Vanessa Bryant may have to prove she’s emotionally tormented over the leaked photos of the fatal helicopter crash by taking a psychiatric exam — at least if Los Angeles County gets its way.
In a report from Deadline Saturday, the county has asked the 39-year-old and others who lost family members in the accident to submit an evaluation in the lawsuit the group filed against them for invasion of privacy and negligence. The case stems from LA county fire and sheriff’s department employees sharing graphic and horrific pictures from the scene of the crash that killed Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, and seven over passengers in Calabasas, California on January 26, 2020. Vanessa alleged that four workers, who she previously named on Instagram, had snapped the grisly images of her loved ones’ remains, with one of them even taking up to 100 images on his phone. Talk about f**ked up, and the sad part is that’s not even half of it.
Related: Vanessa Bryant Got Emotional Sending Daughter Natalia Off To College: ‘Today Was Rough’
Understandably, that had impacted the momma who is still grieving the loss. However, LA County has argued that the “emotional distress” everyone experiences were due to the crash — and not the sharing of any phones. Their argument? The city reportedly claims that Vanessa and co’s mental states couldn’t have been affected since they’ve never seen the pics, and they weren’t widely spread. According to USA Today, the county said in the court documents:
“Despite putting their mental condition front and center in this case, Plaintiffs refuse to submit to independent medical examinations (IMEs). The County brings this motion to compel IMEs of the Plaintiffs, which are necessary to evaluate the existence, extent and nature of Plaintiffs’ alleged emotional injuries. Plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims.”
Did they even take a second to think that just knowing even a small amount of people saw the pictures, which shouldn’t have been taken for the four guys’ personal use in the first place, of their family in such a vulnerable state could hurt them? The lack of sympathy from the city throughout this entire process is sickening and disgusting…
In response, Vanessa’s attorney has slammed the county for trying to force everyone — including “four teenagers, a 10-year-old child, and a 5-year-old kindergartner” — to submit involuntary psychiatric tests:
“Unable to defend the indefensible conduct of its employees who took and shared horrific photographs of Plaintiffs’ deceased loved ones. … the County has resorted to scorched-earth discovery tactics designed to bully Plaintiffs into abandoning their pursuit of accountability. After seeking intrusive discovery into everything from Plaintiffs’ privileged therapist records and middle school report cards, the County now seeks to compel the victims of its employees’ misconduct … to undergo involuntary psychiatric examinations.”
We’ll have to see if the judge decides to push the matter through when the trial starts in February. Reactions to how LA County is handling the case? Let us know in the comments (below).
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