Vanessa Bryant donating $16M to Mamba & Mambacita Foundation, TMZ reports

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Laker legend Kobe Bryant, is donating the money she was awarded from her lawsuit against Los Angeles County to the Mamba & Mambacita Foundation, TMZ reports. 

On Wednesday, a federal jury ordered Los Angeles County to pay $31 million in damages over the actions of first responders who snapped and shared gruesome photos from the scene of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people.

The combined damages were awarded to Vanessa and co-plaintiff Chris Chester, whose wife Sarah and 13-year-old daughter Payton also died in the January 26, 2020, crash on a Calabasas hillside.

The jury awarded Bryant $16 million and Chester $15 million for past and future mental anguish. While the jury held the sheriff's department liable for maintaining a practice of sharing photos taken at accident or crime scenes, the county fire department was not found to have such a custom. 

Of the $31 million, $19 million will be paid by the sheriff's department, with the rest due from the county fire department.

RELATED: Kobe Bryant lawsuit: LA County ordered to pay $31 million in damages over crash scene photos

According to TMZ, Bryant will be donating her money to the foundation. 

Bryant said she was giving her portion to the foundation as a way to "to shine a light on Kobe and Gigi's legacy," The Los Angeles Times reported.

"From the beginning, Vanessa Bryant has sought only accountability, but our legal system does not permit her to force better policies, more training or officer discipline," her attorney Luis Li said in a statement given to the Times.

The Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation is a nonprofit organization "dedicated to creating positive impact for underserved athletes and boys & girls in sports." 

Following their death, the Mamba Sports Foundation renamed themselves to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation in order to honor Gigi. 


Over 9,800 youths, 472 veterans and more than 1,000 volunteers have been impacted by the work of the foundation, according to its website. 

The organization said it has no plans of slowing down and will continue to carry out Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s legacy through "charitable endeavors in sports."

City News Service contributed to this report