Kobe Bryant‘s widow is “absolutely devastated” that sheriff’s deputies allegedly shared graphic photos of the chopper crash that killed her husband and daughter, her lawyer said Sunday — demanding the “harshest possible discipline” for the “unspeakable violation of human decency.”
In a post to 37-year-old Vanessa Bryant’s social media on Sunday, her attorney, Gary Robb, stressed that Bryant pleaded in person with Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to make the Jan. 26 crash scene a no-fly zone to keep away prying snappers.
“This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families,” the statement said, adding that the sheriff “assured us all measures would be put in place.”
Robb called it “inexcusable and deplorable” that first responders were reportedly instead sharing graphic images of the scene where nine died, including her hoops legend husband and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianni.
“First responders should be trustworthy,” the statement noted — calling for those responsible to not just be punished but also named-and-shamed, with a full investigation by Internal Affairs.
“This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families,” the statement insisted.
“We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated.”
Bryant is “grateful to the individual who filed an online complaint exposing these acts of injustice, and for the choice to protect human dignity,” the statement adds of the whistleblower.
The Sheriff’s Department last week told the Los Angeles Times, which first broke the story, that the “matter is being looked into.”
The NBA legend, 41, Gianna and seven others — Christina Mauser; Payton and Sarah Chester; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; and pilot Ara Zobayan — died when Bryant’s helicopter collided with a Calabasas hillside amid dense fog.
The group had been on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks.
Vanessa Bryant has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the chopper.