Kobe Bryant’s widow walks out of courtroom in tears during description of crash photos

Kobe Bryant’s widow walked out of a California courtroom in tears as a jury heard descriptions of pictures of the helicopter crash site where her husband, daughter Gianna and seven others were killed.

Vanessa Bryant grew emotional when bartender Victor Gutierrez testified that he had seen Gianna’s body in a photo shown to him by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy days after the accident.

Ms Bryant sobbed and stood up while her lawyer asked the federal court judge if she could be excused.

“You don’t have to ask my permission,” the judge said, per CNN.

NBA great Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in the crash on 26 January 2020 when it came down in bad weather as they flew from Orange County to a basketball tournament.

Ms Bryant and another plaintiff have sued Los Angeles County after first responders, including fire officials, took pictures of the crash site and later shared them.

She and fellow plaintiff Christopher Chester have not seen the photos but are suing the county for emotional distress and the threat that they will one day become public.

County lawyers have claimed the photos, which were even later shown by county officials during a cocktail hour at an awards gala, were taken for legitimate educational and law enforcement training purposes.

Mr Chester, an Orange county financial adviser, lost his wife Sarah, and their 13-year-old daughter, Payton, in the crash.

Also killed in the crash were John Altobelli; his wife, Keri Altobelli; their 14-year-old daughter Alyssa Altobelli; coach Christina Mauser; and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.

The families of Mauser and the Altobellis sued over the photos and settled with Los Angeles County last November and settled for $1.25m each.

The suit, which was filed in September 2020, seeks undisclosed damages and claims civil rights violations, negligence, emotional distress and violation of privacy.

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