Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal talk during a timeout against Washington on Saturday, February 28, 2004

Shaquille O'Neal Reacts To Vanessa Bryant's War On LA County Officials

Home / Entertainment / Shaquille O'Neal Reacts To Vanessa Bryant's War On LA County Officials

By Fiyin Olowokandi on August 25, 2022 at 12:00 PM EDT

Shaquille O'Neal is sharing his thoughts on Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against Los Angeles County.

As you might know, the widow of Kobe Bryant filed an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against the County, eight officials, and other defendants for taking and distributing disturbing photos of the helicopter crash site where her husband and daughter were killed.

The lawsuit was filed in September 2020, but the trial didn't start until August 10, 2022. Amid the ongoing trial, the basketball icon had a few things to say.

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Shaquille O'Neal Talks Vanessa Bryant Lawsuit

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal talk during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on December 25, 2009

During a recent interview with Entertainment Online, Shaq, as he is fondly called, shared his thoughts on Vanessa's legal battle while discussing details of the Shaquille O'Neal Foundation's second annual fundraiser gala.

"I feel for her," the sports analyst said. "We’ve never talked a lot [but] we’ve always had respect for each other. Every time I see her, it’s a hug, it’s a laugh." Touching on the immeasurable loss she suffered from the crash, Shaq said, "But I couldn’t imagine what she's going through."

He then referenced her lawsuit against the County, saying, "We live in a world where, especially when it gets to the internet, people don't care. But those are pictures that I would never, ever want to see, so she's doing a great thing by holding people responsible."

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The retired basketballer, whose last season was with the Boston Celtics, is one of the few stars to publicly comment about the lawsuit, and it seems he is fully behind Vanessa's fight for justice against the County. Shaq also touched on his relationship with the late Kobe Bryant, especially with the second season of HBO's "Winning Time" set to premiere in early 2023.

"Winning Time: The Rise of the LA Lakers" is a sports biopic that explores the history of the famous basketball club and some controversial relationships among some of its finest players. The Adam McKay-produced biopic was renewed for season 2 in April 2021 but hasn't received a premiere date.

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Per reports, season 2 would focus on-the-court and off-the-court rivalry and friendship between Shaq and Kobe. As for how Shaq feels about the controversial documentary, which had a divisive first season, he said, "Let me go on record and say I do not like the way they treated Mr Jerry West. However, I found everything else to be very, very entertaining."

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Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine Bryant at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
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And his thoughts on his and Kobe's friendship taking center stage in the upcoming season, the 50-year-old noted, "They’re going to do the whole Shaq and Kobe thing? That’d be very interesting. But listen, you know me. I have a great sense of humor, you know? I don’t really get sensitive on stuff. So, we will see what happens."

Vanessa Slams LA County For Betraying Her Trust

As mentioned above, Vanessa is currently waging a legal war against the County and for the first time since the trial began, she took the stand on Friday, August 19, for day eight of the hearings.

Per The Blast, a somber Vanessa, who was clothed in all-black, opened up about the disheartening way she discovered the County's Sheriff's department and Fire department officials took and shared photos of her loved ones in bars and at award galas.

The mother-of-four, who broke down in tears every now and then, recalled being with her three daughters, Kobe's close friend Pau Gasol and his wife Catherine McDonnell, four days after the televised memorial held at the Staples Center on February 24.

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They were watching television when she received a call from a friend about a Los Angeles Times article exposing the County officials for distributing the photos and doing a shoddy cover-up.

"I just remember not wanting to react because the girls were in the room," a heartbroken Vanessa recalled. "I ran to the side of the house and broke down — I wanted to run and scream. It was like having the sensation of wanting to run off a pier into the ocean, but I can’t escape my body."

Vanessa Bryant walking out of court
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Fighting back tears, Vanessa slammed the County for betraying her trust and keeping her "blindsided" despite meeting with the captain, Sheriff Alex Villanueva after the unfortunate crash and begging him to secure the scene and photos.

"I trusted them not to do these things," she declared. "I expected them to have more compassion, respect. My husband and daughter deserved dignity."

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