Vanessa Bryant Settles With LA County for Nearly $30 Million Over Graphic Crash Photos

The deal comes after Bryant won a $15 million decision against the county in August

Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Bryant (Getty Images)

Vanessa Bryant settled her lawsuit on Tuesday against Los Angeles County for sharing graphic photos of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed her husband, basketball star Kobe Bryant, and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant.

The county will pay Bryant and her three daughters $28.85 million, which includes a $15 million jury awarded in August. Bryant sued for negligence and invasion of privacy after she learned that employees of the county’s fire and sheriff’s departments had shared graphic photos of the crash victims.

The former Los Angeles Laker and his daughter, along with seven other people, were killed on Jan. 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles.

“Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct,” Luis Li, Bryant’s lawyer, said in a statement. “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.”

Mira Hashmall, the lead trial counsel for L.A. County in the case issued a statement that the settlement is “fair and reasonable,” adding, “We hope Ms. Bryant and her children continue to heal from their loss.”

As the Los Angeles Times reported, an L.A. County sheriff’s deputy had showed photos of the crash at a bar. Photos were also shared between employees of the county’s sheriff’s and fire departments.

“I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up,” Bryant testified in August.

The August jury also awarded $15 million to Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter were killed in the crash, as well as additional $4.95 million to resolve any future claims.

Two other victim’s families separately settled with the county in October 2021.

Li previously stated that Bryant plans to donate the money to her Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, which provides funding and sports programming for young athletes in underserved communities. Kobe first founded the charity, then named the Mamba Sports Foundation, in 2016 after his retirement.