Vanessa Bryant said in court she felt “stunned” when she learned that photos of the accident that killed her husband and daughter had been shared by the emergency services.
Basketball star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in January 2020 when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed near Los Angeles.
Ms. Bryant is suing Los Angeles County for violating privacy on the photos, which would have been shared between police officers and firefighters in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Speaking on the witness stand on Friday for more than three hours on what was the eighth day of the trial, Ms. Bryant said she wanted to start crying over the loss of her husband and daughter, but had to face “new horror.” “after learning of the photos leaked a month after the accident.
“I felt like I wanted to run, run down the block and scream,” he said. “It was like the feeling of wanting to run off a dock and jump into the water.
“The problem is, I can’t escape. I can’t escape my body.”
She told the court she got a call about the story in the Los Angeles Times while she was holding her seven-month-old daughter and spending time with friends and family.
“I ran away from home and turned to the side so my girls wouldn’t see him.
“I was again taken aback, devastated, hurt. I trusted them. I trusted them not to do these things.”
The court was told that a sheriff’s deputy shared photos of Bryant’s body with a bartender while drinking and that firefighters circulated them among themselves at a banquet.
Although the photos have never been publicly released, Ms. Bryant said, “I live every day in fear of being on social media and it will pop up. I live in fear that my daughters are on social media and these snacks.”
She added that the thought keeps her awake and often gives her panic attacks.
According to county attorney J Mira Hashmall, the photos were taken because they were deemed important to the site’s assessment, but after Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva learned they had been shared, he demanded that all copies be deleted. .
Later, Ms. Hashmall, while questioning Ms. Bryant, said the deputy who took the photos, Doug Johnson, was just trying to use the images as part of the investigation.
“You can see why he would want the same information you did,” Ms. Hashmall said.
“I don’t think you need to take close-up photos of people to determine how many people are on a plane,” Ms. Bryant replied. “I think she could have just counted.”
Ms. Bryant’s side suspended her case after her testimony.
The process continues.