In a deposition of obtained by The New York Times, Vanessa Bryant detailed learning that her husband, Kobe, and daughter, Gianna, had died in a helicopter crash in January 2020. Bryant was being questioned by a lawyer representing Los Angeles County.
Bryant is suing the county and some of its agencies for emotional distress that she says was caused by emergency medical workers who took photos of the human remains from the crash site and shared them.
Bryant, 39, said that her assistant knocked on her door at 11:30 a.m. the morning of the crash on Jan. 26, 2020. She was home with her two youngest daughters while her oldest was in a college prep class and her second oldest, Gianna, was with Kobe, who was taking her to a basketball game.
The assistant told her there was a helicopter crash but five people had survived. Bryant assumed her husband and daughter were among the survivors. She was later bombarded with texts that read "R.I.P. Kobe" as she continued to try and call her husband to no avail.
“My life will never be the same without my husband and daughter," Bryant said, per the deposition.
She was unable to fly to the crash site due to weather, so Lakers general manager and Kobe's former agent, Rob Pelinka, drove her to the sheriff's station. There, Bryant says nobody would answer when she asked questions regarding her husband and daughter.
Finally, she said that Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva came with a publicist. Bryant said she wanted privacy and the publicist was asked to leave. Villanueva then confirmed the news that both Kobe and Gianna did not survive the crash. A total of nine people were on board with no survivors.