01.Mar .2023 23:00

Kobe Bryant's family settles for $28.85M over crash photos

Kobe Bryant's family settles for $28.85M over crash photos
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Kobe Bryant's widow Vanessa Bryant agreed with the County of Los Angeles on Tuesday to settle her remaining claims related to sharing graphic images of her late husband and daughter, Gianna, after the tragic helicopter crash in 2020.

Per the settlement terms, Vanessa Bryant and her children will receive $28.85 million from the county, including $15 million awarded to Vanessa Bryant by a federal-court jury in August 2022.

"Today marks the culmination of Mrs. Bryant's courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct," Bryant's attorney Luis Li 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 end this practice."

Kobe and Gianna Bryant were among nine people killed when a helicopter crashed into a Los Angeles-area hillside in foggy weather on the morning of Jan. 26, 2020.

First responders reportedly took over 100 photos of the crash scene, including the decedents' bodies, and then shared them mostly among other county sheriff's and fire department employees (though spouses and at least one bartender also reportedly saw the photos).

The lead lawyer representing the county called the settlement "fair and reasonable."

"We hope Ms. Bryant and her children continue to heal from their loss," Mira Hashmall added.

Chris Chester, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, settled his claims against the county for almost $20 million in September 2022.

The helicopter was on its way to Kobe Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., at the time of the crash. Kobe was set to coach Gianna's basketball team. However, the National Transportation Safety Board determined that pilot Ara Zobayan's decision to fly in adverse weather conditions – notably flying into thick clouds – caused him to experience spatial disorientation and ultimately crash in Calabasas, northwest of downtown Los Angeles, Daily Sabah reports.