VANESSA Bryant is suing Los Angeles cops after officers allegedly leaked pictures from Kobe Bryant's helicopter crash – including one deputy who showed them off at a bar.
Kobe's widow Vanessa, 37, has alleged that members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shared unauthorized photographs of the crash on January 26.
The lawsuit – filed on Friday in LA County Superior Court and obtained by PEOPLE – seeks damages for emotional distress and mental anguish.
It comes after the news that eight sheriff’s deputies took photos of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter wreckage after it crashed in Calabasas, California – killing the NBA legend, his daughter and seven others.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva described the pictures as a "punch to the gut," on March 2.
A week prior to that, one of the deputies “tried to impress a girl by showing her the photos," a week after the fiery crash.
Images of the 41-year-old NBA legend and the eight other victims' remains were reportedly shared just two days after the tragedy, sources also told the Los Angeles Times.
According to PEOPLE, the lawsuit claims: "In reality, however, no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies were at the scene snapping cell-phone photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches.
"As the Department would later admit, there was no investigative purpose for deputies to take pictures at the crash site.
"Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes."
Vanessa was reportedly horrified and "absolutely devastated" when California cops were accused of showing off horrific photos of the tragedy, which killed nine people.
The claim adds: "Rather than formally investigate the allegations to identify the extent of dissemination and contain the spread of the photos, Department leadership reportedly told deputies that they would face no discipline if they just deleted the photos
It is unknown if the deputies have since been penalized.
“Mrs. Bryant was distressed to learn that the Department did not initiate a formal investigation until after the L.A. Times broke the story on or about February 28, and that the Department had taken few if any steps to contain the spread of the photos," the suit reads.
Vanessa is "deeply worried" the deputies' photos have not been disposed of and that they might reappear – which could lead her daughters "to encounter them on the Internet," the claim states.
Her legal team explained: "The sheriff’s deputies who took and shared the photos are thus liable for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of Mrs. Bryant’s right to privacy in the death images of her loved ones."
Vanessa's claims come just days after California Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson proposed a law that would forbid unauthorized crime scene photos.
Her lawyer Gary Robb said that Vanessa went to the sheriff's office on the day of the crash, to request that the area "be designated a 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," Robb revealed.
Vanessa's attorney described the allegations cops shared the photos in a bar as “an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families."
A month after the fatal crash, and on the day of Kobe's memorial, Vanessa hit a chopper company with a lawsuit for "reckless" flying.
In the lawsuit, she reportedly claimed the helicopter shouldn't have been put in such dangerous conditions before the aircraft's death plunge.
Kobe and his daughter were buried two weeks after they tragically died in a helicopter crash alongside seven others as the group was headed to Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy training facility.
The others killed were college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, Christina Mauser, a coach at Mamba Sports Academy, passengers Sarah and Payton Chester and pilot Zobayan.
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