By: Nina Samone
This week in Los Angeles Vanessa Bryant’s invasion of privacy case begins against the county.
The trial comes after Bryant already denied a $2.5 million-dollar settlement that was paid out to families involved in a similar case – and is a response to how the county handled photo and video of the crash site of Bryant’s husband and their daughter.
On January 26th, Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and other parents and players were flying via chartered helicopter to a basketball tournament when pilot error and heavy fog caused the aircraft to crash.
Bryant’s attorney, Luis Li said in his opening statement that cell phone photos of the crash shot by a deputy and fire captain were “visual gossip,” “for a laugh,” and did not serve any real purpose.
The defense claimed that such photos were imperative for first responders on the scene to properly determine a course of action and try to help survivors.
However, there is evidence that sensitive photos and details were shared with individuals not involved in the response to the crash, and in an inappropriate setting – including a bar.
Bartender Victor Gutierrez was describing what he was shown in the images by an off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy, when Vanessa Bryant became very upset and left the courtroom for the remainder of Gutierrez’s testimony.
Bryant was visibly emotional during most of the trial—which is expected to continue for two weeks.
Dalton, Andrew. August 11th, 2022. NBA via The Associate Press. <https://www.nba.com/news/vanessa-bryants-invasion-of-privacy-trial-begins-in-l-a>
Kravarik, Jason, Chen, Natasha, Vera, Amir & Wolfe, Elizabeth. August 12th, 2022. CNN. <https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/11/us/kobe-vanessa-bryant-crash-photos-lawsuit-thursday/index.html>