself with basketball legend Kobe and her daughter Gigi on Instagram, captioning it: ‘All for you! I love you! JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi! #Betonyourself #MambaDay 8 24 22 #MambaMentality (sic)”
The sentencing also took place on Kobe Bryant Day, also known as Mamba Day, August 24, due to his Los Angeles Lakers jersey numbers being eight and 24.
As the verdict was read, Vanessa became emotional and hugged her lawyers.
Her lawyer, Louis Lee, said in a statement: “This case has always been about accountability. And now the jury is unanimous.”
Attorney Mira Heshmal, the county’s lead outside counsel, said in a statement: “While we disagree with the jury’s findings regarding the county’s liability, we believe the monetary award shows that the jury did not believe the evidence supporting the plaintiffs’ request for $75 million in emotional distress.” suffering
“We will discuss the next steps with our client. In the meantime, we hope the Bryant and Chester families continue to heal from their tragic loss.”
In October, Vanessa said she first learned of Kobe’s death online.
During her testimony, the district attorney asked Vanessa when she first learned of the accident, and she confirmed that a family aide told her that Kobe and Gianna had been involved in the incident, but she suspected they were among the survivors.
However, the tragic truth was revealed when messages appeared on her phone.
According to a transcript of the testimony, Vanessa said, “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’.
“My life will never be the same without my husband and daughter.”