Vanessa Bryant has pledged to donate the $16 million judgment she was awarded Wednesday to the foundation dedicated to her late husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna, both of whom were killed in the Jan. 2020 helicopter crash.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Bryant will give the money to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports foundation “to shine a light on Kobe and Gigi’s legacy.” The non-profit, founded in 2016 as the Mamba Sports Foundation, and renamed after the deaths of Kobe and Gianna, offers sports education to underserved athletes.
On Wednesday, Vanessa and her co-plaintiff Chris Chester, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, were awarded $31 million total by a jury in their civil lawsuit that alleged that the Los Angeles County sheriff and fire officials violated their constitutional rights by snapping and sharing graphic “souvenir” photos showing the remains of the victims after their helicopter crash.
“From the beginning, Vanessa Bryant has sought only accountability, but our legal system does not permit her to force better policies, more training or officer discipline,” Bryant’s attorney Luis Li said in a statement.
“Those measures are the responsibility of the sheriff’s and fire departments — responsibilities that Mrs. Bryant’s efforts have exposed as woefully deficient, even giving amnesty to the wrongdoers.”
The jury’s decision in the trial coincided with Kobe Bryant Day on Aug. 24, a day chosen by the Los Angeles Lakers to honor the NBA legend and chosen because of the two jersey numbers he wore on the team, 8 and 24. Aug. 23 also would have marked Bryant’s 44th birthday.