Vanessa Bryant ‘Absolutely Devastated’ After Helicopter Crash Site Photos Were Shared
Vanessa Bryant, the widow of late basketball legend Kobe Bryant has responded to allegations that responders to the helicopter crash that killed her husband and their 13-year-old daughter alongside seven others have shared photos from the scene online.
Bryant’s representatives in a statement revealed that Vanessa is “absolutely devastated” by a report that sheriff’s deputies may have shared graphic photos of the site of the helicopter crash.
Vanessa’s lawyer Gary Robb who wrote the statement and posted on her Instagram page said she specifically asked sheriff’s officials on the day of the crash to declare the area a no-fly zone to guard against photographers trying to cash in on the accident.
“This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families,” the statement read.“At that time, Sheriff Alex Villanueva assured us all measures would be put in place to protect the families’ privacy, and it is our understanding that he has worked hard to honour those requests.”
The statement continued by saying first responders “should be trustworthy” before calling the alleged actions “inexcusable and deplorable”.
“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 statement concluded with Vanessa saying she is grateful to the individual who filed an online complaint exposing “these acts of injustice”.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Friday it was investigating a Los Angeles Times report that deputies may have shared images showing human remains in the days after the January 26 crash in the hills west of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times report on Thursday said it was unclear how many people may have seen the photos or whether deputies had captured the images at the scene or received them from someone else.
The entertainment news site, TMZ reported Friday that the allegations first surfaced after a complaint.
TMZ, quoting unidentified law enforcement sources, said a trainee sheriff’s deputy at the crash site had taken photos on a smartphone and was subsequently overheard by a bartender showing the images to a customer in a bar.
The bartender then lodged a complaint, TMZ reported.