As part of her testimony in an ongoing lawsuit against LA County officials, Vanessa Bryant recently revealed that she learned of her husband’s death via “RIP Kobe” messages on social media.
The notifications started coming in hours before she received a formal confirmation from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 26, 2020. As she was trying to reach her husband and daughter Gianna to check on them, Bryant says she couldn’t avoid the alerts.
“I was holding onto my phone,” she says, “because obviously I was trying to call my husband back, and all these notifications started popping up on my phone, saying ‘RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe’.”
Bryant filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department, the Los Angeles fire department and Los Angeles County over the way the organizations’ employees handled sensitive details of the helicopter accident that killed Kobe, their 13-year-old daughter and seven others. Her complaint alleges that first responders and others investigating the crash site took photos of what were believed to have been Kobe and Gianna’s bodies.