Ciara and Monica Appear to Support Vanessa Bryant in Trial Over Crash Site Photos

Los Angeles, CA - *EXCLUSIVE* - This morning Vanessa Bryant arrived in court with her daughter Natalia, as she arrived the paparazzi said good luck to her in Spanish and she responded by saying Gracias.  This is the third week of testimony but for the defendant's witnesses.  Photo: Vanessa Bryant, Natalia Bryant BACKGRID USA 22 AUGUST 2022 US: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com please Post*

Los Angeles, CA – *EXCLUSIVE* – This morning Vanessa Bryant arrived in court with her daughter Natalia, as she arrived the paparazzi said good luck to her in Spanish and she responded by saying Gracias. This is the third week of testimony but for the defendant’s witnesses. Photo: Vanessa Bryant, Natalia Bryant BACKGRID USA 22 AUGUST 2022 US: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com please Post*

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Vanessa Bryant had a support system behind her as she headed to court on Monday.

Kobe Bryant’s widow, 40, was joined by friends Ciara and Monica, as well as 19-year-old daughter Natalia Diamante, at her trial over the graphic images of Kobe, their daughter Gianna and the other seven victims of the fatal January 2020. helicopter crash.

The team sat behind her during an internal officer’s deposition at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and even escorted her outside when she needed to take some time out.

RELATED: Shaquille O’Neal Shows Support For Vanessa Bryant In Ongoing Lawsuit: ‘I Feel For Her’

Shaquille O’Neal previously showed his support for Vanessa during an interview with Entertainment Tonightpraising her for “holding people accountable” and noting that she “couldn’t imagine what she’s going through.”

“I feel her,” he said. “We’ve never talked much [but] we always had respect for each other. Every time I see her it’s a hug, it’s a laugh.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal attends the opening night of Shaquille's At LA Live at LA Live on March 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images);  LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Vanessa Bryant attends the MGM Premiere in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 09: NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal attends the opening night of Shaquille’s At LA Live at LA Live on March 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images); LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 18: Vanessa Bryant attends the MGM Premiere in Los Angeles

Michael Tullberg/Getty; Amy Sussman/Getty

RELATED: Inside Vanessa Bryant’s heartbreaking and powerful testimony about the deaths of Kobe and Gianna

In her ongoing trial against Los Angeles County, Vanessa took the stand Friday to give an emotional three-hour testimony about what she experienced after the deaths of her husband and daughter.

She explained that she felt helpless when members of the LASD and other emergency personnel allegedly shared graphic images, causing her to “live in fear every day of being on social media and those photos showing up.”

“I remember not wanting to react because the girls were in the room,” Vanessa said, referring to the three other children she shares with Kobe — Capri, 3, Bianca, 5, and Natalia.

She added: “I left the house and I broke down and I cried and I just wanted to run down the block and scream. I can’t escape my body. I can’t escape what I’m feeling.”

Vanessa is suing Los Angeles County for emotional distress and mental anguish over the alleged images. At the time of the crash, Kobe and Gianna were traveling to a youth basketball game with seven others.

Vanessa Bryant arrives in Federal Court to testify Friday in the lawsuit over graphic photos taken by first responders at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, basketball legend Kobe Bryant, their teenage daughter and seven others.  Bryant is pictured arriving at US Federal Court on Friday, August 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Vanessa Bryant arrives in Federal Court to testify Friday in the lawsuit over graphic photos taken by first responders at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, basketball legend Kobe Bryant, their teenage daughter and seven others. Bryant is pictured arriving at US Federal Court on Friday, August 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty

RELATED: Vanessa Bryant Says She ‘Shattered’ After Learning About Crash Site Photos Kobe, Gianna: ‘I Can’t Escape’

Vanessa and Chris Chester, who lost his wife Sarah and 13-year-old daughter Payton in the crash, allege that photos of the victims’ bodies were shared publicly on at least 28 devices belonging to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and more than a dozen first responders. correspondents.

During his testimony, Chris recalled learning about the crash while driving to the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station after messages to Peyton and Sarah went unanswered.

“A lot of things were going through my mind, but I thought I was going to a hospital,” she explained, believing that Peyton and Sarah would be injured but still alive. But the station was disturbingly quiet, he said, and “I was starting to get an eerie feeling.” He was taken to an area with the other families, including Vanessa, where they were eventually told there were no survivors.

“It was heavy,” he said. “My life will never be the same.”

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Chris said he was told all photos taken by the medical examiner and the National Transportation Safety Board – which investigate plane crashes – would be safe. But he said he was in disbelief after hearing that members of the sheriff’s department had taken and publicly shared photos of the crash scene.

Since then, Chris said, he has suffered great anxiety at the thought of images being leaked to the public. He also suffered from depression since the accident, she said.

During the trial, former Los Angeles Fire Chief Brian Jordan said the trauma of seeing the remains of the crash prompted him to retire. Jordan is accused of taking graphic, carefully cropped photos of body parts on stage, but testified that he only did as he was instructed.

“It was scary and that’s what made me stop working,” he said.

LA County had tried to dismiss Vanessa’s lawsuit in December 2021, but a judge denied their request. In her statement filed in response to a motion, Vanessa said she felt “immense pain and agony.”

The January 2020 helicopter crash also claimed the lives of 14-year-old Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Christina Mauser, 38, and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.

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