Vanessa Bryant hits back at LA County's demand for psychiatric evaluation
- Vanessa Bryant's husband NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash last year
- She sued LA County alleging that photos of the crash were “showed off” by county employees
- The county now wants her to take a psychiatric exam to prove that the photos caused emotional distress
NBA legend Kobe Bryant's widow Vanessa Bryant has hit back at Los Angeles County's demand to take an independent psychiatric evaluation to prove that leaked photos of the helicopter crash that killed her husband and 13-year-old daughter on January 26 last year caused emotional distress. This comes amid her ongoing lawsuit against the county.
Vanessa has sued the county and its sheriff’s office alleging that photos of the crash were “showed off” by county employees. She argued that the responding deputies "used personal cell phones to take and share gratuitous photos of the dead children, parents and coaches." Vanessa and the other family members of the NBA legend are seeking tens of millions in damages from the county.
On Friday, the county filed the motion because independent exams are “necessary to evaluate the existence, extent and nature of Plaintiffs’ alleged emotional injuries.”
The defendants are arguing that the “severe emotional distress” was caused by the helicopter crash itself and not the sharing of photos.
“Plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims,” the county said in the motion.
Arguing against the exams, Vanessa's attorneys argued, "It does not take an expert—and it certainly does not take an involuntary eight-hour psychiatric examination—for a jury to assess the nature and extent of the emotional distress caused by Defendants' misconduct."
The plaintiffs' distress "are the feelings that any reasonable person would experience if the public officials entrusted to protect the dignity of their deceased family members snapped graphic photos of their loved ones' remains, used the photos for cocktail-hour entertainment, and failed to contain and secure the photos."
The next hearing in the case is reportedly scheduled for November 5. A trial will begin in February next year.