Vanessa Bryant is filing a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department over the leaked photos from the helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna.
According to TMZ, the 38-year-old widow filed the legal charges at the Los Angeles Superior Court. She is suing the LA County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Alex Villanueva for violating their civil rights, negligence and causing severe emotional distress over their despicable behavior.
"The sheriff's department's outrageous actions have caused Mrs. Bryant severe emotional distress and compounded the trauma of losing Kobe and Gianna. Mrs. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online," the lawsuit reads.
In addition, the complaint mentioned that eight deputies "pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches."
Unauthorized Photos Used for "Personal Gratification," Says Vanessa Bryant's Lawyer
Moreover, Bryant's legal counsel insists that the photographs were irrelevant to the investigation and was solely used "for their personal gratification."
The lawsuit also states an instance where the photographs were exposed for their own agenda and not for investigative purposes.
It was after a bartender reportedly overheard a deputy trainee bragging about the photo as he tried to impress a woman.
Villanueva then advised his deputies to delete the photos to avoid getting disciplinary actions.
Vanessa Bryant "Devastated and Distraught" Over Leaked Crash Photo
Based on the statement obtained by the publication, the mother-of-four was "devastated and distraught" upon learning through a Los Angeles Times article that there were leaked photos of the incident.
Bryant pointed out that their behavior was "wildly inappropriate" and "disgusting."
Following this, she requested the department to run an investigation, but no formal probes were conducted.
"To date, the Department has not provided a single piece of substantive information in response to Mrs. Bryant's private requests," the lawsuit states.
Earlier this year, multiple reports cited that the five-time NBA Champion and her daughter were among the nine passengers who were killed during a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
A month later, L.A. Times revealed that deputies allegedly leaked the victims' unauthorized graphic photos. At the time, the National Transportation Safety Board and coroner's office conducted an investigation.
The department told the news agency that it is unclear who took and exposed the photos, but the "matter is being looked into."
Vanessa Bryant Sued Helicopter Company and Pilot
Aside from this, Vanessa Bryant also filed a separate complaint against the helicopter company Island Express and their pilot, Ara Zobayan.
In the lawsuit, Vanessa claims that the pilot did not assess the weather data and was negligent for insisting on operating the aircraft despite poor weather conditions.
With this, she is seeking major financial damages, as well as undisclosed compensatory and punitive damages.