AceShowbiz - Vanessa Bryant is suing Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva for allegedly staging a cover-up and destroying evidence of personal photos of the bodies of her late husband Kobe and their daughter Gianna at the scene of the helicopter crash that took their lives.
According to the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, "no fewer than 8 sheriff's deputies at the crash site, pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches."
"The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification," the filing alleges, claiming the photos were the subject of conversation within the sheriff's department.
It goes on to state that the officers didn't keep the snaps confidential, with one even reportedly showing the photos to a woman he was trying to impress at a bar. The bartender heard the conversation and called the sheriff's department, the documents state.
Vanessa alleges Villanueva tried to cover it all up by going to the Sheriff's substation that responded to the crash and telling deputies if they deleted the photos they would not face discipline.
She insists the purpose of his talk was to ensure the destruction of evidence and that he did not tell the families about the photos - they only learned of it in the media when the story broke that deputies took them.
The news was particularly upsetting to Vanessa as she had personally asked Sheriff's Department bosses on the day of the tragedy to request a no-fly zone over the area, a ban she had considered to be of "critical importance" to prevent the capture of unauthorised images out of respect for all of the victims and their loved ones.
"Ms. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online," the papers continue.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including punitive damages, for the emotional distress caused. It's not the first lawsuit Vanessa has filed over Kobe's tragic loss - she is also suing officials at the helicopter company for wrongful death.