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Judge temporarily blocks release of records related to Bob Saget's death

The widow and daughters of the late comic filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block release of any photos, audio or video taken during the investigation into his death.
/ Source: TODAY

A Florida judge temporarily blocked the release of some records related to Bob Saget's death a day after his widow and daughters filed a lawsuit saying the family "would suffer irreparable harm" if the records were disseminated.

Circuit Judge Vincent S. Chiu on Wednesday granted a temporary injunction against the release of the records on the grounds that the family will "suffer irreparable harm in the form of severe mental pain, anguish, and emotional distress" and that the "Plaintiffs have a clear legal right or interest in the Protected Records as the surviving spouse and children of Mr. Saget," according to court documents.

Saget's widow, Kelly Rizzo, and daughters Lara, Aubrey and Jennifer Saget filed the lawsuit Tuesday against the District Nine Medical Examiner's Office and Orange County Sheriff John W. Mina, who both conducted investigations into Saget's death after he was found dead at 65 on Jan. 9 in an Orlando hotel room.

The family does not want records released that include “photographs, video recordings, audio recordings" and “statutorily protected autopsy information," according to the lawsuit. The family wants them kept private because those records "graphically depict" Saget, according to the complaint.

In granting the temporary injunction, the judge also found that Saget's family would "have no adequate remedy at law" if the records are released, and that the injunction will "allow the Court adequate opportunity to weigh Plaintiffs’ legitimate privacy interest against the public’s claim for disclosure," according to court documents.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office released a statement in the wake of the lawsuit filed by the family.

“While we are sensitive to the family’s concerns about the right to privacy, that must be balanced with our commitment to transparency, compliance with the law, and the public’s right to know,” it said.

On the same day the family filed the lawsuit, Saget’s daughter Lara shared a message on Instagram that included the lines, "If only people poisonous gossip is, how important privacy is to grieve."

Saget's family shared last week that his cause of death was accidental head trauma, which was confirmed by a Florida medical examiner's report after an autopsy.

Medical examiner Joshua Stephany said in a statement on Feb. 10 that Saget died as a “result of blunt head trauma” and his injuries were likely “incurred from an unwitnessed fall.”

The injuries to the back of his head caused bleeding in different parts of the brain and multiple fractures on his head and around his eyes, according to the autopsy. No evidence of foul play or illicit drugs was found. The medical examiner also said Saget tested positive for COVID-19.

Following an outpouring of tributes to the beloved television dad, Rizzo shared her memories of her husband with Hoda Kotb on TODAY last month.

"So he always was just so kind and loving to everybody," she said. "He was just the best man I’ve ever known in my life."