This is just absolutely heartbreaking…
As you may know, Vanessa Bryant sued Los Angeles County for invasion of privacy and negligence after learning that several first responders disturbingly took and shared photos of the crash scene, including the human remains. And according to a new deposition filed for the lawsuit Friday, the 39-year-old gave an emotional testimony via Zoom on the morning of October 12, where she detailed how she learned of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
In her deposition obtained by E! News, Vanessa said at around 11:30 am, their family assistant knocked on the door and told her there had been an accident with five survivors but did not know if her two loved ones were fine at the time. She then tried calling her husband and was unable to reach him, so she then called her mom to watch her younger daughters, Bianka and Capri. And that is when she found out the devastating news — through a series of social media push notifications:
“As soon as I was on the phone with my mom, I was holding onto my phone, because obviously I was trying to call my husband back, and all these notifications started popping up on my phone, saying ‘RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe.’”
Related: Vanessa Bryant Reaches Confidential Settlement With Her Mom Over Alleged Fraud
We cannot even imagine. Just awful. After picking up Natalia from an ACT prep class, Vanessa immediately went to the airport and tried to get on a helicopter to go to the crash site since authorities wouldn’t tell her anything over the phone. However, she was told that the weather conditions were too dangerous at the time. Eventually, LA Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka drove her to the Malibu police station, and she learned what had happened. Per the deposition, Vanessa said she worried about fans, drones, and/or helicopter taking pictures of everyone who died and told the sheriff:
“If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, please make sure no one takes photographs of them. Please secure the area.”
To which he allegedly replied:
“All is good. The area is secure. There’s an umbrella over the area.”
Clearly, it wasn’t secure as the sheriff’s and fire department employees allegedly took up to 100 photos of the scene with their personal phones. During the online court deposition, an attorney representing Los Angeles County asked her to look at the graphic images and messages that were sent to her over social media to argue that others were causing her emotional distress and not the first responders. Ummmm, what the actual f**k?! However, the testimony noted that Vanessa placed her hand in front of the camera and refused to see them. She apparently hasn’t seen any of the photos of Kobe or Giana’s remains but had the clothes they wore during the accident, adding:
“I had to recover all their items because I know people are sick and would like to take pictures of them and share them. They suffered a lot. And if their clothes represent the condition of their bodies, I cannot imagine how someone could be callous and have no regard for them or our friends, and just share the images as if they were animals on a street.”
It’s truly disgusting. The momma was then asked what she defined as “emotional distress” to which she stated:
“Emotional distress means that not only do I have to grieve the loss of my husband and child, but for the rest of my life I’m going to have to fear that those photographs of my husband and child will be leaked.”
While Vanessa said it’s “up to the jury” if she received monetary damages, she said she’s ultimately seeking “accountability” expressing:
“No one should ever have to endure this type of pain and fear of their family members. The pictures getting released, this is not okay.”
We are sending all of the love to Vanessa Bryant following this gut wrenching and emotional testimony. Reactions to what was revealed in the court hearing, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below).
If you want, you can also read the full deposition HERE.
[Image via Apega/WENN, WENN/Avalon]