Vanessa Bryant has officially spoken out regarding the allegations that photos were shared from the site where the helicopter that Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, and seven others were flying in crashed on Jan. 26. In a lengthy statement posted to her Instagram account, Vanessa's attorney, Gary C. Robb, described the allegations as a "shameful incident."
"Our client, Vanessa Bryant, is absolutely devastated by allegations that deputies from the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department publicly disseminated photos from the helicopter crash site," the statement began.
The statement continued to express that Bryant and her team were shocked by this alleged "unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families." They also encouraged "anyone else who has information as to the facts underlying these alleged grievous and shameful incidents contact our office at 816–474-8080 or email via www.robbrobb.com."
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These allegations initially emerged on Friday in a report from the Los Angeles Times. It was alleged that deputies from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department shared graphic photos from the scene of the crash. As of right now, it's unclear exactly who shared those photos. Additionally, it is unclear whether the photos were taken by the deputies at the scene or whether they received them from a separate source.
TMZ reported that one of the deputies, a trainee, who was allegedly involved in the incident shared the graphic images at a bar in order to "impress a girl by showing her the photos," per a source. A bartender at the location reportedly overheard the conversation and later filed an online complaint with the Sheriff's Department. This incident reportedly occurred only a few days after the tragic crash. The tabloid agency also alleged that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department has known about this matter for around three weeks.
This wouldn't be the first time that a Los Angeles-based law enforcement agency has been under fire for an alleged privacy breach. According to the L.A. Times, the Sheriff's Department previously launched an investigation after documents associated with Mel Gibson's 2006 drunk driving arrest were leaked.
In 2009, a Los Angeles police officer was fired after it was revealed that a photo of Rihanna taken after she was beaten by Chris Brown had been leaked. An officer allegedly took a picture of an evidence photo, and the image later ended up on TMZ, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. The officer did deny that they sent it to the publication.
Like these incidents before them, the Sheriff's Department will reportedly launch an investigation regarding the alleged sharing of photos from the Jan. 26 crash site.