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Vanessa Bryant receives nearly $29 million settlement from Los Angeles County over Kobe Bryant crash photos

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Mar 01, 2023 3:38 pm

Vanessa Bryant has ended her legal feud against Los Angeles County over photos of her husband Kobe Bryant taken during the 2020 helicopter crash—with nearly $29 million (P1.5 billion) as part of the settlement.

The case stems from Vanessa suing the authorities of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s and Fire departments for invading the privacy of her family after they shared unauthorized photos from the 2020 helicopter crash that killed the NBA star and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna, as well as seven other people.

When the photos surfaced, Vanessa recounted that she felt "blindsided, devastated, hurt, and betrayed," adding that she didn't want her kids Capri, Bianka, and Natalia, to see the pictures.

A federal jury sided with Vanessa in August last year and awarded her with a $16 million (P800 million) settlement, while Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter also perished in the crash, received $15 million.

However, according to court documents obtained by E! News, the fees increased to nearly $29 million.

"The $28,850,000 settlement includes the verdict awarded by the federal jury in August 2022, and further resolves all outstanding issues related to pending legal claims in state court, future claims by the Bryant children, and other costs, with each party responsible for its respective attorneys' fees," said Mira Hashmall, the lead trial counsel for Los Angeles County, to NBC News.

Hashmall also called the settlement "fair and reasonable."

Meanwhile, Luis Li, an attorney representing Bryant, told CNN that the result of the case "marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct."

"She fought for her husband, her daughter, and all those in the community whose deceased family were treated with similar disrespect. We hope her victory at trial and this settlement will put an end to this practice," Li added.

He added that Kobe's family still continues to heal from the tragic helicopter accident that took their beloved, as well as left a huge heartbreak for Kobe's fans all over the world.