If Vanessa Bryant wants her lawsuit against Los Angeles County to move forward, she is going to have to submit her mental health records to the court, a judge ruled Tuesday (November 16).
Bryant, the widow of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, is suing the County for leaking photos from the helicopter crash site where her husband, 13-year-old daughter, and seven other people died. Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick ruled that Bryant and her therapist must provide records going as far back as 2017. The deadline to produce the documents is November 29.
Earlier this month, the same judge denied the County’s request to have Bryant undergo an independent psychiatric evaluation to determine if her emotional distress stemmed from the leaked photos or the crash itself. The judge called the request “untimely.” Bryant alleges that she is suffering from “severe emotional distress” because of the leaks.
“We are gratified that the court has granted our motion for access to her medical records, as it is a standard request in lawsuits where a plaintiff demands millions of dollars for claims of emotional distress,” Skip Miller, a lawyer representing the County, told CNN.
According to court documents filed this week, the County cannot be prevented from “obtaining relevant, nonprivileged, proportional discovery concerning the causation, and the severity, of (Plaintiff’s) alleged emotional distress, including appropriate discovery into any asserted overlap or relationship between Plaintiff’s emotional distress resulting from the helicopter crash and Plaintiff’s emotional distress allegedly resulting from the subsequent photographs.”
Bryant seeks compensatory and punitive damages to “make an example of [the defendants] to the community.” The trial is still scheduled for February 2022.