Vanessa Bryant Ordered to Provide Therapy Records in Deadly Crash Lawsuit

In Summary

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of late basketball player Kobe Bryant, has been ordered to provide years of mental health records in her lawsuit alleging invasion of privacy following the deadly 2020 plane crash. 

Vanessa Bryant’s therapy records dating back to 2017 must be turned over to Los Angeles County in her lawsuit alleging emotional distress, per The Associated Press

First responders took and shared horrific photographs from the scene of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed the basketball star, their teenaged daughter Gianna and seven others, including the pilot, resulting in the widow allegedly suffering emotional distress. 

RELATED: Vanessa Bryant Wins Latest Legal Battle Against LA County 

Vanessa claimed in her deposition that the images have caused her ongoing fear and anxiety, as well as difficulty sleeping, which is why she is suing for invasion of privacy and emotional distress damages. 

“Plaintiff has waived her psychotherapist-patient privilege by placing into controversy the reportedly extraordinary, continuing emotional distress allegedly resulting from Defendants’ photograph-related actions or inactions,” the judge wrote of the Jan. 26, 2020 crash near Los Angeles, per AP. 

Pilot Ara Zobayan was found to be mostly at fault a year after the plane crash, having made a sequence of poor judgments that caused him to fly blindly into a wall of clouds and become disoriented. 

RELATED: Kobe Bryant, daughter buried in Southern California cemetery 

PEOPLE reported Vanessa learned of the death of her husband and daughter through social media after first being notified by her family’s assistant of an accident involving Kobe and Gianna’s helicopter, but she was told there were five survivors. She then started receiving notifications on her phone. 

“I was holding onto my phone, because obviously I was trying to call my husband back, and all these notifications started popping up on my phone, saying ‘RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe,’” she said. 

Following confirmation received from Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva hours later, she reportedly requested that “the [crash] area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers.” 

RELATED: Kobe Bryant Estate Banks $400M in Coca-Cola and BodyArmor Deal 

Despite her request, the “horrifying” photographs of the event were shared internally by deputies, according to a Los Angeles Times investigation. In a Norwalk, California pub, a deputy revealed his cellphone to patrons and a fire captain also showed the photographs on his phone during an award show cocktail hour.

If you or someone you know is struggling or needs someone to talk to, resources are available for you here.

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