A jury decided in Vanessa Bryant’s favor in her lawsuit against Los Angeles County on Wednesday. She sued the county for taking and sharing inappropriate photos taken of the helicopter crash site that claimed the lives of her husband, Kobe Bryant, daughter, Gianna, and seven others in 2020.
The jury awarded Vanessa $16 million after ruling in her favor. Chris Chester, who lost his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Payton, in the crash, was awarded $15 million.
Per the suit, Vanessa alleged that L.A. County firefighters and police officers took unnecessary photos of the crash site, which included gruesome images. She also claimed that the county failed to contain the images and that they were shared inappropriately, per The New York Times.
Vanessa accused the county of negligence and argued that it violated her right to privacy.
The trial lasted two weeks before the jury reached a decision. The ruling came just a day after what would have been Kobe’s 44th birthday.
Shaquille O’Neal Speaks on Vanessa Bryant’s Trial
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Kobe Bryant’s former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, was asked about the trial. He expressed nothing but support for Vanessa.
“I feel for her,” O’ Neal told Entertainment Tonight. “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.”
O’Neal played with Kobe from 1996-2004. The two won three NBA championships together with the Los Angeles Lakers.