Shaq O'Neal speaks out on pictures taken in aftermath of Kobe accident

Aisha Nozari

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Shaq O'Neal speaks out on pictures taken in aftermath of Kobe accident

Featured Image Credit: Mariano Garcia / Alamy

Shaquille O’Neal has shared his thoughts on Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit against Los Angeles County.

The bereaved wife is suing the county over allegations the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department shared photos of the victims of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe and their daughter Gianna.

Shaq, who used to play for the Lakers alongside Kobe, offered Vanessa his support and admitted he ‘can’t imagine what she’s going through’.

Shaquille O’Neal has shared his thoughts on Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit against Los Angeles County. Credit: Francis Specker / Alamy Stock Photo
Shaquille O’Neal has shared his thoughts on Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit against Los Angeles County. Credit: Francis Specker / Alamy Stock Photo

Shaq told ET: “I feel for her. We’ve never talked a lot [but] we’ve always had respect for each other. Every time I see her, it’s a hug, it’s a laugh. But I couldn’t imagine what she's going through. 

“We live in a world where, especially when it gets to the internet, people don't care. But those are pictures that I would never, ever want to see, so she's doing a great thing by holding people responsible.”

Earlier this week, Vanessa admitted she ‘lives in fear’ that graphic photos of Kobe and Gianna’s remains will ‘pop up’ on social media.

On Friday (19 August), Bryant delivered an emotional testimony to a Federal Court in support of her lawsuit.

Taking to the stand, Bryant – who also shares Capri, three, Bianka, five, and Natalia, 19, with Kobe – said: “I want to remember my husband and my daughter the way that they were.”

Shaq, who used to play for the Lakers alongside Kobe, offered Vanessa his support. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
Shaq, who used to play for the Lakers alongside Kobe, offered Vanessa his support. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Vanessa added: “I don't ever want to see these photographs. I have three little girls!"

According to People, Bryant, 40, told the court that on the morning of the accident she visited the Lost Hills Sheriff Station and asked Sheriff Alex Villanueva to make sure the Calabasas crash site was protected from the paparazzi.

She told Villanueva: “If you can't bring my babies back, can you please secure the area?" 

Soon after the accident, allegations that first responders had shared crash site photos first came to light in the Los Angeles Times.

Explaining her state of mind when she arrived at the Lost Hills Sheriff Station near the crash site, Bryant – who was taken into a small room at the back of the station – said: “I walked in and asked where they were. I was repeatedly asking. They just stared at me. 'Where are they? Where are they?'"

She also told the court: “I never had a panic attack before this. I don't ever want to see my babies in that way."

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Topics: News, Sport, Celebrity, Kobe Bryant, Basketball

Aisha Nozari
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