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Vanessa Bryant Talks About Learning Kobe And Gianna Died Through ‘RIP Kobe’ Alerts On Social Media

vanessa bryant rip kobe social media
@kobebryant/Instagram

Vanessa Bryant has filed a suit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for emotional distress and negligence, blaming the department for the alleged photos taken and leaked by first responders of the crash site where her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant tragically died.

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The accident took place in January of 2020 while the two flew to a basketball game together in a helicopter, and seven other victims died, though there were survivors.

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The fact of those survivors came up in Vanessa Bryant’s testimony on Tuesday, in which she described the horrible way she found out Kobe had died. A transcript of the Zoom testimony was obtained by the New York Times.

Bryant says she first heard about the crash from the family assistant around 11:30 am, which coincided with TMZ releasing the news.

“[Our assistant] told me that there was an accident and that there were five survivors,” Bryant said. “And I asked her if Gianna and Kobe were okay. And she said she wasn’t sure. She didn’t know.”

Bryant called her husband, but there was no answer. She continued, “I called my mom and I asked her to spot me with my daughters Bianca and Capris [now aged 4 and 2]. I told her I needed her to get to the house. I needed to get to LA…As soon as I was on the phone with my mom, 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 went to pick up her daughter Natalie and told her, “‘Daddy and Gigi were in an accident. Not to worry. I’m sure they’re fine because there’s five survivors. And I’m sure Daddy and Gigi are fine.'”

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From there, they had to get to the police station closest to the crash which was in Malibu. She arrived about two hours after first hearing of the accident and waited until Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told her her husband and daughter were killed in the crash. He also assured her the area is secure and an umbrella over the scene would prevent drone footage from being taken.

This is the crux of her lawsuit, because she believes photos were taken and leaked, though she admits to never having looked at any graphic images of the crash site. Obviously, she doesn’t want to.

“Emotional distress means that not only do I have to grieve to the loss of my husband and child, but for the rest of my life I’m going to have to fear that these photographs of my husband and child will be leaked,” she said. “I do not want my little girls or I to ever have to see their remains in that matter. Nor do I think it’s right that the photographs were taken in the first place because it’s already tough enough that I have to experience this heartache and this loss.”

Written by Alison Sullivan

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