Vanessa Bryant to Donate Proceeds From $16 Million Lawsuit Win to Charity

Vanessa Bryant was awarded $16 million over the sharing of photos taken at the helicopter crash site where her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna died. Here's what she plans to do with the money.

By Corinne Heller Aug 27, 2022 4:44 PMTags
Watch: Vanessa Bryant Speaks Out After $16 Mil Victory Against L.A. County

Vanessa Bryant is giving back to honor the legacy of her late husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna following her legal victory against Los Angeles County over the sharing of photos taken at the helicopter crash site where they died.

The late NBA icon's wife plans to donate proceeds from the $16 million judgement she won this week to the nonprofit Mamba and Mambacita Sports foundation, her attorney told the Los Angeles Times Aug. 25. The charity offers sports education to underserved athletes. The group was originally named the Mamba Sports Foundation after Kobe's nickname Black Mamba and was renamed after the crash to honor both the Los Angeles Lakers legend and Gianna.

E! News has reached out to Vanessa's attorney and has not heard back.

In 2020, four months after Kobe, Gianna, 13, and seven others were killed when their helicopter crashed into a hill in Calabasas, Calif., Vanessa sued Los Angeles County, alleging invasion of privacy and emotional distress, claiming first responders took and shared unauthorized photos of the human remains at the crash site in unofficial settings.

Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash: The Nine Lives Lost

On Aug. 24, a jury ruled in her favor unanimously, awarding her $16 million and awarding $15 million to co-plaintiff Chris Chester, whose wife Sarah and daughter Payton, 13, were among those killed in the crash.

Getty Images

Vanessa plans to donate from her proceeds to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports foundation as a way to "to shine a light on Kobe and Gigi's legacy," he attorney told the Los Angeles Times in a statement, without specifying the exact amount of money the group would receive.

Vanessa, also a mom to daughters Natalia Bryant, 19, Bianka, 5, and Capri, 3, had testified during the 11-day trial. After the verdict was read, she wept in court and later exchanged a hug with Chris. She later shared an Instagram photo of herself with Kobe and Gianna, writing, "All for you! I love you! JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi!"

Also following the verdict, L.A. County attorney Mira Hashmall said in a statement, "We are grateful for the jury's hard work in this case. While we disagree with the jury's findings as to the County's liability, we believe the monetary award shows that jurors didn't believe the evidence supported the Plaintiffs' request of $75 million for emotional distress."

The statement said they will discuss next steps with their client, adding, "Meanwhile, we hope the Bryant and Chester families continue to heal from their tragic loss."

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