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Opening statements in Vanessa Bryant's 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 will begin today in downtown

Source: Luis Sinco / Getty

Vanessa Bryant continues to suffer after the death of Kobe Bryant.

The widow has been fighting in court over the leaking of pictures of Kobe and her daughter Gianna’s body after the deadly helicopter crash in January 2020.

While taking the stand, Bryant recalled when she learned from a Los Angeles Times report that county sheriff’s deputies were sharing the extremely graphic and morbid photos.

“I just remember not wanting to react cause the girls were in the room and said, ‘I can’t do this …,’ And I bolted out of the house, and I ran to the side of the house so the girls couldn’t see me. I wanted to run… down the block and just scream. I can’t escape my body. I can’t escape what I feel,” she testified as she became more emotional, reports ESPN. “I was blindsided again, devastated, hurt. I trusted them. I trusted them not to do these things.”

The federal civil lawsuit was filed alongside Chris Chester –whose wife and daughter also died in the crash– and alleged that LA County completely invaded the grieving families’ privacy and “inflicted emotional stress” by not properly handling the photos taken at the scene.

While on the stand, she recounted her heartbreaking conversation with Los ANgles County Sheriff Alex Villuenava, who informed her of Kobe and Gianna’s death.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Bryant. Is there anything I can do for you?” Bryant said Villanueva asked, to which she responded, “If you can’t bring my babies back, then please secure the area. I’m concerned about paparazzi.”

She recalled him saying that he would but stayed in the room and only notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after she reiterated her request as being urgent.

In court last week, it was revealed that one off-duty deputy was showing the gruesome pictures of the crash site on his phone to a bartender, which led to an official complaint getting filed by a nearby patron. It was also alleged that firefighters shared the pictures with each other at an awards banquet.

Now that Bryant knows the images aren’t secured, she fears that she may possibly see them, which induces anxiety and panic attacks.

“The grief is from their loss,” Bryant said. “The fear and anxiety is from those photos.”