Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, has filed a formal legal complaint over the unauthorized photographs taken of the NBA legends dead body, by first responders who arrived on the scene of the deadly helicopter crash.
According to the complaint, Vanessa Bryant is seeking damages for emotional distress and mental anguish following the confirmation that eight Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies took pictures on their cell phones of Kobe’s dead body.
As we reported, several of the officers shared those photographs with individuals who were not apart of the agency, including one who was trying to impress a woman inside of a bar.
According to the document, obtained by People.com, Vanessa’s attorney says, “In reality, however, no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies were at the scene snapping cell-phone photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches.”
It continues, “As the Department would later admit, there was no investigative purpose for deputies to take pictures at the crash site. Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes.”
At the time, only the L.A. coroner’s office and investigators from the NTSB were allowed to take any photographs of the scene, some of which was formally released in the weeks following the crash.
Vanessa’s complaint called out the “department’s mishandling of this egregious misconduct,” and says the situation surrounding the release of the photos made Vanessa’s “emotional distress” over the death much worse.
According to a statement about the filing, obtained by People, Vanessa’s team says “This [complaint] solely is about enforcing accountability, protecting the victims and making sure no one ever has to deal with this conduct in the future.”
He continued, “When a family suffers the loss of loved ones, they have the right to expect that they will be treated with dignity and respect. The Deputies, in this case, betrayed that sacred trust. This claim is intended to hold the Sheriff’s Department accountable and to prevent future misconduct.”
In the legal filing, Vanessa Bryant points out that her family is worried not all copies of the photographs have been accounted for — and even claims people have told her that they have been viewed online.
“Mrs. Bryant is deeply worried that all copies of the sheriff’s deputies’ photos have not been accounted for, and that it is only a matter of time before she or her daughters encounter them on the Internet,” the claim reads.
It continues, “Upon information or belief, sheriff’s deputies shared photos of victims’ remains with individuals unaffiliated with the investigation for their own excitement and sense of self- importance, including one instance where a deputy shared photos to impress a woman at a bar.”
As we previously reported, Vanessa Bryant has already filed a lawsuit against the helicopter company she believes is responsible for the accident. In the suit, she claims the pilot should have never left the ground that fateful morning knowing how bad the weather had become.
The L.A Sheriff’s Department has yet to respond to the complaint.