Vanessa Bryant is suing the helicopter company and pilot’s estate over the deaths of her husband Kobe and daughter, Gianna, and the defendants want the case to be moved to a different county. Not surprisingly, Vanessa is arguing that having the proceedings in another court room will not have an impact on the outcome.
Island Express Helicopters and the estate for pilot Ara Zobayan have asked the court to move the case from L.A. to Orange County, as they believe they will not get a fair trial in the city where Kobe played for the Lakers and became an icon. According to new documents obtained by TMZ, Vanessa notes that the Bryants have lived in Orange County for 20 years and their “popularity there is just as strong as anywhere else.”
“Defendant fails to acknowledge the extent to which Kobe Bryant’s legacy penetrates American culture,” the attorney representing Vanessa said. “There is no county line at which Kobe Bryant’s celebrity suddenly evaporates. Public esteem for Kobe Bryant is a fact of American life.”
Vanessa’s attorneys say they lawfully chose to file the lawsuit in L.A. because that is where the Jan. 26 crash took place. A judge will now decide if the case should be moved or not.
The lawsuit filed by Vanessa is seeking multiple times of damages that cost the Bryant family hundreds of millions in future earnings. The suit accuses Zobayan of flying recklessly through poor weather conditions. The suit also accuses the company, Island Express Helicopters, of conduct with “malice, oppression, or fraud” for employing Zobayan despite violating “weather-related flight rules in 2015.”
Vanessa Bryant is permanently memorializing her late husband and daughter, Gigi, through tattoos.
Vanessa shared videos on Instagram Wednesday of her getting tattooed. She said that she got a tribute to Gigi on her wrist.
“Shoutout to @nikkohurtado for coming over and helping me get my Gigi’s sweet message transferred on me. #throwbacktoFebruary,” Vanessa wrote.
She also got a tattoo message relating to Kobe around her shoulder/neck.
“I wanted my boo boo’s @kobebryant sweet message transferred on me. @nikkohurtado came through for me. Thank you! #inked #messagetransfer #BooBoo #throwback #tattooinmyhallway #QueenMamba #MambaMentality.”
It’s unclear what the exact messages Vanessa had tattooed on her, but she says they were messages relating to Kobe and Gigi. She says she got the work done in February.
That was after both Kobe and Gigi died on January 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. Current Los Angeles Lakers players LeBron James and Anthony Davis also got tattoos as tributes to Kobe soon after the Hall of Famer’s death.
Vanessa Bryant is seeking damages in her wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company and pilot’s estate over the deaths of her husband Kobe and daughter, Gianna.
According to The Blast, Vanessa says in a new legal filing that she is seeking multiple times of damages that cost her family hundreds of millions in future earnings.
“As a result of Kobe Bryant’s and GB’s deaths, Vanessa Bryant seeks economic damages, non-economic damages, prejudgment interest, punitive damages, and other relief as the Court deems just and proper,” the filing reads. “Although the total specific amount of personal injury damages that Plaintiff seeks is TBD, Kobe Bryant’s future lost earnings equal hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Even though Kobe was retired from professional basketball, his future earnings are likely related to his possibilities in the entertainment and business industries.
Vanessa’s lawsuit accuses late pilot Ara Zobayan of flying recklessly through poor weather conditions. The suit also accuses the company, Island Express Helicopters, of conduct with “malice, oppression, or fraud” for employing Zobayan despite violating “weather-related flight rules in 2015.”
Kobe and Gianna were among the nine people on board the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter when it crashed on January 26 in Calabasas, Calif. There were no survivors of the fatal crash.
Vanessa Bryant is still sorting through much of the legal fallout from the helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna back in January. The latest step she took was on Friday, when she filed a legal claim over some unauthorized photos that were captured at the crash site.
Bryant filed a legal claim seeking damages for emotional distress and mental anguish after it was determined that eight LA County Sheriff’s Department deputies took photos of the crash and shared them with others, according to court documents obtained by People. The photos were taken despite Bryant going to the Sheriff’s office the morning of the crash on Jan. 26 and requesting that the crash site be designated a no-fly zone.
“In reality, however, no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies were at the scene snapping cell-phone photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches,” the claim states. “As the Department would later admit, there was no investigative purpose for deputies to take pictures at the crash site. Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes.”
The claim asserts that the Sheriff’s Department’s “mishandling of this egregious misconduct” worsened Vanessa Bryant’s level of emotional distress, as she learned of the photo leak more than a month after the crash through media outlets. A spokesperson for the Bryant family told People that the court filing is “solely about enforcing accountability, protecting the victims and making sure no one ever has to deal with this conduct in the future.”
“When a family suffers the loss of loved ones, they have the right to expect that they will be treated with dignity and respect,” the family spokesperson said. “The Deputies in this case betrayed that sacred trust. This claim is intended to hold the Sheriff’s Department accountable and to prevent future misconduct.”
According to a March report from TMZ, one of the deputies showed the photos to a woman at a bar while trying to impress her. The bartender saw what happened and filed an online complaint with the Sheriff’s Department. The photos were also shared at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation.
Prior to speaking out about the unauthorized photos, Bryant also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that owned the helicopter that Kobe, Gianna and seven others were traveling in.
Vanessa Bryant made another appearance Saturday to talk about her late husband Kobe’s election to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
As expected, Kobe Bryant was officially named to the class of 2020, and Vanessa Bryant joined ESPN’s announcement broadcast along with her daughter Natalia for a brief interview. Vanessa Bryant referred to Kobe’s induction as “the peak of his NBA career” and grew emotional as she talked about it.
This has been an incredibly difficult time for Vanessa Bryant after her husband’s death in January. She has handled it with remarkable grace, poise, and strength and did so again here. It is unfortunate that Kobe Bryant won’t be there for his Hall of Fame induction, but Vanessa is carrying his legacy beautifully.
Vanessa Bryant has been trying to get matters sorted regarding her family trust ever since husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died in January. There has been some progress in that effort, according to a report.
According to TMZ, new legal documents say Natalia and Bianka have been appointed a guardian ad litem. Baby Capri has a guardian ad litem as well, though her guardian is different from the one her two older sisters have.
A guardian ad litem acts to protect a child’s interest.
Natalia is 17 and the closest to being an adult. Bianka is 3, while Capri is nine months old.
Vanessa recently was attempting to get Capri added to the trust since the young baby was not born at the time the trust was last updated. Bryant was looking to get things done soon because of uncertainty regarding shutdowns related to the coronavirus.
Vanessa Bryant has been sorting through a number of legal issues since her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, and one of them involves making another amendment to Kobe’s trust.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Vanessa is trying to amend Kobe’s trust to include the couple’s youngest daughter, Capri. The trust was created in 2003 and has been amended several times, most recently in 2017. The previous amendments appeared to come after each of Kobe’s and Vanessa’s first three daughters — Natalia, Gianna and Bianka — were born. However, Capri is just nine months old and the Bryants likely just had not gotten around to amending the trust again before Kobe died.
The way the trust is currently set up allows for Vanessa, Natalia and Bianka to draw from the principal and income during Vanessa’s lifetime, and the girls get the remainder of the money after Vanessa’s death. Vanessa wants to include Capri in the distribution, and a judge should have no problem signing off on the amendment.
Fortunately, this legal matter sounds like it will be easy for Vanessa to sort out. The same cannot be said for some of the other issues she could have while she continues to mourn the death of her husband and daughter.
Authorities in Los Angeles say they are looking into how sensitive photos from the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site were leaked to the public, and Vanessa Bryant has weighed in on the situation with a formal statement.
Vanessa Bryant’s legal team released a statement on her behalf Sunday blasting the Los Angeles Count Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department for the “inexcusable and deplorable” behavior of some of its deputies.
“This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families,” the statement read. “We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated. We are requesting an Internal Affairs investigation of these alleged incidents.”
The Los Angeles Times first reported on Friday that deputies shared graphic photos — including some that showed remains — of the site where Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed. Officials became aware that the photos were shared just two days after the crash.
According to TMZ, one of the deputies showed the photos to a woman at a bar while trying to impress her. The bartender saw what happened and filed an online complaint with the Sheriff’s Department. The photos were also shared at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, and deputies from other substations also reportedly took unauthorized photos on their cell phones.
Vanessa Bryant will unfortunately have to deal with a lot of legal trouble now in addition to losing her husband and 13-year-old daughter Gianna. She has already filed one lawsuit, and there could be more coming.
Vanessa Bryant was the first speaker at the memorial for her late husband Kobe and daughter, Gianna, at Staples Center on Monday in Los Angeles, and delivered incredible eulogies for them both.
Vanessa spoke for 22 minutes, first about daughter Gianna, and next about Kobe. She described each of their characters, talked about her fondest memories of them, and shared intimate details about each of them.
Here is video of her entire speech. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s well worth your time:
Vanessa and Kobe met in 1999 when she was 17. They got married in 2001 and have been together ever since. They had four children — all daughters — Gianna being their second-oldest girl. Kobe was 41 and Gianna 13 when they died in a helicopter crash on January 26 that killed nine people.