Vanessa Bryant has been ordered to submit her therapy records in the latest development from her lawsuit against Los Angeles County over the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Charles Eick ordered the 39-year-old widow and her therapist to turn over the records by Nov. 29, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday night.
The records will cover dates from January 2017 until the present, although the county had originally asked for documents dating back to 2010.
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Bryant’s attorney Mari Saigal said in court papers that obtaining the records “should be seen for what it is: an attempt to bully Mrs. Bryant into dropping her case to avoid her private therapy records being brandished in open court and reported on by media outlets.”
Attorneys for the county argued the records are needed to prove Bryant’s claim that she suffered emotional distress after sheriffs deputies circulated photos of the crash site where nine people died in January 2020, including her husband Kobe Bryant and 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
“Our motion for access to her medical records, however, is a standard request in lawsuits where a plaintiff demands millions of dollars for claims of emotional distress. I have an obligation to take this step to defend the County,” Skip Miller, outside counsel for Los Angeles County, said in a statement.
Miller insisted Bryant could not suffer distress from crash photos she has never seen and that were never shared publicly because L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva ordered them deleted.
Bryant’s 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.