Vanessa Bryant is “absolutely devastated” by reports that sheriff’s deputies and other first responders shared gruesome photos from the crash scene that killed Kobe Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, along with seven others, including three other minors.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva personally apologized to Vanessa “on behalf of the poor conduct of our employees,” he told CNN on Monday (March 2).“We want to make this right. We don’t want to extend or increase anybody’s anguish.”
According to a statement released by her attorney, Gary C. Robb, Vanessa personally visited the Southern California Sheriff’s office on Jan. 26 — the day that her husband and daughter were killed — and requested that the crash site area be a designated “no fly zone and protected from photographers.”
“This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families,” the statement adds. “First responders should be trustworthy. It is inexcusable and deplorable that some deputies from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substations and LAFD [Los Angeles Fire Department] would allegedly breach their duty. This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families.”
The incident is currently under investigation.
Eight sheriff’s deputies are facing disciplinary actions after being accused of sharing the photos, which were brought to light after someone complained about the photos being shown at a bar in Norwalk, Calif. The sheriff’s department ordered deputies to delete all photos from the crash scene.
“That was my No. 1 priority, was to make sure those photos no longer exist,” Villanueva told NBC News. “We identified the deputies involved, they came to the station on their own and had admitted they had taken them and they had deleted them. And, we’re content that those involved did that.”
The Bryant family demands that the accusers receive the “harshest possible” disciplinary action and that their identities be made public “to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated.”