Vanessa Bryant names and shames ‘morbid gossip’ photos of husband’s helicopter crash

Vanessa Bryant has named and shamed the police officers allegedly responsible for the distribution of photos of her dead husband.

The wife of NBA legend Kobe Bryant took to Instagram to release the names of the deputies mentioned in her lawsuit after a federal judge last week ruled that the identities involved would not be kept hidden.

Bryant’s widow posted images of paperwork filed to the court which identified four of the police alleged to have captured grisly photos of the site where Bryant and eight other people, including his daughter Gianna, died in a tragic helicopter crash.

The helicopter crash that killed the 41-year-old was probably caused by the pilot becoming disoriented after flying into clouds, investigators said Tuesday.

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and Natalia Bryant.Source:Getty Images

Bryant is suing the deputies, the sheriff’s department, the L.A. County Fire Department and the County of Los Angeles, accusing the group of invasion of privacy and negligence surrounding the investigation into the fatal crash.

The details she released on Friday (AEDT) allege up to eight members of the emergency response and follow-up investigation team took images of the crash site.

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It alleges one of the police deputies took up to 100 photos before showing them off to members of the public and sharing them digitally.

Bryant’s Instagram posts directly named Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies Joey Cruz, Rafael Mejia, Michael Russell and Raul Versales.

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant)

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant)

Bryant’s posts show she is alleging in the lawsuit that “gratuitous photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches” were shared with people that had no involvement in the investigation, including a bartender.

It alleges Russell received the photos and bragged about being in possession of them when he visited a sports bar.

With supporting evidence from an investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department into the photo leak, Bryant is alleging one of the officers, Meija, captured photos “for no reason other than morbid gossip.”

The lawsuit also alleges several other officers with connections to the four lied about being in possession of the photos.

Bryant’s claims include that “Sheriff’s Department has failed to take basic steps to ensure all copies of the improper photos are tracked down and sequestered”.

Authorities have previously released a statement to claim all copies of the photos have been tracked down and deleted.

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