Vanessa Bryant has reached a nearly $29 million agreement with Los Angeles County to settle a lawsuit over photos that were taken at the helicopter crash that killed her husband, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, her daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others.
The settlement caps several years of litigation related to the January 2020 helicopter crash on a Calabasas, California, hillside and photos that circulated in its aftermath.
“Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct,”
Luis Li, an attorney representing Bryant, 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.”
In a statement, Mira Hashmall, the lead trial counsel for Los Angeles County in the case, said all county-related litigation from the crash had been resolved.
She said the $28,850,000 settlement included the $16m awarded by a federal jury in August 2022 to Mrs Bryant in her invasion of privacy lawsuit against Los Angeles County.
“We hope Ms Bryant and her children continue to heal from their loss,” MsHashmall said.
Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter also died in the 26 January 2020 crash, separately settled with the county for nearly $20m, attorneys told US media on Tuesday.
The photos include in not just wreckage of the helicopter but close-up images of the mangled bodies of those killed.
Bryant and Chester argued that the photos of their loved ones caused emotional distress and violated their privacy. Each testified to living in fear the photos may surface, despite the county’s assertion the pictures had been destroyed.
The jury awarded Chester $15 million in damages and Bryant $16 million, which was later reduced to $15 million due to clerical error, according to Bryant’s attorney.