LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Los Angeles County is seeking to require Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, and others to undergo psychiatric evaluations in connection with a lawsuit they filed over leaked photos of the helicopter crash that killed the NBA legend.
Shortly after the January 2020 crash that killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven others, reports surfaced that L.A. County sheriff’s deputies shared graphic photos of the crash scene.
Bryant’s widow responded by filing a lawsuit against the county in September 2020, claiming the deputies “pulled out their cellphones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches.”
The suit asks for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
On Friday, NPR and The Washington Post report the county filed a motion to target the plaintiffs’ allegation that the photos were leaked to intentionally inflict emotional distress on the victims’ family members.
The county reportedly wrote that the medical exams are “crucial” for the defense and for a fair trial.
“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 motion says.
Attorneys representing the families in the suit are reportedly arguing against the psychiatric exams and want to find a “less intrusive” method to measure their emotional distress.
A judge is expected to rule on the motion at a hearing on Nov. 5 and the trial is set to begin in February.