Vanessa Bryant Recalls Learning of Kobe and Gianna’s Deaths From ‘RIP Kobe’ Social Media Notifications

Share on Facebook

It feels like only yesterday the world learned of the tragic deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, and now Vanessa Bryant has shared the moment she found out the heartbreaking news…

Not only was that the moment that turned her world upside down…

The way she found out about their deaths was beyond devastating…

January 26th, 2020, was a dark day for the world.

NBA great, Kobe Bryant, and his thirteen-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, were killed when their helicopter crashed into a California hillside.

It had started as a routine trip to one of Gianna’s basketball games.

Kobe, forty-one, and his daughter, who was herself a budding basketball player, were accompanied in the private helicopter by Orange Coast College baseball coach, John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, their teenage daughter, Alyssa, Sarah Chester, and her daughter, Payton; and Christina Mauser, an assistant coach.

Many believed that Gianna was set to follow in her father’s footsteps.

From childhood, she would participate in the team warm-ups, and, going by her skill displayed on the court, she was set to have an illustrious basketball career ahead of her.

Their flight took off in clear skies in Orange County…

But it eventually encountered fog so thick that it nearly blinded drivers on the freeway. Visibility was so poor, in fact, that the Los Angeles Police Department had grounded its fleet of helicopters.

In his last message before the crash, the pilot told air traffic control he was climbing to avoid a cloud layer…

And witnesses on the ground reported seeing the helicopter flying through a layer of clouds and fog seconds before it crashed.

It has since emerged that the helicopter fell at a rate of about twenty-three-miles per hour…

And slammed into the hill in a “high-energy impact crash,” according to the N.T.S.B.

Nobody on board survived.

Footage from the aftermath of the crash was quick to circulate online…

And, even more quickly, the rumors regarding Kobe and Gianna started to emerge.

It was truly harrowing…

Not only because Kobe opted for helicopters as his most regular use of transport, but that the very aircraft that had crashed had actually transported him to his last ever Lakers game in 2016.

The tributes were quick to flood in from all over the globe…

But, of course, all focus was quickly directed to Kobe’s surviving wife and daughters.

He left behind his wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their 3 remaining daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.

In the aftermath of the accident, Vanessa wrote on Instagram: “I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong.”

And now, almost 2 years on, Vanessa has shared the moment she learned of the death of her husband and daughter…

Vanessa is currently suing the LA police department for emotional distress after it was discovered officers at the crash site had taken and shared pictures of the human remains at the site.

However, according to BuzzFeed, lawyers hit back at Vanessa’s claims…

Stating that the photos weren’t “given to the media, and were not posted on the internet” and that she would need to prove that the pictures taken resulted in her emotional distress.

Following on from her lawsuit, which was filed in September last year, Vanessa has shared the moment she found out about the tragic crash…

During her Zoom testimony on Tuesday, she recalled the events that took place prior to her finding out about their deaths.

According to a transcript obtained by The New York Times, Vanessa said her assistant informed her of the helicopter accident at 11:30 am…

“[Our assistant] told me that there was an accident and that there were five survivors,” Vanessa said. “And I asked her if Gianna and Kobe were okay. And she said she wasn’t sure. She didn’t know.”

Around the same time Vanessa was told of the accident, TMZ had already released the news of Kobe’s death…

Vanessa went on to explain that she tried to call her husband multiple times: “I called my mom and I asked her to spot me with my daughters Bianca and Capris. I told her I needed her to get to the house. I needed to get to LA.”

She continued…

“As soon as I was on the phone with my mom, I was holding onto my phone, 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.'”

After being innundated with worrying social media posts, Vanessa picked her daughter Natalia up from acting class and headed to LA…

“I picked [Natalia] up and I told her that Daddy and Gigi were in an accident. Not to worry. ‘I’m sure they’re fine because there are five survivors. And I’m sure Daddy and Gigi are fine,'” she said.

According to Vanessa, police wouldn’t give her any information about the crash, and instead told her to drive to the police station in Malibu closest to the crash site…

Over an hour and a half later at 1:30 pm, Vanessa and Natalia were finally given an update on the crash, where Sheriff Alex Villanueva informed them of the devastating news that they had both died.

After leaning of their tragic deaths, Vanessa told the sheriff…

“If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, please make sure no one takes photographs of them. Please secure the area.”

After which he told her: “All is good. The area is secure. There’s an umbrella over the area.”

During the deposition, LA County lawyers asked Vanessa to describe what “emotional distress” has been caused and whether she’s personally seen the disturbing pictures taken…

“Emotional distress means that not only do I have to grieve to the loss of my husband and child, but for the rest of my life I’m going to have to fear that these photographs of my husband and child will be leaked,” she said.

Vanessa went on to say…

“I do not want my little girls or me to ever have to see their remains in that matter. Nor do I think it’s right that the photographs were taken in the first place because it’s already tough enough that I have to experience this heartache and this loss.”

What a devastating thing to have to prove. We hope Vanessa and her daughters can heal from this unimaginable tragedy.