Kobe Bryant and daughter, Gianna
Vanessa, the widow of American basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, recounted how she learned of her husband and daughter’s death in a helicopter crash last year.
She said she tried to travel to the crash site that day by helicopter but was told the weather conditions were too bad, according to her deposition testimony in a lawsuit she filed against the Los Angeles County.
In the transcript of the testimony obtained by USA TODAY Sports, Vanessa Bryant said she has kept the clothing that her husband and daughter were wearing that day.
She also was asked about photos that were posted on social media, including a photoshopped image that superimposed her husband’s face on a burnt corpse.
The deposition from October 12 is part of her lawsuit against the county – a civil action that accuses county sheriff’s and fire department employees of improperly sharing photos from the crash scene, including the dead bodies of the NBA legend and his daughter. They and seven others died in that crash near Los Angeles on January 26, 2020.
She is suing the county for invasion of privacy and negligence, saying she wants to punish the deputy defendants and “make an example of them to the community.”
Under questioning from an attorney for the county, Skip Miller, Bryant testified how she learned of the crash – testimony that is part of the court record and now marks the first public telling of such details.
She said a family assistant knocked on the door at about 11:30 a.m. that day, nearly two hours after the crash happened at about 9:45 a.m.
“She told me that there was an accident and that there were five survivors. And I asked her if Gianna and Kobe were okay. And she said she wasn’t sure. She didn’t know,” Bryant testified in the deposition on Zoom from Newport Beach.