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Kobe Bryant's family gets $29 million settlement over helicopter crash photos

"I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up," Mrs. Bryant testified

Vanessa Bryant at the Los Angeles federal court
Vanessa Bryant at the Los Angeles federal court | Shutterstock

March 1, 2023 5:35am

Updated: March 1, 2023 6:10am

Los Angeles County on Tuesday agreed to pay almost $29 million to NBA superstar Kobe Bryant’s family after police shared images of his tragic helicopter crash almost two years ago. 

According to Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, first responders took unauthorized pictures of her husband’s and daughter’s bodies and traded them “for no reason other than morbid gossip.” 

In addition to being shared between employees of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire departments, the photos were also allegedly shown at a bar by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. 

Ms. Bryant sued the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for negligence and invasion of privacy in September 2020. 

"I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up," Mrs. Bryant testified.

Lawyers for Los Angeles County said the settlement was “fair and reasonable.”

"Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant's courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct," said Luis Li, Bryant’s lawyer 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," he added.

The $28,850,000 settlement included the $16 million awarded by a federal jury in August 2022 when she sued Los Angeles County for invasion of privacy. 

"This settlement now concludes all County-related litigation related to the tragic January 2020 helicopter crash. We hope Ms. Bryant and her children continue to heal from their loss," said Mira Hashmall, lead trial counsel for Los Angeles County. 

Byrant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died along with seven other people when the helicopter they were on crashed into a hill outside the city of Calabasas on January 26, 2020.