A federal jury has found that Los Angeles County must pay the late US basketball star Kobe Bryant’s widow $16 million in damages.
The lawsuit dealt with leaked photos of the NBA star’s body at the site of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed him.
The co-plaintiff in the case, Christopher Chester will also be paid $1.5 million.
‘Hurt and betrayed by the leak’
BBC’s news reports that Vanessa Bryant, aged 40, had panic attacks after learning pictures taken by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and firefighters had been shared.
In November, the county agreed to pay $2.5 million over the emotional distress caused to two families who lost relatives in the crash – but Bryant refused to settle.
An emotional Bryant told the court how the pictures of Kobe and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, at the scene caused their family emotional trauma.
Jurors at the trial heard how the sheriff’s deputies and firefighters showed off the crash scene pictures at a bar and a gala event.
Bryant said she lives in fear of the pictures resurfacing on social media.
“I don’t ever want to see these photographs,” said Bryant. “I want to remember my husband and daughter like they were.”
The 41-year-old athlete, Gianna and six family friends died when their helicopter crashed in California in January 2020.
Chester lost his wife Sarah and daughter Payton in the crash.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, played for the LA Lakers throughout his career and is considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history.
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