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Vanessa Bryant settles lawsuit over Kobe Bryant crash photos for $29 million

Vanessa Bryant settles lawsuit over Kobe Bryant crash photos for $29 million
Vanessa Bryant / Cover Media

Vanessa Bryant has reached a $28.85 million (£24 million) settlement over the dissemination of images from the 2020 helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe Bryant and their teenage daughter.

According to a proposed settlement order filed in federal court on Tuesday, Los Angeles County officials have agreed to pay the late basketball icon's widow and their three surviving daughters $28.85 million to resolve the lawsuit.

This figure includes the $15 million (£12.4 million) a jury awarded Vanessa in August following a trial.

She pursued legal action against Los Angeles County after first responders took and shared graphic images of her husband, their 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other victims at the crash site outside of Los Angeles in January 2020.

The additional funds settle any potential future claims from their daughters, related issues pending in state court, and other costs.

"Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant's courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct," Luis Li, Vanessa's lawyer, said in a statement. "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."

Mira Hashmall, the attorney representing LA County, called the settlement "fair and reasonable" and added, "We hope Ms. Bryant and her children continue to heal from their loss."

Kobe and Gianna were travelling to a youth basketball game in January 2020 when the helicopter crashed, killing all nine people onboard.

Vanessa sued the county for negligence and invasion of privacy in September 2020 after police officers and firefighters responding to the crash took images of the bodies and wreckage on their phones. She won at the trial in August 2022.

Chris Chester, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, was also awarded $15 million at the trial, and he reached a settlement with county officials in September for almost $5 million (£4 million) more.

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