Is Vanessa Bryant OK? Kobe Bryant's widow forced to take psychiatric exam to prove grief
Los Angeles County is keen on forcing Kobe Bryant's widow Vanessa Bryant into a psychiatric examination to evaluate her mental state. The said exam will assess her anguish regarding her husband and daughter's tragic death in a helicopter crash. The decision comes in toe with Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against the county of Los Angeles, the L.A. County Fire Department, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, and multiple deputies, claiming that their graphic and unauthorized photos of the helicopter crash caused her ample emotional distress.
Though the order is not mandated yet, it is highly likely that Vanessa Bryant might be forced to undergo the psychiatric evaluation — a decision which is being heavily criticized. According to the legal filing submitted by LA County, "Despite putting their mental condition front and center in this case, Plaintiffs refuse to submit to independent medical examinations (IMEs). The County brings this motion to compel IMEs of the Plaintiffs, which are necessary to evaluate the existence, extent and nature of Plaintiffs’ alleged emotional injuries. Plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims."
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The fatal helicopter crash that claimed the lives of NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, took place on January 26, 2020. Kobe's grieving wife Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit last year against the Los Angeles County for negligence and invasion of privacy. She also accused the county sheriff and fire department of improper usage of graphic photos from the crash site, adding that she was emotionally disturbed by the images. Some of the photos even showed graphic remains of the bodies at the crash site.
However, the LA County insists that her agony might have stemmed from the grief over losing her loved ones, and not from the crash photos being disseminated among a relatively small group of people. They further insist that the photos in question were never shared in public and were only circulated among other County employees. Now, they wish for Vanessa Bryant to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation to assess the exact source of her anguish and distress.
Meanwhile, Bryant's legal team slammed the suggestion as a "scorched earth" approach, and accused the County of overreaching and adopting extreme means to defend their conduct. Vanessa Bryant herself has not made any comments on the possibility of the psychiatric exam.