Vanessa Bryant will take a $28.85 million settlement from Los Angeles County to conclude legal proceedings over shared photos of the helicopter crash that took the lives of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna in 2020. Six other passengers perished in the accident, as well as the pilot.
The New York Times reports that the figure includes the $15 million Bryant was awarded from L.A. county in a 2022 civil trial, with “additional funds to settle potential claims from her daughters”—20-year-old Natalia, Bianka (6), and Capri (3).
Vanessa’s attorney Luis Li stated Tuesday, “Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct. She fought for her husband, her daughter, and all those in the community whose deceased family were treated with similar disrespect. We hope her victory at trial and this settlement will put an end to this practice.”
Chris Chester, a co-plaintiff who lost his 45-year-old wife and 13-year-old daughter in the crash, settled for $19.95 million.
“We believe the settlement approved by the Board in the Bryant case is fair and reasonable. … We hope Ms. Bryant and her children continue to heal from their loss,” stated Mira Hashmall, who led the trial counsel for L.A. County.
News arrived in August 2022 that Bryant would receive $16 million from the county, though this was “reduced by $1 million because of a clerical error,” per the Times. Shortly after, she announced plans to donate the sum to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, which assists young and underserved athletes.
Luis Li said at the time, “From the beginning, Vanessa Bryant has sought only accountability, but our legal system does not permit her to force better policies, more training or officer discipline. Those measures are the responsibility of the sheriff’s and fire departments—responsibilities that Mrs. Bryant’s efforts have exposed as woefully deficient, even giving amnesty to the wrongdoers.”
Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit was filed in September 2020 and accused Los Angeles County of negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and privacy invasion. Legal documents alleged that law enforcement took photos at the crash scene that were then shared on at least 28 devices owned by members of the Sheriff’s Department, while a dozen county firefighters also possessed close-up images.