Believe it or not, it’s been a year since the horrific and tragic day that beloved Laker super-star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter crash in the hills of Calabasas.
Bryant’s legacy far surpasses that of a legendary athlete with five NBA championship rings. He was a man who will be remembered for his unending work ethic, his enthusiastic involvement as a youth coach, an Academy Award winner, a businessman, a #girldad, and the president, CEO and founder of “Mamba mentality.”
Tomorrow (January 26) KNX will be observing 24 seconds of silence to remember Kobe, his daughter and the other 7 people who died in the crash.
Kobe’s wife Vanessa said of her husband’s death, “Let me be real — grief is a messed up cluster of emotions,” the 38-year-old shared. “One day, you’re in the moment laughing and the next day you don’t feel like being alive.”
Since the day Kobe’s helicopter crashed, a slew of lawsuits and measures have been filed.
In February of 2020 Vanessa filed a wrongful death suit against the helicopter company that crashed and killed her husband and eight others. Attorneys for the estate of Ara Zobayan, the pilot who was flying the helicopter at the time of the crash, say the civil case against their client should not be held in Los Angeles, as they would not be able to receive an "impartial" jury.
The suit was filed on the same day that thousands of fans gathered at the Staples Center to pay homage to Bryant. The Washington Post reported that the lawsuit alleges that the helicopter company, Island Express, was “vicariously liable” for any and all actions of pilot, including his “negligent and careless piloting.”
After Bryant’s death, eight Los Angeles Sheriff deputies were accused of taking or sharing graphic photos of the scene. Prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom in September of 2020 to approve legislation that makes it a crime for first responders to take unauthorized photos of deceased people at the scene of an accident or crime.
Later in 2020, Vanessa Bryant accused her mother of attempting to "extort a financial windfall" from her, following the death of husband, by filing a lawsuit asking for back pay she claims she is owed.
The 68-year-old also alleged that prior to his death, Kobe “promised to take care” of her “for the rest of her life.”
In the end, despite the drama, tributes, and lawsuits, Los Angeles lost one of its greatest and most adored residents. And nothing can unchange the horror of that day a year ago.
“I want to say this for people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss,” Vanessa Bryant said recently. “Find your reason to live. I know it’s hard. I look at my daughters and I try to push through that feeling for them.”
Kobe Bryant died along with Ara Zobayan, Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Gianna Bryant, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and Christina Mauser.