Vanessa Bryant Asks Court to Deny Venue Change in Helicopter Suit

Vanessa Bryant selected Los Angeles as the place she wants to have the wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters and the estate for pilot Ara Zobayan and is not backing down. According to TMZ, Vanessa Bryant asked the court to deny a venue change request made by the defendants because Los Angeles is where the crash that involved Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna occurred. Bryant said not only Kobe's "popularity there is just as strong as anywhere else," but she also claims her late husband is popular all over the country.

"Defendant fails to acknowledge the extent to which Kobe Bryant's legacy penetrates American culture," Bryant's attorney said in new court docs obtained by TMZ. "There is no county line at which Kobe Bryant's celebrity suddenly evaporates. Public esteem for Kobe Bryant is a fact of American life." When Kobe died in the crash tributes came from all over the world and not just L.A. However, the reasons the defendants want it moved out of L.A. is the jurors would be biased based on Kobe's popularity.

"The notoriety and popularity of the late Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles County is detailed herein and reached a level that left no person in the county unaware of his role in branding Los Angeles as his city," Zobayan's family said in court documents back in June. "No other single individual in recent memory, sports figure or otherwise, has been considered by the people to be such a personification of their city of Los Angeles. "But with that unprecedented level of acclaim comes a lack of impartiality and objectivity by potential jurors about the merits under the law of the claims asserted in this lawsuit by the Bryant family." The lawyers for Zobayan talked about of this trail would be unfair in early June.

"Defendant Zobayan intends to file a motion to transfer venue to a county outside Los Angeles county on the grounds that an impartial jury cannot be empaneled in Los Angeles Superior Court in this matter," the court documents stated.


Kobe's ties in Los Angeles are deep since he was a member of the Lakers from 1996-2016. He's considered one of the best players in NBA history as he helped the Lakers win five NBA championships from 2000-2010. Bryant was also an 18-time All-Star and was named All-Star MVP four times.