What happened to LA Mayor Karen Bass' daughter Emilia Bass-Lechuga?

Amber Peake November 17, 2022
What happened to LA Mayor Karen Bass' daughter Emilia Bass-Lechuga?
Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images


Following news of Karen Bass’ election as Los Angeles mayor, curiosity into the politician’s family life has sparked, including what happened to her late daughter Emilia Bass-Lechuga.

Bass made history this week as she became the first female mayor of Los Angeles, with The Guardian adding her election also saw her take on the title of the second black mayor in the city’s history. 

The politician has represented California across both the state assembly and in congress, and following her recent election as LA mayor, some are now curious to know more about her family life away from her work. Let’s take a look…

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Karen Bass honors late daughter amid LA Mayor election 

Earlier this month Bass extended her thanks to Los Angeles voters in a thread on Twitter as she reflected on her mayoral campaign.

In the series of posts, she opened up on who she was thinking of during voting as she looked back on the inspirational figures who supported her political aspirations over the years, including her daughter Emilia.

After dedicating a post to her late daughter and her husband, Michael, Bass gushed about how they both “encouraged” her to “push for change.”

As explained on Bass’ mayoral website, Emilia shared her mother’s passion for social change and planned to follow in her footsteps into a dedicated career.

Emilia, who was 23 years old when she died, was studying at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, and was just a few months away from graduating.

What happened to Karen Bass’ daughter Emilia Bass-Lechuga?

While Bass was serving as part of the California State Assembly, her life changed in 2006 when her daughter Emilia died in a car crash.

According to a Los Angeles Times report at the time, the car in which Emilia and her husband, Michael, were in swerved off the road. The car crashed into a support beam on the 405 Freeway before flames engulfed the vehicle.

Reflecting on her passing 16 years on to The Issue Is, Bass described hearing the news as a “personal earthquake.”

She added: “People will tell you in time that it gets better, but it’s just not true. A traumatic loss like that never goes away.”

Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Does Karen Bass have any other children?

Emilia was Bass’ only biological child, however, the LA mayor-elect is also a mother figure to her four stepchildren, Scythia, Omar, Yvette, and Ollin, as per her campaign website.

As explained by the Los Angeles Times, Scythia, Omar and Yvette are the biological children of Bass’ ex-husband Jesus Lechuga. 

Bass has previously reflected on her close bond with her stepchildren as she once revealed they had been a part of her life “since the day they were born.”

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Amber is an entertainment journalist with a love for anything showbiz, celeb or reality TV. After graduating with a degree in Journalism at Brunel University she became a Showbiz Reporter at Express.co.uk. Having written for both HITC and The Focus, Amber is now a staff writer for The Focus covering the latest celeb and entertainment trends.