Vanessa Bryant says her fear and anxiety over photos taken of the remains of Kobe and Gianna Bryant will last forever — breaking down in heartbreaking detail how and why.
Kobe’s widow filed a declaration in her ongoing lawsuit with L.A. County. In the docs, obtained by TMZ, she explains she actually asked Sheriff Alex Villanueva specifically on Jan. 26, the day of the crash, to secure the crash site and not allow anyone to take photographs of what was left behind … this upon learning there were no survivors. In her docs, she says she told the Sheriff, “If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, please make sure no one takes photographs of them.”
A month later, she says she learned Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters were sharing photos taken of Kobe and Gianna’s remains … precisely what she wanted to avoid. Vanessa says hearing this infuriated her, and also sent her into a constant cycle of distress they’d leak and be disseminated online.
Vanessa says she has reason to believe at least 20 different people obtained copies of the photos … and despite the County’s assurance that they’d all been secured/scrubbed … she says she has strong doubts.
Vanessa says in the documents she’s already seen one photo purportedly showing her late husband’s remains, saying, “Since viewing the photo, I’ve been tormented with thoughts of who took it and whether it depicts my husband.”
She adds, “It infuriates me that the people I trusted to protect the dignity of my husband and daughter abused their positions to obtain souvenirs of their deaths, as though possessing pictures of their remains somehow makes them special. I imagine Kobe watching over what occurred at that crash scene, and I am overcome by anger and emotion.”
And there’s more … “I feel sick at the thought that deputies and firefighters have gawked at photos of my husband’s and child’s bodies without any reason. I also feel extreme sadness and anger knowing that photos of my husband’s and daughter’s bodies were laughed about while shown at a bar and awards banquet.”
She points to the fact photos can be easily stored, transferred and preserved with the technology of today — and is constantly fretting about the pics surfacing in some way, shape or form. She says she’s triggered when she types Kobe’s name in Google and a suggested search of “Kobe Bryant body” appears. She also says trolls threaten her by claiming to have the photos and promising to release them — which she says also adds fuel to the fire.
Long story short, Vanessa says she’s deeply troubled that one day her children might come across the photos while doing a family tree project for school … adding, “For the rest of my life, one of two things will happen: either close-up photos of my husband’s and daughter’s bodies will go viral online, or I will continue to live in fear of that happening.”
Her documents were filed in response to the County’s motion to have the case thrown out.