Home Sport Vanessa Bryant testifies that she got ‘RIP Kobe’ notifications on her phone...

Vanessa Bryant testifies that she got ‘RIP Kobe’ notifications on her phone before she was told he had died

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NBA star Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa Bryant has revealed in a sworn statement how she learned of the helicopter crash that killed him and their daughter Gianna, as well as other details from the tragic day that have never before been made public.

Vanessa recounted the fateful events of January 26, 2020 in a deposition for her lawsuit against Los Angeles County, which she is suing over claims deputies shared gruesome crash-scene photos with each other and a bartender.

She said in the deposition that LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva vowed to keep the crash scene private moments after informing her that Kobe and Gianna were dead, and that she deduced the grim condition of the bodies when she recovered the clothes they had been wearing.

Under questioning from a county attorney, Vanessa said she first learned of the crash, which occurred around 9.45am, when her assistant knocked on the door about 11.30am and told her there had been a crash.
‘She told me that there was an accident and that there were five survivors,’ Vanessa testified from Newport Beach over Zoom on October 12, according to a transcript obtained by USA Today. ‘And I asked her if Gianna and Kobe were okay. And she said she wasn’t sure. She didn’t know.’

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Hearing that there were survivors — which turned out not to be true, as all nine people aboard were killed instantly on impact — Vanessa said that she initially assumed Kobe and Gianna had survived.

But as she tried in vain to call her husband, notifications began to pop up on her phone, sharing condolences for Kobe’s death.

‘I was trying to call my husband back, and all these notifications started popping up on my phone, saying RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe,’ she said.

It was hours later before Vanessa officially learned from the sheriff that Kobe, 41, and Gianna, 13, had perished in the crash.

She said that she rushed to an airport to try to take a helicopter to the crash scene, but was told that weather conditions would not permit flight.

Vanessa also revealed that she recovered the clothes Kobe and Gianna wore during the crash, out of concern that someone would take pictures of them.

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‘They suffered a lot,’ Bryant said during the deposition, according to the New York Times.

‘And if their clothes represent the condition of their bodies, I cannot imagine how someone could be so callous and have no regard for them or their friends and just share the images as if they were animals on the street.’

‘The impact of the helicopter crash was so damaging, I just don’t understand how someone can have no regard for life and compassion, and, instead, choose to take that opportunity to photograph lifeless and helpless individuals for their own sick amusement,’ she said.

A charter helicopter was carrying Kobe, Gianna, and other youth basketball players and coaches from Orange County to Thousand Oaks when the pilot became disoriented in fog and crashed in Calabasas.

‘My life will never be the same without my husband and daughter,’ she said.

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