A Los Angeles federal judge on Tuesday granted the request of Vanessa Bryant to compel the county's sheriff and fire chief to answer questions under oath about the leaked photos of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash scene.

According to USA Today, Kobe Bryant's widow has won another legal battle in her lawsuit against Los Angeles County after U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Eick granted Vanessa's request to compel the pretrial deposition testimony of County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and County Fire Chief Daryl Osby.

2 Los Angeles County Officials Face Deposition in Vanessa Bryant's Lawsuit

Due to the court order, the Los Angeles County sheriff and fire chief would be forced to answer questions about the photos of late Kobe Bryant and his daughter at the helicopter crash site that sheriff's deputies allegedly circulated without Vanessa Bryant's consent.

Based on the report, the judge sided with Vanessa and said her purpose in seeking the depositions "is neither abusive nor harassing."

In his order, Eick further noted that Villanueva and Osby likely have "discoverable information" and "unique first-hand, non-repetitive knowledge" relevant to the issues in the case. The judge added that such knowledge and information was not entirely obtainable from other sources.

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Vanessa Bryant Sues Los Angeles County for Kobe Bryant Crash Scene's Leaked Photos

Vanessa Bryant has sued Los Angeles County for invasion of privacy and negligence. The wife of late Kobe Bryant claimed that the county sheriff's and fire department employees improperly shared images of human remains from a helicopter crash that killed the NBA legend, their 13-year-old daughter, and seven other individuals in January 2020.

According to the suit, "no fewer than eight sheriff's deputies at the crash site pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches."

Vanessa said she suffered great emotional distress after learning of the photos, adding that they compounded the loss of her husband and daughter.

Eick has limited the depositions to four hours each to minimize the effect it might have on the performance of the sheriff and fire chief's official tasks, Los Angeles Daily News reported. The two officials are not named defendants in the case, but the sheriff's and fire departments are.

In a statement, Skip Miller, a lawyer defending the county, said although he disagreed with the judge's ruling, Villanueva and Osby would comply.

Miller added that the testimony of the two officials will not change the fact that there's "no evidence any photos taken by County first responders have ever been publicly disseminated."

Lawyers representing Los Angeles County have asked a judge to order Vanessa Bryant to undergo a psychiatric exam to know whether her distress was caused by the leaked photos or the unexpected loss of her husband and daughter.

They alleged that Vanessa and other plaintiffs in the case could not be suffering distress from "photos that they have never seen and that were never publicly disseminated."

But the lawyers of Vanessa Bryant said an" invasive" medical exam is no longer necessary, adding that her distress is clearly evident from her testimony.

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Written by: Jess Smith

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