Almost one month after Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash, the basketball player’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, filed a lawsuit against the helicopter company, Island Express, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan, involved in the crash, TMZ reported on Monday, February 24.
In the lawsuit, the 37-year-old claimed the aircraft was not fit to fly in the first place due to poor weather conditions — it was extremely foggy the day of the crash. On January 26, Bryant, Gianna, Payton Chester, 13, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 36, John Altobelli, 57, Christina Mauser, 38, Sarah Chester, 46, and Zobayan, 50, were on the way to Thousand Oaks for basketball practice at Bryant’s Mamba Academy, but unfortunately, they never made it there.
The lawsuit says the pilot was going 180 miles per hour in the extreme fog — just moments before the helicopter went down in Calabasas, California. According to the lawsuit, the pilot didn’t take into consideration the weather prior to the flight and before takeoff. Apparently, when he knew about the hazardous conditions, not only did he not terminate the flight, but he also wasn’t in control of the helicopter.
The papers also noted that Zobayan had a FAA violation in May 2015 after he flew into a busy airspace near Los Angeles International Airport at the time.
Ultimately, Vanessa claimed the pilot and Island Express were reckless before the flight and during. Vanessa is asking for damages — for loss of love, affection, care, society, service, comfort, support, burial and funeral expenses and more.
It’s interesting that Vanessa filed the same day the “Celebration of Life” event is taking place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 24.
Earlier that same day, Vanessa took to Instagram to show her friend Sydney Leroux’s new tattoo in honor of her late daughter. “#2, Leroux. Thank you for honoring my Gigi,” she captioned a photo of the new ink — the No. 2 — on social media. “I love you @SydneyLeroux.”
Clearly, Vanessa is having a hard time adjusting to her new normal. “I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone,” she captioned a video of her daughter laughing with a friend on the basketball court on February 10. “I can’t process both at the same time.”
“It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone, but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me,” she continued. “It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my three daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi, but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri.”
We are thinking of everyone during this tough time.
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