Vanessa Bryant has filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department claiming deputies shared photographs of the aftermath of the January helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe, daughter Gianna, and seven others.
“This lawsuit is about accountability and about preventing this disgraceful behavior from happening to other families in the future who have suffered loss,” Bryant’s attorney, Luis Li, said in a statement, according to Stefanie Dazio of The Associated Press.
The suit seeks unspecified damages for negligence, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“The department formally refused Mrs. Bryant’s requests for information, saying it was ‘unable to assist’ with any inquiry and had no legal obligation to do so. It’s now (time) for a court to tell the department what its obligations are,” Li added.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva previously said eight deputies either took or shared graphic photos of the crash scene. He explained he later ordered the images to be deleted. Villanueva also said the department has a policy against sharing crime scene photos, but the rule doesn’t apply to accident scenes.
Bryant’s lawsuit claims Villanueva’s order to delete the photos constituted a “cover-up” of the department’s misconduct, and that the images could still exist.
Bryant filed a separate lawsuit in February against the company that operated the helicopter involved in the crash. The helicopter went down in heavy fog in western L.A. County on Jan. 26, killing all nine people aboard.
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