Justice has finally been served in Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit against Los Angeles County.
Kobe Bryant’s widow was awarded $16 million as part of a $31 million jury verdict on Wednesday, August 24 against Los Angeles County for deputies and firefighters, who took and shared graphic photos of the NBA star, their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and other victims killed in a 2020 helicopter crash.
It didn’t take long for nine jurors to unanimously agree with Vanessa Bryant and her attorneys, saying that the photos invaded her privacy and caused years of past and future emotional distress. The jury deliberated for four and a half hours before reaching the verdict on Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles, one day after what would have been the late Lakers legend’s 44th birthday.
Vanessa took to Instagram to post a picture of her with Kobe and Gigi following the verdict, celebrating the fact that she got justice for her late husband and daughter.
“All for you! I love you,” she wrote in her caption. “JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi!”
Throughout the 11-day trial, Vanessa testified that news of the photos only further emphasized her grief just a month after the deaths of her husband and daughter, saying she has panic attacks at the thought that the photos might still be out there.
“I live in fear every day of being on social media and these popping up,” she testified. “I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up.”
Bryant’s co-plaintiff, Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter were among the nine people killed in the crash, was awarded $15 million.
While Vanessa’s attorneys didn’t give jurors a dollar amount, Chester’s attorney gave them suggested guidelines that would have meant tens of millions for each plaintiff. The number they received wasn’t in line with the combined $75 million they asked for, but this case clearly wasn’t about the money for either family.
While it’s a far cry from fixing the tragedy they’re still mourning, justice was finally served.