Vanessa Bryant will donate proceeds from the $16 million lawsuit win against Los Angeles County to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
The widow of NBA legend Kobe Bryant was awarded the damages after emergency services attached to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department were found to have unlawfully captured grim photos of the helicopter crash site where Kobe and their daughter Gianna died.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Bryant will be giving a portion of the awarded compensation to the foundation named after her husband and daughter as a way ‘to shine a light on Kobe and Gigi’s legacy’.
The foundation started in 2016 as the Mamba Sports Foundation and was named after Kobe’s nickname Black Mamba.
The charity was renamed in 2020 to honour both Kobe and his teenage daughter Gianna, who died alongside her father in a fatal helicopter crash with several others.
The non-profit aims to offer sports education to underserved athletes.
The Los Angeles County was also forced to pay $15 million to Chris Chester, who lost his daughter and wife in the crash, for the hurt caused by county personnel who shared photos of the crash victims’ bodies.
Additionally, relatives of others killed in the helicopter crash were awarded $2.5 million in compensation after launching a similar lawsuit.
Bryant’s attorney Luis Li said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times: “From the beginning, Vanessa Bryant has sought only accountability, but our legal system does not permit her to force better policies, more training or officer discipline.
“Those measures are the responsibility of the sheriff’s and fire departments — responsibilities that Mrs. Bryant’s efforts have exposed as woefully deficient, even giving amnesty to the wrongdoers.”
During the trial, Mrs Bryant said she lived in fear that the photos would pop up again and cause her to relive the trauma of losing her husband and daughter.
She told the court: “I want to remember my husband and my daughter the way that they were.”
The doting mum added: “I don't ever want to see these photographs. I have three little girls!"
Soon after the accident, allegations that first responders had shared crash site photos first came to light in the Los Angeles Times.
Bryant said: “I trusted them not to do these things."
The trial heard how first responders shared the grim photographs to members of the public.
A bartender was shown the images and a deputy allegedly messaged them to a friend.
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