Vanessa Bryant, the widow of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, is “absolutely devastated” by the allegations that deputies shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash scene where Bryant, their 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed, her lawyer said in a statement Saturday.
According to ESPN, Bryant’s lawyer, Gary Robb, said that Vanessa went to the sheriff’s office on Jan. 26-the same day of the crash, “and requested that the area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers.”
Robb also said that “This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims and their families. At that time, Sheriff Alex Villanueva assured us all measures would be put in place to protect the families’ privacy, and it is our understanding that he has worked hard to honor those requests,” the lawyer said.
Robb called for those who shared the photos to “face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated.”
The Los Angeles Times, who broke the story, also reported on Friday that the sheriff’s department quietly worked to cover for the deputies by ordering them to delete any photos of the helicopter crash scene after a citizen complained that a deputy was showing the gruesome images at a bar in Norwalk, California.