Vanessa Bryant has revealed more details about the harrowing morning she learned of the death of her husband, legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant and their second eldest daughter, Gianna. Tragically, Bryant found out about the loss of her family members through social media before police or medical staff had a chance to notify her.
Bryant is currently in the process of suing LA County for taking photos of the helicopter crash site where Kobe, Gianna, and 7 others perished and distributing them, causing her further emotional distress. In court filings of her recent deposition, obtained by People, Bryant claims that a family assistant initially informed her that her husband and daughter had been involved in a serious accident, but that there were five survivors on the scene.
While attempting to get in touch with Kobe via phone, she says multiple notifications kept alerting her of the tragic truth.
“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 reportedly said.
Bryant attempted to charter her own helicopter to the crash site to confirm the incident herself but was unable due to weather conditions. She reports having been summoned to the LA County Sherriff’s office, where she waited several hours with no official update, despite repeatedly asking officers to provide her one.
The deposition also details her specific request that the crash site be designated a no-fly zone and that photography of the crash and its victims be strictly prohibited.
“And I said, ‘If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, please make sure that no one takes photographs of them. Please secure the area,’” she reports having told Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
Despite her plea, photos of the accident, specifically of Kobe and Gianna’s remains, quickly spread throughout the police department. 10 officers reportedly had photos of the victims on their phones, distributed via text and AirDrop, within 48 hours of the accident.
When asked to detail the emotional distress she faced from knowing that photos of her deceased husband and daughter were being passed around the precinct, Bryant responded with an emphasis on her desire for them to take accountability for their actions.
“The impact of the helicopter crash was so damaging,” she said in her statement. “I just don’t understand how someone can have no regard for life and compassion, and, instead, choose to take that opportunity to photograph lifeless and helpless individuals for their own sick amusement.”
Needless to say, Bryant revealed that she has worked diligently to “avoid social media and reading comments” ever since.
“My life will never be the same without my husband and daughter,” she explained.