Vanessa Bryant to Donate $16 Million Proceeds from Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash Photos Lawsuit to Mamba and Mambacita Sports foundation

Vanessa Bryant, center, Kobe Bryant’s widow, leaves a federal courthouse with her daughter, Natalia, left, and soccer player Sydney Leroux in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022. A federal jury has found that Los Angeles County must pay Bryant’s widow $16 million over photos of the NBA star’s body at the site of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed him. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Vanessa Bryant, widow of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, plans to donate the proceeds from the $16 million judgment she won Wednesday in a case against Los Angeles County to a foundation named in her husband’s and daughter’s memory, her attorney said Thursday.

The nonprofit Mamba and Mambacita Sports foundation offers sports education to underserved athletes. Started in 2016 as the Mamba Sports Foundation — Kobe Bryant’s nickname was Black Mamba — the charity was renamed in 2020 to honor the Bryants’ 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, a rising basketball star who died alongside her father in a helicopter crash that spurred the lawsuit against the county.

After an 11-day trial, a federal jury on Wednesday ordered Los Angeles County to pay a total of $31 million to Bryant and a man who lost his daughter and wife in the crash for the distress caused by photos sheriff’s deputies and firefighters took and shared of the crash victims’ bodies.

Bryant was awarded $16 million and the man, Chris Chester, will receive $15 million. Bryant said she was giving her portion to the foundation as a way to “to shine a light on Kobe and Gigi’s legacy.”

“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,” her attorney Luis 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.”

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SOURCE: LA Times, Alene Tchekmedyian