vanessa bryant v los angeles county
Kobe Bryant's widow has been ordered to turn over her therapy records after suing over photos taken at the site of the helicopter crash that killed her husband and daughter.
Vanessa Bryant in a lawsuit against Los Angeles County says she suffered emotional distress after photos were allegedly inappropriately shared from the site of the helicopter crash where Kobe and Gianna Bryant were killed, and a judge has granted the county's request to require her to turn over therapy records, NBC News reports.
The ruling came after the judge previously denied the county's request that Bryant also be required to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to demonstrate that she suffered emotional distress as a result of the crash photos. The county argued "plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety, and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims."
An attorney for Bryant slammed the request for her therapy requests in a court filing, saying, "This effort should be seen for what it is: an attempt to bully Mrs. Bryant into dropping her case to avoid her private therapy records being brandished in open court and reported on by media outlets," USA Today reports. The county's attorney, however, called this a "routine part of discovery in emotional distress cases," and the judge determined the purpose of the county's request "appears neither abusive nor harassing."
Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020, and Bryant alleges first responders inappropriately shared photos from the crash site, in one case in a bar. A lawyer for the county has said there is "no evidence any photos taken by county first responders have ever been publicly disseminated." Los Angeles County previously settled with the families of two victims of the helicopter crash, paying them $2.5 million. In Bryant's case, a trial is expected to begin in February.