LA County Demands Vanessa Bryant Undergo Psychiatric Evaluation in Lawsuit Battle

Vanessa Bryant accepts Kobe Bryant’s prestigious honor of being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 15, 2021. (YouTube)

Los Angeles County wants Vanessa Bryant to undergo an independent psychiatric evaluation in response to her lawsuit over the deaths of her husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna. 

The county is demanding Vanessa prove she suffered emotional distress as a result of employees from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sharing pictures of the helicopter crash site. The photos were allegedly circulated following the accident that killed nine people in January of last year. 

Related Story: Vanessa Bryant Settles Lawsuit Against Helicopter Company Involved in Kobe Bryant Crash

The motion requesting the psychiatric evaluation was filed Friday, NBC News reported. In its filing, the county said it is “necessary to evaluate the existence, extent and nature of Plaintiffs’ alleged emotional injuries.”

“Plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims,” the motion adds.

Attorneys for Bryant wrote in their response, “Apparently, in the County’s estimation, top officials should be shielded from providing any testimony, but the victims should not only withstand the emotional toll of a full-day deposition, but also submit to an eight-hour involuntary psychiatric examination simply because they had the audacity to demand accountability.” 

Bryant’s suit alleges several sheriff’s deputies shared photos of the crash site from their personal phones.

In March of this year, Bryant posted copies of court documents with her 14 million followers on Instagram that identified three deputies as Joey Cruz, Rafael Mejia, Michael Russell and Raul Versales.

She and other relatives of those who died in the crash are suing Los Angeles County for tens of millions of dollars in damages.   

The lawsuit alleges negligence, invasion of privacy, and a violation of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which says no state should deny any person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the law.