Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, is firing back at Los Angeles County's "full-scale attack" on her last week it battler over the helicopter crash site photos. According to USA Today, Vanessa Bryant's attorney said she has "every right" to find out how and why L.A. County government employees shared photos of Kobe and their daughter Gianna after they died in a helicopter crash last year. This comes in response to L.A. County saying Bryant's lawsuit had turned into a "fishing expedition" that was taking first responders away from their jobs.
"The discomfort and distress she has suffered from government personnel using graphic photos of her deceased loved ones as gossip fodder is very real," the filing said in federal court. "The County's downplaying of what happened only confirms that Mrs. Bryant cannot trust the County's internal investigations and must complete an investigation of her own."
Bryant is suing L.A. County for negligence and invasion of privacy. She is accusing the county sheriff and fire department employees of sharing the photos from the crash site and is looking to "make an example of them to the community." The county said only government personnel and one friend at a bar saw the photographs in question. Bryant is also looking for more time to gather more discovery evidence in the case as the cutoff date is August. Bryant is looking to extend the date to February.
"After one Sheriff's deputy alone took between 25 and 100 photos of the scene and at least two (county fire) personnel snapped even more photos focused on the victims' remains, the photos quickly made their way into the hands of numerous County employees who had no involvement in investigating the accident, including a trainee monitoring the entry to a trailhead, a video-game buddy, and (a county fire) media relations officer," Luis Li's court filing stated.
Bryant's response comes shortly after she honored Kobe who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month. "I used to always avoid praising my husband in public because I felt like he got enough praise from his fans. Along the road someone had to bring him back to reality. Right now I am sure he is laughing in heaven because I'm about to praise him in public for his accomplishments on one of the most public stages," Bryant said during her speech while accepting the honor. "I can see him now, arms folded, with a huge grin saying, 'Isn't this some s—t?'"