Kobe Bryant’s widow will not have to undergo psychiatric tests for her trial of graphic images of the helicopter crash in 2020 that killed the basketball star, her 13-year-old daughter and others, a federal judge has ruled.
Los Angeles County had sought to enforce psychiatric evaluations for Vanessa Bryant and others to determine if they really suffered emotional distress over photos of the crash site and corpses, as her trial said, were taken and shared by the county sheriff’s deputies and firefighters.
U.S. Judge Charles F. Eick said Monday that the county’s proposal to force an evaluation was premature.
Bryant’s invasion of privacy is scheduled to begin in February.
Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna and seven others were killed on January 26, 2020, when the helicopter they were on board on their way to a basketball tournament crashed west of Los Angeles in foggy weather.
Federal security authorities blamed pilot failures for the wreck.
Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit alleges that first aiders, including firefighters and the sheriff’s deputies, shared photographs of Kobe Bryant’s body with a bartender and sent around “unmotivated photos of the dead children, parents and coaches.”
Bryant said in a deposition, “for the rest of my life I will have to fear that these photographs of my husband and child will be leaked”.
The judge said last week that the sheriff and the fire chief must make statements in the case.
Attorneys for the county had claimed that Bryant had never seen the photographs and that they were not shared publicly, and wanted to determine if she really had any emotional distress.
They had sought to require Bryant and other family members of the people killed in the crash, including children, to undergo psychiatric evaluations such as independent medical examinations.