Vanessa Bryant donating settlement to charity
Vanessa Bryant will donate her $16 million settlement to charity.
The model was awarded damages earlier this week after a jury found the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) and Fire Department (LAFD) had caused emotional distress by sharing photos from the fatal helicopter crash in January 2020 which killed her husband, basketball legend Kobe Bryant, and their daughter Gianna, while her co-plaintiff Chris Chester - whose wife Sarah and 13-year-old daughter Payton also died in the accident - was handed $15 million.
And now, Vanessa's attorney, Luis Li, has confirmed she will be donating the money to the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation because she hadn't taken action for financial gain.
Luis said in a statement: "From the beginning, Vanessa Bryant has sought only accountability, but our legal system does not permit her to force better policies, more training or officer discipline.
"Those measures are the responsibility of the sheriff’s and fire departments -- responsibilities that Mrs. Bryant’s efforts have exposed as woefully deficient, even giving amnesty to the wrongdoers.
"Mrs. Bryant was courageous and never faltered, even when the County attempted to force her to submit to an involuntary psychiatric examination. She is deeply grateful to Ralph Mendez and Luella Weireter, the good Samaritans who brought to light the decades old practice of taking and sharing photos of accident and crime victims for no legitimate purpose.
"It is Mrs. Bryant’s hope that this important civil rights case will put to a stop this abhorrent and callous behaviour.”
Vanessa hopes the money will "shine a light on Kobe and Gigi's legacy."
The jury took just a few hours to return their verdict on Wednesday (24.08.22) and afterwards, the county's lawyers insisted they "disagreed" with the findings.
Attorney Mira Hashmall, the lead outside counsel for the county, said in a statement: "While we disagree with the jury's findings as to the county's liability, we believe the monetary award shows that jurors didn't believe the evidence supported the plaintiffs' requests for $75 million for emotional distress.
"We will be discussing next steps with our client. Meanwhile, we hope the Bryant and Chester families continue to heal from their tragic loss."