Vanessa Bryant speaks during a celebration of life for her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter Gianna in Los Angeles.
Vanessa Bryant speaks during a celebration of life for her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter Gianna in Los Angeles.Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo
  • A federal judge ruled that Vanessa Bryant must turn over private therapy records from 2017 onward.
  • Bryant sued LA County over leaked photos of Kobe and Gianna Bryant's January 2020 helicopter crash.
  • The County sought her records from 2010 onward, but the judge altered it for "proportionality."

According to new documents from Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against Los Angeles County, a federal judge ruled that Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, has to turn over private therapy records dating from 2017.

Responding to a previous motion made by LA County, Judge Charles Eick said, in documents filed on Monday, that Bryant would have to turn over private therapy records from January 2017 onward by November 29. 

In September of last year, Vanessa Bryant sued the LA Sheriff's Department, the fire department, the County, and eight individual officers, following reports that first responders took and shared photos of the gruesome crash site where Kobe her daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, and seven others died in January 2020.

Bryant accused the deputies of "negligence" and "intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of her right to privacy," the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.

Currently, parties in the case have until November 29 to finish the discovery processes. In his Monday ruling, the judge told the parties that Bryant and her therapist would have more than enough time to turn over records. 

LA County had initially asked for Bryant's private therapy records from 2010 onward. 

"The requests are plainly relevant to the claims and defenses herein and, as narrowed by this order, the requests are proportional to the needs of the case," Eick wrote in the Monday ruling. 

"Plaintiff has waived her psychotherapist-patient privilege by placing into controversy the reportedly extraordinary, continuing emotional distress allegedly resulting from Defendants' photograph-related actions or inactions," Eick wrote in the ruling. 

In previous filings, Bryant's attorneys have stated they have conducted close to 50 depositions with various Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies, fire captains, and LA County staff, and LA County claimed to have conducted a forensic electronic exam on the electronic devices of staff who took photos of the crash.

In early November, Eick denied a request to compel Vanessa Bryant to undergo a psychiatric exam to prove that the photo leak, and not the crash itself caused "emotional distress." Eick then said the County's request was "untimely."

"The County continues to have nothing but the deepest sympathy for the enormous grief Ms. Bryant suffered as a result of the tragic helicopter accident," Skip Miller, partner at the Miller Barondess law firm and outside counsel for LA County, told Insider. "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."

Attorneys representing Vanessa Bryant did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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