California passes law to prevent photo scandals after Bryant’s death

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

California has a lot of celebrities that live in the state. Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new law that prevents future photo scandals when a celebrity — or anybody — dies.

With this new bill — which was signed on Monday — it is now a crime when first responders take photos while at the scene of a deceased individual. The bill covers if it’s an accident or at a crime scene.

Gavin Newsom (Getty Images)

This comes into play following a scandal that came to light after the January 26th crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others in Calabasas, California. Bryant’s death in a helicopter sent shockwaves around the world.

Several law enforcement professionals took pictures of the scene, then told others. At least eight deputies had photos of the crash site. 

“That was my No. 1 priority, was to make sure those photos no longer exist,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva in March. “We identified the deputies involved, they came to the station on their own and had admitted they had taken them and they had deleted them. And we’re content that those involved did that.”

Bryant’s widow Vanessa Bryant has filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, as a result of the photo scandal. She is seeking an unknown amount of damages for negligence, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, the lawsuit says.

“This lawsuit is about accountability and about preventing this disgraceful behavior from happening to other families in the future, who have suffered a loss,” Bryant’s attorney Luis Li said, according to KTLA 5. “The department formally refused Mrs. Bryant’s requests for information saying it was ‘unable to assist’ with any inquiry and had no legal obligation to do so. It’s now for a court to tell the department what its obligations are.”

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