Vanessa Bryant Lawsuit Reveals How She Learned Of Crash, Details Of The Immediate Aftermath

Vanessa Bryant Lawsuit Reveals How She Learned Of Crash More Details

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  • Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit deposition reveals how she learned of the crash, Kobe and Gianna’s deaths, and what happened in the immediate aftermath.
  • Bryant is suing Los Angeles County over the alleged sharing of photos of human remains from the helicopter crash by emergency medical workers at the scene.
  • More Kobe Bryant news here.

Vanessa Bryant is suing Los Angeles County for emotional distress claiming several emergency medical workers took and shared graphic photos of the victims’ remains following the helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna, and seven other people.

This past Friday, Vanessa Bryant gave a virtual deposition to Los Angeles County attorney Louis Miller. It was during this questioning that Vanessa revealed how she came to learn of the deadly helicopter crash, the deaths of her family members, and some of what occurred in the immediate aftermath of her learning the news.

According to Bryant’s deposition (via the New York Times), Vanessa first learned of the helicopter crash when a family assistant told her that Kobe and Gianna had been involved in a helicopter accident. Vanessa said the assistant told her that five people had survived the crash, but didn’t know who they were.

As Vanessa tried to call Kobe to check on him, she says she started receiving numerous notifications that Kobe had died. It was at that point that she went to an airport in an attempt to get a helicopter ride to the crash site, but due to the weather was unable to secure a flight.

Bryant said that after she was told that she could not fly to the crash site, she met up with Rob Pelinka, the Lakers general manager who served as Kobe’s agent during part of his N.B.A. career. Pelinka, Bryant said, drove them during the hour-and-forty-five-minute trip to the sheriff’s station in Malibu, near the crash site.

At the sheriff’s station, Bryant said “no one would answer” questions about her husband and daughter. She was escorted back and forth between rooms, and after a long wait, she said, a pastor walked in and then Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva came with a publicist. Bryant said she wanted privacy and asked the publicist to leave the room.

Villanueva confirmed the deaths, Bryant said, and asked if he could do anything for her.

“And I said: ‘If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, please make sure that no one takes photographs of them. Please secure the area,’” Bryant said during the deposition. “And he said: ‘I will.’ And I said: ‘No, I need you to get on the phone right now and I need you to make sure you secure the area.’”

Villanueva, Bryant said, excused himself from the room. Bryant said that he reassured her the area had been secured when he returned. Bryant said that she exited the back of the office while a news conference was being conducted in the front of the office.

Related: L.A. County Forcing Vanessa Bryant To Undergo A Psychiatric Test Is As Slimey As It Gets

Bryant also revealed during her deposition that she recovered the clothes that Kobe and Gianna were wearing at the time of the helicopter crash out of fear that people would take photographs of them as well.

“They suffered a lot,” Bryant said. “And if their clothes represent the condition of their bodies, I cannot imagine how someone could be so callous and have no regard for them or their friends and just share the images as if they were animals on the street.”

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Los Angeles County attorneys are requesting independent medical examinations involve psychiatric evaluations of each of the plaintiffs, including Vanessa Bryant, to determine the extent of their actual emotional distress.

This request, which Bryant’s lawyers are fighting, led to 10 of the plaintiffs, including all of the young children, to withdraw their participation in the lawsuit.

Among the people Vanessa Bryant has listed as witnesses to her emotional distress are Rob Pelinka, Ciara, La La Anthony, Monica, and and Catherine Gasol, the wife of Kobe’s former teammate Pau Gasol.

Every witness has been asked by Los Angeles County attorneys to produce an abundance of documents. For example, the subpoena received by Ciara asked for all communications related to Bryant’s emotional distress between her and Bryant or anybody else going back all the way to 2010. The helicopter crash occurred on Jan. 26, 2020.

More hearings in the case are scheduled for Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 where the judge is expected to rule on certain motions.

Read the full transcript of Vanessa Bryant’s entire deposition from Friday here.