A judge has requested that Vanessa Bryant turn over her therapy records in her lawsuit against Los Angeles County officials
As if she hasn’t experienced enough trauma in the wake of the tragic helicopter crash that took both her husband, Kobe Bryant, and her 13-year-old daughter Gigi, Vanessa Bryant is now being asked to turn over therapy records to court officials as part of her lawsuit against Los Angeles County.
Bryant is suing the county for the emotional distress she suffered over the events of the crash, which happened on January 26, 2020 and took the lives of all nine passengers aboard the helicopter. She has revealed that she found out about her husband’s death due to social media alerts, and that Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies and fire department personnel took photos of the crash site and passed them around, leading to the photos being leaked online hours before she was even contacted by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to notify her of her husband and daughter’s deaths.
When she filed the lawsuit in September 2020, she called the events surrounding the crash “negligence, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” In her deposition, she added, “No one should ever have to endure this type of pain and fear of their family members. The pictures getting released, this is not okay.”
After being asked to undergo a psychiatric evaluation as a means of “proving” her trauma — a move which was thankfully denied by the judge presiding over her case, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Charles Eick — Bryant is required to submit therapy records to court officials. According to the Los Angeles Times, county lawyers initially requested that she submit “all documents relating to or reflecting counseling, therapy, psychotherapy, psychiatry or any other mental health treatment provided to Vanessa Bryant from Jan. 1, 2010, to the present” — yes, a full decade before the crash even occurred. The judge has approved that she submit records dating back to 2017 — still several years before the crash — to “determine Bryant’s mental state.”
County lawyers claim the invasive move is “a standard request in lawsuits where a plaintiff demands millions of dollars for claims of emotional distress,” claiming that Bryant could not be suffering distress from the leaked photos because L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villaneuva had ordered them deleted. But, of course, police departments are gonna do what they do best, those with the photos were not asked to preserve their devices, and Bryant was never able to learn with whom the photos were shared.
Bryant’s trial date is scheduled for next February, but her lawyers are rightfully calling this request a clear invasion of her privacy.