AceShowbiz - Kobe Bryant's widow has been asked to undergo a psychiatric exam by Los Angeles County officials keen to evaluate the extent of her alleged emotional injuries from her husband's helicopter crash.
According to USA Today, Vanessa Bryant previously refused to submit to independent medical examinations, despite putting her mental health following the 2020 tragedy at the center of a negligence and invasion of privacy lawsuit.
Attorneys representing the County have requested the evaluation so they can gauge the extent of her reported emotional distress regarding helicopter crash images, which were shared with the media.
Vanessa has accused the county sheriff and fire department officials of improperly sharing photos from the crash site.
In newly-filed documents, the defence team writes, "Despite putting their mental condition front and center in this case, Plaintiffs refuse to submit to independent medical examinations (IMEs)."
"The County brings this motion to compel IMEs of the Plaintiffs, which are necessary to evaluate the existence, extent and nature of Plaintiffs' alleged emotional injuries. Plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims."
Bryant initially sued in September 2020, and she is seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages.
Her lawyers have blasted the defence team's request for a medical evaluation, calling it a "bullying" tactic and writing, "Unable to defend the indefensible conduct of its employees who took and shared horrific photographs of Plaintiffs' deceased loved ones... the County has resorted to scorched-earth discovery tactics designed to bully Plaintiffs into abandoning their pursuit of accountability."
A judge will rule on the matter next month (November 2021), ahead of a trial scheduled for February 2022.