Widow Kobe Bryant settles for millions over leaked helicopter wreck photos

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Vanessa Bryant (right) with her daughter Natalia
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Kobe Bryant’s widow has settled for millions in a case that revolved around leaked photos of the basketball legend who died in 2020. The images showed the helicopter wreckage in which the bodies of her husband and daughter lay. Vanessa Bryant receives almost 29 million dollars (more than 27 million euros) in compensation.

Kobe Bryant crashed with a helicopter near Los Angeles in January 2020. He, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other occupants were killed.

Rescuers on the scene took photos of the wreckage and the bodies and forwarded them to colleagues. Vanessa Bryant then sued Los Angeles County for inflicting “heavy emotional damage”.


Last summer, Vanessa Bryant was already promised 15 million dollars (14 million euros) by a jury. That amount has now been increased, with a view to possible compensation for the three living daughters of the couple. Another surviving relative also received millions.

During the trial, Bryant said she was constantly afraid her daughters would find the images on social media. “We hope that her victory in the case and this settlement will put an end to these practices,” Bryant’s lawyer explained the deal.

New legislation

There is now a law in California that prohibits emergency workers from distributing images of an accident or crime without permission.

Bryant was widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He played his entire career for the Los Angeles Lakers and became a five-time NBA champion with that team. The cause of the accident remained unclear for a long time, but investigation eventually showed that the pilot of the aircraft flew into a hill through fog.

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