Los Angeles County is reportedly demanding the widow of Kobe Bryant have a psychiatric evaluation to determine the cause of her grief and distress.
In January of 2020, the NBA great and his 13-year old daughter, Gianna, were killed in a helicopter crash, along with seven other passengers.
Bryant's grieving widow, Vanessa Bryant, was left further devastated upon learning first responders from the Los Angeles county sheriff and fire departments took photos of the aftermath of the crash, including it's victims, on their personal devices.
This was after Vanessa had personally asked the crash sight be a designated no fly zone for protection from the paparazzi.
Vanessa subsequently filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office over the photos, which a number of first responders reportedly shared amongst friends and family.
As Vanessa's attorney claimed at the time, the taking and sharing of those photographs was in "deliberate indifference" to Vanessa and her family's right to privacy.
"In taking these photographs and at several points thereafter, the Sheriff's Department has chosen to act reprehensibly, and it continues to demonstrate that it either does not understand or does not care about the pain it has caused."
"This lawsuit seeks to impose accountability for that."
Vanessa went on to claim the leaked, graphic photos caused her "emotional distress."
But LA county seems to need firmer proof her distress was caused by the photos and not simply by losing her husband and child.
While the order has not yet been mandated LA County claimed in their legal filing the psychiatric evaluation was 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."
LA County also claims in the filing the photos were only shared amongst a small group of people, all Los Angeles County employees and never made public.
Attorneys for Bryant and her family, however, called the request for a psych exam "bullying" and a "scorched earth discovery tactic"
"Apparently, in the County's estimation, top officials should be shielded from providing any testimony, but the victims should not only withstand the emotional toll of a full-day deposition, but also submit to an eight-hour involuntary psychiatric examination simply because they had the audacity to demand accountability."
Twitter users were equally horrified at the actions of LA County, with many claiming this would only add to Bryant's ongoing grief.
Several also expressed their horror LA County were requiring evidence of Vanessa's grief.
Vanessa Bryant has yet to comment on the filing or the examination.
Another hearing, where a decision regarding the exam will likely be made, is scheduled for November 5.
The trial is expected to begin in February of 2022.