Vanessa Bryant Learned Of Kobe Bryant And Gianna Bryant’s Deaths From “RIP Kobe” Social Media Alerts

Because I was trying to call my husband, I was holding on to my phone. Then, all these notifications started appearing on my phone saying "RIP Kobe." RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe.
Vanessa Bryant remembered the moment her husband, Kobe Bryant and their 13 year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter accident last year. Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Baby2Baby

The tragedy occurred on January 2020, and it also claimed seven lives. All of them were going to a basketball match.

Vanessa, who is suing Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department because of emotional distress and negligence among other harms, revealed during a deposition. Vanessa first heard about the news via social media notifications, before anyone had ever personally informed her about her family's deaths. Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Vanessa filed the suit in September 2013 after it was revealed that first responders had shared disturbing and unauthorized photos of the remains of victims at the crash site. The lawsuit was filed by Vanessa in September last year after it was reported that first responders had shared disturbing and unauthorized photos of the human remains at the crash site.

As part of a new case deposition, Vanessa testified in an emotional Zoom conference last Tuesday. She recalled when she first heard about the tragic helicopter crash. The New York Times Stefanie KEENAN / Getty Images, Baby2Baby has obtained a transcript of her statements.

Vanessa recalled the morning of the crash and said that Vanessa's family assistant was the one who first informed her that there had been an accident. There were five survivors. Vanessa was informed of the accident by the assistant at 11:30 a.m., which was the same time that TMZ published the news about Kobe's death. Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Vanessa told me that there had been an accident and that five people survived. I also asked her if Gianna or Kobe were alright. She said that she wasn't sure. She wasn't sure.

Vanessa stated that she tried calling her husband, and then called her mom. She replied, "I called my mom and asked her to spot my daughter Bianca and Capris [now 4 and 2 years old]. I told her that I needed her to go to my house. I had to go to LA.

My mom and I were talking on the phone. I held onto my phone because I wanted to call my husband back. Then, all these notifications began popping up on my phone saying "RIP Kobe." RIP Kobe. She said, "RIP Kobe." Harry How / Getty Images

Vanessa described driving to pick her daughter Natalia up from an ACT class. She stated that she picked Natalia up and told her that Daddy, Gigi and other people were involved in an accident. Don't worry. I'm sure they are fine, because there are five survivors. Gigi and Daddy are both fine, as there are five survivors.

Vanessa, whose Orange County family home is located, claimed that authorities refused to give her further information over the telephone, telling her that she had to drive to the nearest police station to the crash site which was approximately an hour and a quarter away in Malibu. Rich Fury / WireImage

39-year old described her difficult journey to the station. She was denied a helicopter because of bad weather conditions. After much back and forth, Vanessa stated that Rob Pelinka, the general manager of Lakers, drove her and Natalia to station. Chris Delmas / AFP via Getty Images

Vanessa stated that she arrived at the police station around 1:30 p.m. and met Natalia to wait for an update about Kobe and Gianna. She said that Alex Villanueva, Los Angeles County Sheriff, informed her that they had both died. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Vanessa was afraid that drones, helicopters, and fans would take photos of her husband, and daughter. She told the sheriff, "If you can't bring your husband and baby back then please ensure no one takes photographs." Please protect the area. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Vanessa stated that sheriff said to her: All is well. The area is safe. The area is protected by an umbrella.

During the deposition Vanessa was asked by an attorney for Los Angeles County to explain what emotional distress meant to Vanessa. She also had to recall in detail whether she'd seen the graphic photos taken after the crash. Axelle / FilmMagic

Emotional distress is when I feel the need to grieve the loss of my husband, child and partner. However, for the rest my life, I will have to be afraid that the photographs of my husband, child and spouse might be published. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

She continued, "I don't want my daughters or me to ever see their remains in this matter." It is not right that these photographs were taken at all. I'm already experiencing this pain and loss.

Vanessa was told by the attorney who asked Vanessa repeatedly which photos she had seen that it wasn't harassment. It's just an action. It's just a lawsuit.

Vanessa replied, "I don't want to talk about that." This is not the right topic. If there were no photographs, I wouldn't be here today.

E!! E! According to the transcript, Vanessa said that she covered the camera with her hands and didn't want anyone to see. Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images

Vanessa explained that she needed to retrieve the clothes that Gianna and Kobe were wearing at the time of the crash. She didn't want anyone to see them. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

She said that Gianna and Kobe had suffered a lot. If their clothes reflect their bodies, it is hard to imagine someone being callous about them and our friends and sharing the images as though they were animals.

Later, Vanessa was asked by Frederic J. if she sought monetary damages in her lawsuit. She replied, "That's up to you jury." Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images

She said that she didn't think it was fair that Im here today fighting for accountability. This is because no one should have to suffer this kind of pain or fear from their families. This is unacceptable.

Vanessa spoke out last year about having to ban fan accounts on social networks after her explore page was overloaded with images of Gianna and Kobe. Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

After the tragic deaths, Vanessa and Natalia changed their accounts to private and sent similar messages explaining why they had decided to close many fan accounts. This photo is on Instagram Instagram: @vanessabryant

We had to remove fan pages from @NataliaBryant's website because it was difficult to see photos of our beloved Gigi or Kobe in every square on our explore pages. Vanessa shared this via Instagram. The algorithm has been changed by blocking fan pages.

Natalia also shared a similar message. She wrote, "Thank you all so much" for all your support. You may have noticed that I recently switched to a private account. Because they keep reposting my photos, my mom and I had to block fan pages. It's 10x more difficult to cope with the loss.