Entertainment Sports Vanessa Bryant Began Seeing 'RIP Kobe' Bryant Messages Before Death in Crash Was Confirmed to Her “I was trying to call my husband back, and all these notifications started popping up on my phone, saying 'RIP Kobe,' ” Vanessa Bryant said in a court deposition By Vanessa Etienne Vanessa Etienne Twitter Vanessa Etienne is an Emerging Content Writer-Reporter for PEOPLE. People Editorial Guidelines Published on October 25, 2021 02:16 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Vanessa Bryant. Photo: ESPN Vanessa Bryant learned of the death of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna through social media, according to court documents from a recent deposition obtained by PEOPLE. The 39-year-old filed a legal complaint against Los Angeles County last year, claiming that leaked photos of the site of Kobe and Gianna's fatal helicopter crash in January 2020 caused emotional distress. On Oct. 12, Vanessa detailed the moments she learned of the crash in a deposition for the lawsuit. She said she was initially notified by her family's assistant that there was "an accident" involving Kobe and Gianna's helicopter "and that there were five survivors." After attempting to call her husband and getting her mom to babysit her two youngest children, Vanessa said, "I was holding onto my phone, because obviously I was trying to call my husband back, and all these notifications started popping up on my phone, saying 'RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe. RIP Kobe.' " Vanessa Bryant and Kobe Bryant with two of their daughters, Natalia and Gianna, in 2018. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic Vanessa Bryant Could Face Psych Evaluation to Prove 'Distress' in Leaked Crash Photos Suit Hoping to get to the Calabasas crash site, Vanessa attempted to charter a helicopter but was denied due to weather conditions. Ultimately, she was told to report to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She said she eventually received confirmation of Kobe and Gianna's deaths — and all seven others aboard the helicopter — from Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva hours later, after previously asking officers at the sheriff's department for an update with no response. Attorneys for Vanessa declined PEOPLE's request for comment. Vanessa Bryant Instagram Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. In the deposition, Vanessa also detailed her request to have "the [crash] area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers." "And I said, 'If you can't bring my husband and baby back, please make sure that no one takes photographs of them. Please secure the area,' " Vanessa claimed she told Villanueva. Vanessa Bryant to Be Honored with Giving Tree Award at Baby2Baby 10-Year Gala This Fall Vanessa's previous court filing detailed that despite her request, "photos of the remains quickly spread within the Sheriff's Department as deputies transmitted them to one another via text message and AirDrop. Within forty-eight hours, at least 10 members of the Sheriff's Department obtained photos of the victims' remains on their personal cell phones despite having no legitimate governmental use of the photos." During the deposition, Vanessa was asked to explain how she experienced "emotional distress" from the situation. "The impact of the helicopter crash was so damaging, I just don't understand how someone can have no regard for life and compassion, and, instead, choose to take that opportunity to photograph lifeless and helpless individuals for their own sick amusement," Vanessa said, emphasizing her desire for "accountability." Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday. "My life will never be the same without my husband and daughter," she continued, according to the transcript, also noting that she has since tried to "avoid social media and reading comments" about Kobe and Gianna. Vanessa has listed several witnesses to further detail her emotional distress in upcoming individual depositions, per The New York Times. Witnesses include Ciara, La La Anthony, Monica, Sharia Washington (Kobe's sister), and Catherine Gasol, wife of NBA star Pau Gasol.