Vanessa Bryant has always retained a relatively low profile but in the wake of the tragic and untimely death of her husband, legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant, and 13-year-old daughter Gianna mourners around the world have her and their three daughters on their mind. After the news that Kobe, Gianna (Gigi) and seven other passengers died in a helicopter crash early Sunday morning, news outlets not only memorialized Kobe’s storied career playing for the Lakers but they also shone a spotlight on his devotion to his family. Reportedly they promised to never fly a helicopter together, which seems especially heartbreaking now but also shows how they put family first. Read on to learn about Vanessa, 37, who was his partner of 20 years and mother of their four daughters.
Vanessa is of Mexican descent.
Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta Laine was born on May 5, 1982. Kobe’s family reportedly didn’t support their relationship partly because she wasn’t African American. She grew up in Orange County and attended Marina High School in Huntington Beach. Though there have been reports she’s half Irish, both her parents are Mexican and she took on the last name Laine in honor of her stepfather.
She and Kobe got married when she was 18 in 2001.
He began courting her while she was still in high school. Their relationship garnered so much attention that she had to finish her senior year through independent study. They married in April 2001 at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, California. His family reportedly didn’t support their marriage and they became estranged. According to the Los Angeles Times, his father Joe was uncomfortable with her being Latina.
Vanessa stood by him when he was accused of rape.
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Atleta famoso viola a una chica de 19 que trabaja como recepcionista en el hotel en el que se hospeda. La evidencia es innegable, ADN, sangre, moretones. Los medios la culpan, dicen que seguro se lo buscó, publican sus datos personales, fotos, dirección. Los fans la acosan, la insultan, la amenazan. La chica se niega a testificar por miedo a más acoso, y se resuelve el caso con un acuerdo civil. El atleta se disculpa públicamente, dice que el pensaba que la chica sí queria, aunque ahora entiende que ( cuando trataba de huir, lloraba y decia que no) era que no queria 🤔 La industria lo acepta sin problema. Sigue su carrera recibiendo elogios, patrocinantes, y admiración. Muere en trágico accidente, y el mundo habla de lo maravilloso que fue, e insultan a quienes se atreven a publicar sobre el caso de violación. Es muy triste que alguien, famoso o no, muera en un accidente a temprana edad. Ahora, creo que no debemos olvidar este caso de violación al que no se le dió la relevancia que tenía al salir a la luz en un época en la poca atención se le daba los abusos cometidos por las celebridades y los atletas. La fama o talento de una persona no es excusa para ignorar su abuso, pero tampoco disminuye el dolor y la tristeza de su familia y seres queridos ante su muerte, para ellos nuestras condolencias. Pero, ¿qué mensaje le damos al mundo cuando proclamamos como admirable e inspirador a una persona que violó, solo porque era talentoso en los deportes? La realidad es que si eres fan de Kobe, y crees que él era una buena persona, la única manera de explicar que él haya violado a un chica y pensado que no era violación, es que estuviese tan inmerso en la cultura de la violación que nos rodea, esa que es incluso más fuerte en algunos ambientes deportivos que suelen promover una masculinidad toxica, que quizás realmente creía que cualquier chica querría tener sexo con él. Quizás pensaba erradamente que incluso las que decían que no, lloraban, trataban de alejarse, realmente solo se «hacían la difícil»… 📲 Lee el resto de la nota en ondafeminista.com | Link en historia y perfil 📲 #kobebryant #koberape #NiUnaMás #niunamenos #metoo
In 2003, six months after she gave birth to their first daughter Natalia Diamante, Kobe was accused of raping g a 19-year-old Colorado hotel worker. He claimed innocence saying it was consensual and though he’d cheated on her she stood by his side. During the press conference he said he was “disgusted at myself for making (the) mistake of adultery,” adding, “I love my wife with all my heart. She’s my backbone.” He also famously gifted her an 8-carat, $4 million purple ring though there are some reports he’d already purchased it before the incident. The case was settled in 2005.
She suffered a miscarriage after the case.
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Kobe blamed himself for the miscarriage: “The reality is it happened because of me. That’s something I have to deal with,” he said in a 2015 Showtime documentary. They welcomed daughter Gianna Maria-Onore in May 2006.
She filed for divorce in 2011 and they reconciled in 2013.
“We are pleased to announce that we have reconciled,” Vanessa Bryant said on social media at the time. “Our divorce action will be dismissed. We are looking forward to our future together.” They welcomed daughter Bianka Bella in Dec. 2016 followed by daughter Capri Kobe in June 2019.
She’s part of the reason why Kobe knew how to speak Spanish.
He reportedly learned Spanish to communicate better with his mother-in-law and learned by watching novelas and Sábado Gigante with her. He would often post on Instagram on Vanessa’s birthday (Cinco de Mayo) writing a message in Spanish or Italian (he grew up in Italy) and he was able to give interviews speaking fluent Spanish.