New details have emerged in the ongoing lawsuit against Los Angeles County. According to PEOPLE, Bryant's attorneys claim that "close-up photos" of her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna Bryant were shared on at least 28 different L.A. County Sheriff's Department. Bryant, 39, made the allegations just ahead of the second anniversary of Kobe and Gianna's deaths in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020.
Bryant's attorneys also alleged that the photos were passed around to at least 12 firefighters. Additionally, the filing claims that the content was shown at bars and by a firefighter at a gale for the 2020 Golden Mike Awards in Southern California. "It has also shown that defendants engaged in a cover-up, destroying the direct forensic evidence of their misconduct and requiring extensive circumstantial evidence to establish the full extent of that misconduct," Bryant's team said in the documents.
L.A. County maintains that no images of Kobe and Gianna bodies were shared with the public. "While the County sympathizes with Ms. Bryant's tragic loss, it did not cause the crash that claimed the lives of her husband and child," Skip Miller, outside counsel for L.A. County, told PEOPLE in December. "Rather, it responded to that crash and, at her specific request, set up a no-fly zone, undertook extensive efforts to keep the public and paparazzi away, and made sure none of the investigative photos were ever publicly disseminated."
Bryant is seeking damages for emotional distress and mental anguish concerning the alleged leaked images. The trial is set to begin next month. Along with Kobe and Gianna, the crash also killed 13-year-old Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, 46, 14-year-old Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56 and Christina Mauser, 38.
"These deputies and firefighters took the worst thing that has ever happened to me — the worst thing that could happen to any mother or spouse — and made it worse," Bryant said in the filing in December, per Yahoo Sports. "I will never be able to shake the anguish from knowing that the officials who are supposed to keep us safe treated Kobe and Gianna with such callous disrespect. For the rest of my life, one of two things will happen: either close-up photos of my husband's and daughter's bodies will go viral online, or I will continue to live in fear of that happening."