Vanessa Bryant is the widow of NBA icon Kobe Bryant. The mother of four had to lay her husband and daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Byrant to rest after their tragic passing in 2020. The helicopter accident claimed the lives of nine people including baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa. Another child named Payton Chester and her mother, Sara, basketball coach Christina Mauser and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.
in the time since their passing, Vanessa Bryant has emerged as an inspiration and hero to many for her perseverance and fight to keep Kobe and Gianna’s legacy alive. She founded the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Fdn, a charity and organization geared to further Kobe and Gianna’s legacies. Its home page is currently dedicated to the fallen Laker, whose birthday was August 23rd. They sell merch inspired by Kobe, Gianna, and the mamba name they’ve become synonymous with. Their official site description reads, “Dedicated to creating positive impact for underserved athletes and boys & girls in sports. Founded through the vision and loving memory of Kobe and Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant.
”Vanessa has kept busy raising her three girls, Natalia Diamante Bryant, Capri Kobe Bryant, and Bianka Bella Bryant. The single mom is fiercely protective of her girls and even had a huge falling out with her own mother following Kobe’s death due to her greed and disrespect to his legacy. Vanessa says that Kobe took care of her mother while he was alive and allowed her to live in homes they owned and travel for free in exchange for her assisting with the children. Unfortunately, Sofia Laine decided to accuse her daughter of not paying her for years of her services, so Vanessa kicked her out and blasted her for attempting to “extort a financial windfall from [her] family.”
Vanessa’s fight has not only been with her mother but several others who have tried to exploit or disrespect Kobe and Gianna’s legacies since their passing. In June 2021, a sneaker prototype she was designing with Nike in honor of her daughter hit the net without her approval. “Nike has NOT sent any of these pairs to me and my girls,” she wrote on social media. “I do not know how someone else has their hands on shoes I designed in honor of my daughter, Gigi, and we don’t. I hope these shoes did not get sold.” Eventually, she would strike a new deal with Nike in April 2022 to continue the Mamba line and distribute the sneaker.
The hardest fight Vanessa has faced has been against the first responders who arrived at the crash site the day Kobe and Gianna passed. It has been alleged that several members of this team took pictures of the bodies and distributed them amongst their colleagues. Even more disturbing are the descriptions of the deceased they shared with each other. Vanessa is suing for Invasion-of-privacy against Los Angeles County, its Sheriff’s department, its fire department, and eight other officials. “I did not know that people would refer to them as ‘piles of meat,’ ‘gumbo,’ and ‘hamburger meat,’” she stated during her two-hour testimony. The first responders left the crash site with several images, including close-ups of severed limbs, burnt flesh, and more.