Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers great and a 5-time NBA champion with the team, was traveling with his daughter Gianna Bryant, and 7 others to a youth basketball game on January 26, 2020. The helicopter that had been booked to transport everyone to the game ultimately crashed into hills in Calabasas, Los Angeles.
The last 2-and-a-half years have been a nightmarish ordeal for Vanessa Bryant. The news of Kobe's passing broke the hearts of everyone in the basketball world, with Gianna's inclusion making it even harder to comprehend for fans.
The sheriffs and officers that were asked to respond to the site of the crash ended up taking pictures of the bodies of Kobe and Gianna after realizing who passed, pictures that were circulated internally within those departments. This led to Vanessa Bryant suing Los Angeles County for those actions, on which a judgment was passed today.
Vanessa was awarded $16 million as part of a $31 million jury verdict for the actions of the deputies and firefighters sharing the harrowing photos. The 9 jurors unanimously agreed with Bryant's case of the photos, invading her privacy and causing emotional distress. She spoke after the judgment was announced.
"I live in fear every day of being on social media and these popping up. I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up."
The news came on the 24th of August, a day many people consider 'Kobe day' because the date 8/24 represents the 2 jersey numbers Bryant wore in his career. Kobe would have celebrated his 44th birthday yesterday if not for the fateful events on January 2020.
It'll not be easy to move on from this, but at least Vanessa can take closure from the court trials being over. Kobe's passing was a devastating loss for the entire world and his 'Mamba Mentality' will live on for generations.