Matthew Mauser, the husband of Christina Mauser who was killed in a chopper crash in January along with NBA great Kobe Bryant, filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department over the crash site photos. Mauser also held Sheriff Alex Villanueva responsible for not securing the crash area leading to emergency responders take unauthorized photos of the accident site.
In his lawsuit, Mauser claimed that he a reason to believe the LA County Fire Department took pictures of Christina's remains and passed them on to those who were not involved in the probe, TMZ reported. He explained that he and his three daughters coped with humiliation, emotional distress and anxiety "from the realization that photographs of their mother and wife were wrongfully taken, shown and discussed."
"These facts show that Sheriff Villanueva had a special duty to ensure that the scene of the crash was given the highest caliber security his department could employ," Mauser's lawsuit stated, according to the report.
Following the outrage over the crash site photos, Sheriff Villanueva said that eight deputies took or shared graphic photos of the crash scene. He also said that he directed the photos to be deleted after the sheriff's department shared them on social media. The sheriff also explained that there was a policy in place that stops the staff from taking and sharing crime scene photos, however, it did not apply to accident scenes.
Christina was among the seven people including Bryant and his daughter 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant that were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26. Christina was an assistant coach at the Mamba Academy's AAU team, where Gianna played.
Vanessa Bryant, the widow of basketball star Kobe Bryant, has filed a lawsuit against the sheriff' department alleging that deputies shared unauthorized photos of the crash and shared them with others. In February, she also sued Island Express Helicopter the owner of the crashed Sikorsky S-76B helicopter for wrongful deaths.
Who is Matthew Mauser?
Mauser reportedly works as a Spanish language teacher at Harbor Day School, where Bryant's daughter Natalia studied/ that was attended by Kobe's daughter, Natalia. He graduated from the California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and he and his wife Christina studied at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California.
Per his Facebook page, Mauser described himself: "Songwriter, solo artist, pop/rock bandleader, entertainer, and Sinatra-style crooner. Widower and father of three." He has been a part of several bands including Sinatra Big Band — a Frank Sinatra tribute act — and was a lead singer of the band, Tijuana Dogs that he co-founded in 1997.
Following Christina's death, Mauser took to Facebook to write about her death: "My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash."