Vanessa Bryant, widow of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, has agreed to accept a $28.85 million settlement from Los Angeles County in exchange for ending her fight against those she accused of improperly taking and sharing gruesome photos of her dead husband and daughter after they died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.
The settlement includes the $15 million judgment she won against the county after a two-week civil jury trial last year in Los Angeles. It also resolves all pending litigation and future claims from the Bryant family. It is subject to court approval and would cover her children as well, USA Today reports.
Bryant had sued the county several months after the crash, alleging that county sheriff’s and fire department employees used their personal phones to take and share horrific photos from the crash scene of her daughter Gianna and husband Kobe.
A jury determined that the county fire and sheriff’s departments violated their constitutional rights to control the death images of family members, as established by federal precedent under the Fourteenth Amendment. The jury initially awarded Chester $15 million and Bryant $16 million for their past and future emotional distress, though Bryant’s amount was reduced to $15 million after a juror noted an error on the verdict form.
In the end, the photos scandal cost the county more than $51 million in settlements, including $19.95 million for Chester and $1.25 million each for two other families that lost loved ones in the same crash.