NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, were among nine people tragically killed in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. Kobe was not only the Black Mamba of the court, but also a beloved husband to Vanessa Bryant and a doting father to their children, including Gianna. Rumors that Vanessa and her other children were also in the helicopter crash are false. Vanessa and their three surviving children, Bianka, Natalia, and Capri, survive Kobe and Gianna. Kobe was a family man above all else and though he and Vanessa had their ups and downs, she’s always been his Queen Mamba, as you’ll see in our Vanessa Bryant wiki.
|About Vanessa Marie Bryant|
|Known As||Vanessa Laine, Vanessa Cornejo Ubrieta|
|Birth||May 5, 1982|
|Spouse||Kobe Bryant April 2001 - January 2020|
|Children||Natalia Diamante, Gianna Maria-Onore, Bianka Bella, Capri “Koko” Bryant|
|Address||Los Angeles, California|
|Owns||Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation|
|Alumni||Marina High School|
Vanessa Bryant Was Raised by a Single Mother
Born Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta on May 5, 1982, she has a Mexican-Irish heritage through her mother, Sofia Urbieta Laine. Sofia raised Vanessa and her sisters in Orange County after their father left the family.
Sofia worked two jobs to afford a good life for her children. Later, Urbieta married Stephen Laine, an inventory manager at a food company, in 1990. He helped her to raise her kids and Vanessa adopted his name, going by Vanessa Cornejo Ubrieta Laine.
Sofia and Stephen’s marriage ended in 2003, but the separation wasn’t without drama. Stephen Laine had some cruel things to say about Sofia and Vanessa after the divorce.
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Stephen reportedly called both of them “gold diggers,” and said that his former wife taught Vanessa well about securing the maximum amount from her husband by waiting out the marriage for 10 years.
“In California … it’s considered a long term marriage and then she gets paid for life or until she remarries … just like her mother is doing to me,” Stephen explained.
All this came out when Vanessa Bryant’s superstar husband was accused of infidelity, and the couple was on the verge of filing for a divorce.
Whether or not the accusations were true, Kobe’s wife was in the spotlight after the All-Star player confessed to infidelity.
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Laine Met Kobe Bryant When She Was 17
A young Vanessa, who attended Marina High School, lived a sheltered life, with her stint as a video vixen being her first shot at a glam lifestyle. The aspiring model was just 17 when she was working on the Tha Eastsidaz’s music video “G’d Up”—the first time she’d meet then-21-year-old Kobe Bryant.
He was already famous in the basketball community and had been in the same building she was filming in to work on his debut music album. They instantly connected, dated, and, after six months, got engaged.
The media’s attention was heavy on Vanessa following their engagement, and she had to opt to finish high school independently. Their relationship was dragged through the mud due to the fact the NBA star was dating a high school student. So they decided to wait until she graduated from high school to marry.
They met in 1999 and tied the knot on April 18, 2001 at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, California. Bryant’s parents allegedly didn’t attend the wedding because his bride was 18 and also not African-American.
After their marriage, Vanessa changed her name to Vanessa Marie Bryant.
The Bryants Had Four Daughters
Vanessa and Kobe Bryant had four daughters together. The oldest, Natalia Diamante, was born in 2003, which thawed the two-year estrangement between Kobe and his parents.
Their second daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore, was born in 2006, and the third, Bianka Bella, arrived in 2016. They welcomed their youngest daughter, Capri “Koko” Bryant, on June 20, 2019.
Kobe and Gianna had gone viral as a meme a few weeks ago. The father-daughter duo were at a basketball game where Kobe was passionately explaining something to her. But Gianna’s stereotypical teen reactions made for a hilarious clip that was shared on the Internet.
Now what was a meme serves as a tribute to their unmistakable bond. Gianna, nicknamed Mambacita for her own basketball prowess, was seen as the one who would carry forward the Black Mamba legacy on the court. But her life and promising career were cut short too soon.
Kobe and Gianna were expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game. Gianna was going to play and Kobe was going to coach. However, they died in the horrific helicopter crash on January 26.
Vanessa and Kobe Bryant Almost Divorced
Kobe Bryant had been at the center of sexual assault allegations in 2003. He had then claimed that the encounter between him and the other woman was consensual, and he apologized for cheating on Vanessa.
Vanessa had stood by him as he endured the allegations and legal battle. However, they did have a brief separation years later.
Vanessa filed for divorce in 2011, citing irreconcilable differences. They requested joint custody of their daughters but went back and forth in court over financial agreements.
When they married, they reportedly didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement, because Kobe “loved her too much” for it.
Vanessa had filed for divorce shortly after their 10-year anniversary, and Bryant had signed an $84.0 million contract extension with the Lakers. California law dictates that marriages lasting longer than 10 years result in indefinite spousal support for the spouse earning less income.
Two years after filing for divorce, however, Kobe and Vanessa announced on social media that they had reconciled and called off the divorce.
Vanessa Helped Run the Family Foundation
One of the many things Kobe will be remembered for is his charitable spirit through the work of the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. Their organization works towards helping families and youth in need.
Back when Vanessa was set to marry Kobe, her stepfather’s family was in the process of filing for bankruptcy. Now Vanessa’s net worth is estimated at $600.0 million in 2020. Kobe Bryant’s net worth at the time of his death is also $600.0 million.
Vanessa also has her own philanthropic work. While her Instagram is private during this tragic time, her bio has a link to a list of charities on Amazon Smile we can support.
The Black Mamba’s fans who are grieving Kobe and Gianna’s death have also paid tribute to his philanthropic legacy by making donations to Bryant family’s foundation.
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