Cory Wharton came under fire in the last couple of weeks following a visit with his family to the site of the tragic helicopter crash involving Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others. There is a trail leading to the location where the helicopter went down on January 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California, and the site itself now has a makeshift memorial.
The helicopter was on its way to a Team Mamba girls’ basketball game coached by Bryant, 41, went it went down in Calabasas. Along with Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, the crash also claimed the lives of John, 56, and Keri Altobelli, 46, their daughter Alyssa, 14, Sarah Chester, 45, and her daughter Payton, 13, assistant coach Christina Mauser, 38, and the pilot Ara Zobayan, 50. There were no survivors.
Cory visited the site with his girlfriend Taylor Selfridge and their young daughter Mila and posted photos and videos of it on October 1, writing “Today we got a chance to go on a hike and You know we had to pay our homage though to the Black Mamba.” He also wrote, “Got to visit Kobe’s Memorial.”
He shared a series of photos of himself and his family, one in which he was smiling and putting up the peace sign. In a video, he said they “made it,” showing his followers the memorial where fans left items in tribute to the NBA legend. He also posted a video of himself leaving a small gem at the memorial, adding that he should have brought flowers.
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There Were Mixed Reactions to Cory’s Post, With Some Fans Criticizing His Actions
Cory’s Instagram post received some mixed reactions, with some also paying tribute to Bryant while others questioned his photos. One fan wrote, “Kobe’s Memorial sounds a lot better than crash site.” Another wrote a reminder that Bryant and Gianna weren’t the only two victims of the helicopter crash.
“I can’t believe this is a tourist spot. I know your intentions are good, but ya idk about this one,” one follower commented. One person defended Cory, writing, “this is no different from visiting the site where someone got into a car crash or when late celebrities have their last worn items on display or for sale . It’s nothing wrong with him going there that’s a normal way to pay respect.”
Someone said Cory should have kept the visit to himself while another called the move “cringey” and yet another said it was “weird.” One comment read, “Wow this is extremely disrespectful. Paying your respects is one thing, but smiling and doing a peace sign in front of where 8 people (including a little girl) died is in bad taste…”
Cory Fired Back at Critics on Social Media, Calling Them ‘Sensitive’
The same day Cory posted the photos and videos, he tweeted, “Y’all really are sensitive uh??? If I breathe wrong y’all let me know like dammmm let me be me s***.” It’s unclear if his comment was in reference to the criticism he received over his posts or his recent tweet revealing that he wouldn’t make the “Challenge” reunion due to his vaccination status.
On September 20, Cory announced he wouldn’t be at the reunion for “Spies, Lies and Allies” because of his apparent lack of a vaccine. Cory’s tweet was later deleted but screenshots were shared to several “Challenge” gossip accounts and the reality star came under fire from many fans for his stance.
Cory’s tweet on October 1 accusing some people of being too sensitive saw replies from many people addressing both the photos posted at the memorial site as well as his vaccine status. The “Teen Mom” star hasn’t elaborated further on either situation at this time.