by Stella Chan | CNN
A judge has moved her motion to force the Los Angeles sheriff and fire chief to step down in connection with the alleged leaked photos of the murder of her husband Kobe Bryant at the trial of Vanessa Bryant.
In Tuesday’s ruling, Judge Charles F. Eck said Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Fire Chief Daryl Osby have “unique first-hand, non-repetitive knowledge” related to the case.
The basketball legend’s widow is suing the county, claiming that photos taken at the crash site were shared by sheriff’s deputy and fire officers in settings irrelevant to the investigation, including a bar.
Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed when a helicopter crashed on a hill in Calabasas, California, on January 26, 2020.
Bryant said in a statement earlier this month that she learned of the deaths of her husband and daughter Gigi via social media notifications. According to a court filing, the county wants to force the widow to undergo a mental exam to rule out emotional distress over the leaked photos.
The jamabandi will be limited to four hours each so as not to distract them from their official duties, according to the ruling.
Department spokesman John Satterfield said in a statement that Villanueva “looks forward to presenting her testimony and bringing clarity to the decisions she made, which reportedly led to no photographs ever taken in broad daylight.”
CNN has requested comment from Bryant’s attorney, county attorney and the fire department.
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