LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Los Angeles County has agreed to pay Vanessa Bryant and her three daughters nearly $29 million to settle the lawsuit over the dissemination of graphic photos from the January 2020 helicopter crash that killed her husband and former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, their 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others.
This settlement comes after a jury awarded Vanessa Bryant $16 million in an invasion of privacy suit filed against Los Angeles County in August 2022 and includes additional funds to settle potential claims from her and Kobe’s daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
The pictures were shared mostly between employees of the LA County sheriff’s and fire departments including by some who were playing video games and attending an awards banquet. They were also seen by some of their spouses and in one case by a bartender at a bar where a deputy was drinking.
Bryant says that she learned the photos had been shared shortly after the deadly accident, which compounded her fear of her daughters seeing the gruesome images on social media.
Lawyers representing the county did acknowledge that the photos were taken and shared but that an immediate order to delete them prevented them from being released to the public, according to the New York Times.
County attorneys confirmed the settlement Tuesday, saying Bryant will receive $28,850,000. The county’s legal team says all county-related litigation from the accident has now been resolved.
During the same trial last year, the jury awarded Chris Chester, whose wife Sarah and daughter Payton were killed in the crash, $15 million with an additional $4.95 million to resolve any future claims.
Two other families settled with the county over the photos for $1.25 million each in October 2021.
Vanessa Bryant’s legal team says that she plans on donating the proceeds from the lawsuit to her Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, which honors her late husband and daughter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.