Vanessa Bryant Settles Lawsuit Over Helicopter Crash Photos for $28.85 Million

The settlement comes three years after Vanessa's husband Kobe, their daughter Gianna and seven others died in the L.A. crash.

Vanessa Bryant has reached a settlement with Los Angeles County over the sharing of graphic photos from the January 2020 helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant, 41, their daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others. 

ET confirmed Tuesday, per Vanessa's lawyer Luis Li, that Los Angeles County has agreed to pay Vanessa her three daughters -- Natalia, 20, Bianka, 6, and Capri, 3 -- more than $28 million, which includes the $15 million they were awarded by a jury last summer. Vanessa's co-plaintiff, Christopher Chester, was also awarded $15 million.

In a statement shared with ET by Li, Vanessa's attorney said Tuesday marks the end of the Bryant family's fight for her late husband, daughter and the families and community of those who lost their lives in the horrific crash.

"Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct," the statement reads. "She fought for her husband, her daughter, and all those in the community whose deceased family were treated with similar disrespect. We hope her victory at trial and this settlement will put an end to this practice."

After learning that some employees of L.A. county’s fire and sheriff’s departments had shared graphic photos of human remains from the crash, Vanessa sued for negligence and invasion of privacy in September 2020 and won at trial in August 2022. The jury in August awarded Bryant $16 million, which was later reduced by $1 million because of a clerical error.

Per court docs obtained by ET Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay the Bryant family $28.85 million to settle the lawsuit and potential future claims by Vanessa and her daughters.

In a statement, Mira Hashmall, lead trial counsel for L.A. County in the Bryant-Chester case, called the settlement "fair and reasonable," and said she hopes the Byrant family can "continue to heal from their loss" now that the legal proceedings are through.

"We believe the settlement approved by the Board in the Bryant case is fair and reasonable. The $28,850,000 settlement includes the verdict awarded by the federal jury in August 2022, and further resolves all outstanding issues related to pending legal claims in state court, future claims by the Bryant children, and other costs, with each party responsible for its respective attorneys' fees," Hashmall says in the statement. "This settlement now concludes all County-related litigation related to the tragic January 2020 helicopter crash. We hope Ms. Bryant and her children continue to heal from their loss."

Following August's trial win, Vanessa, who left the courthouse without making a statement to the press, took to Instagram to share a photo of herself, Kobe, and Gianna, which she captioned, "All for you! I love you! JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi! #Betonyourself #MambaDay 8•24•22."

Days after the jury awarded Vanessa and her family the money, her lawyer announced that she plans to give an unspecified amount of the verdict award to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit that continues Kobe and Gianna's legacies by offering opportunities to underprivileged young athletes.

"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," 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.