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Vanessa Bryant Awarded $16 Million in Kobe Photo Trial


UNCASVILLE, CT - MAY 15: Enshrinee Vanessa Bryant addresses the guests during the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on May 15, 2021 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Vanessa Bryant was awarded $16 million in damages in her lawsuit against Los Angeles County in a verdict announced on Aug. 24, per the Los Angeles Times. Her co-plaintiff, Christopher Chester, was also awarded $15 million.

Vanessa and Chester had sued the county for emotional distress and mental anguish, alleging that emergency personnel shared graphic images from the helicopter crash that killed Vanessa’s late husband Kobe Bryant and the couple’s daughter Gianna, as well as Chester’s late wife Sarah and their 13-year-old daughter Payton. The jury found that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department officials had shared the photos of Vanessa and Chester’s deceased loved ones directly following the crash in situations including a cocktail hour and at a bar.

Last week, Vanessa took the stand for the first time in the case, and opened up about when she initially learned of the images being shared with unauthorized people. “I broke down and cried and I just wanted to run down the block and scream,” she testified, according to People. “I can’t escape my body. I can’t escape what I feel.”

Vanessa celebrated the victory on Instagram, sharing a photo of herself with Kobe and Gigi. “All for you! I love you! JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi! #Betonyourself #MambaDay 8•24•22,” she wrote. The day of the verdict had previously been named Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles to mark the former Los Angeles Laker’s two jersey numbers during his NBA career: eight and 24.



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