Vanessa Bryant pledges to donate $16 million lawsuit winnings to Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation

·Writer
·2-min read

Vanessa Bryant has big plans for the $16 million won from Los Angeles County in her lawsuit over her husband's helicopter crash site photos.

The attorney of the late Kobe Bryant's widow announced that Bryant plans to donate the money to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, the nonprofit named in her husband and daughter Gianna's memory, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The foundation, established by Kobe in 2016 and renamed after the crash in 2020, is dedicated to providing funding and sports programming to underserved athletes.

A jury awarded the $16 million to Bryant and an additional $15 million to Chris Chester, whose wife Sarah and daughter Payton also died in the crash, on Wednesday, ending a legal battle that had been in the works for two years. During the trial, Bryant's legal team alleged she had suffered emotional distress from several employees of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and Fire Department sharing photos from the crash site, including pictures of the bodies of her husband and daughter.

The majority of the money came from the Sheriff's Department, as the jury found the department had an established practice of sharing such photos.

From the Times:

“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,” her attorney Luis Li said in a statement. “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.”

He added that Bryant “never faltered, even when the county attempted to force her to submit to an involuntary psychiatric examination.”

Bryant left the courthouse without speaking to reporters following the verdict, but called the outcome "justice" for her husband and daughter in an Instagram post soon afterward.

Bryant has also settled lawsuits against the against the helicopter company involved in the deadly flight and the estate of pilot Ara Zobayan, who also died in the crash.

Vanessa Bryant (L), wife of the late Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant, and close friend Sydney Leroux (R) depart the court house in Los Angeles, California, on August 24, 2022, after a verdict was reached in Bryant's federal negligence lawsuit against Los Angeles County. - A jury ordered Los Angeles County to pay $31 million in damages Wednesday over graphic photos taken by sheriff's deputies and firefighters of the helicopter crash that killed basketball star Kobe Bryant. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
Vanessa Bryant won her day in court. Now she's donating the money in her husband and daughter's memory. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)