Today Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa Bryant would have celebrated their 20th anniversary of Love and 19 years married . Vanessa lost her husband Kobe and 13 year old daughter Gigi, who died alongside her father in a tragic helicopter crash this year. Kobe Bryant was recently Inducted Into Basketball Hall Of Fame and last night WNBA Honored Gigi Bryant ,Alyssa Altobelli, and Payton Chester before the 2020 draft .
We are keeping Vanessa and family in our prayers as they adjust to the untimely death of Kobe and Gigi Bryant.
On Vanessa’s 18th birthday, she said yes to marrying Kobe Bryant.
A then 21-year-old Kobe was a rising star in the world of basketball and already hugely famous. He would go on to become one of the best athletes the sport has ever seen.
When they started dating in 1999, after meeting on the set of a Snoop Dog video that she was modelling in, Vanessa was only 17 and still a senior in high school. Kobe was there because he (at the time) fancied a side hustle career as a rapper.
Their relationship caused such a media frenzy, Vanessa had to miss her own prom because of the hordes of journalists staking out her campus.
Six months after their engagement, in 2001, the couple married in a low-key ceremony.
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We celebrate 12 years of marriage today. This pic is the day I asked @ladyvb24 for her number 11/28/99. Thru the ups and downs she has been my love and best friend. 20 and 17 yrs old when we met, we have actually grown up together. A true honor and a blessing. Ti Amo Queen Mamba 🙂
As the Orlando Sentinel reported in 2003, Kobe’s parents and sister didn’t attend the wedding, unhappy at how young the couple were to be making such a big commitment.
Kobe also revealed that his father was uncomfortable that Vanessa was Latina, not African American. According to various media reports, his relationship with his mum and dad remained tumultuous up until his death.
His teammates and agent also didn’t attend. Kobe said he didn’t want a prenuptial agreement because he “loved her too much for one”.
In 2003, Vanessa and Kobe welcomed their first child together.
Natalia Diamante Bryant was born on January 19 of that year.
She turned 17 just days before her father’s death. Despite her father’s basketball fame, Natalia grew up without a passion for the game, but with a preference and skill for volleyball.
In July 2003, just a few months after Natalia was born, Kobe was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a Colorado hotel.
The basketballer admitted to being unfaithful but denied the sexual assault. The criminal case was ultimately dismissed, when his accuser dropped the case.
At a press conference held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Vanessa sat by Kobe as he professed his love to her.
“I sit here in front of you guys furious at myself, disgusted at myself for making the mistake of adultery,” he said. “I love my wife with all my heart. She’s my backbone.”
Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa at the 2003 Staples Center press conference. Image: Kirby Lee/WireImage/Getty.
The couple made headlines after the fact, when Vanessa received an eight-carat purple diamond ring worth $4 million after the case was dropped.
In 2005, Vanessa suffered a miscarriage due to an ectopic pregnancy, and then gave birth to the couple’s second daughter Gianna “Gigi” Maria-Onore Bryant in 2006.
Gigi, who died alongside her father in the helicopter crash this year, aged just 13, shared her dad’s love for basketball showing signs of being a promising young star in her own right.
Speaking to the All the Smoke podcast just two weeks ago, Kobe said his daughter’s love for the sport reinvigorated him post retirement to experience and appreciate basketball in a different way.
“We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes. It wasn’t me sitting there you know as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it’s like about me, and I don’t like that. It was her, she was having such a good time,” he said.
In 2011, after a decade of marriage, Vanessa filed for divorce from Kobe citing “irreconcilable differences”.
There were various reports at the time, including from TMZ, that she had caught him cheating again. A Playboy model as well as with one of the producers of the Kardashians’ reality show were said to be among those he cheated with, reported Business Insider.
As news of their impending divorce broke, and it was reported Vanessa was seeking half his fortune and their Newport Coast, California, mansion. They were looking at joint-custody of their daughters.
His fortune at the time was an estimated AUD $293 million.
By 2013, however, the divorce was called off.
“We are pleased to announce that we have reconciled,” Vanessa wrote on Instagram at the time. “Our divorce action will be dismissed. We are looking forward to our future together.”
They’ve remained happily married ever since, welcoming two more daughters, Bianka Bella Bryant in 2016 and Capri Kobe Bryant just last year.
Vanessa wrote last year announcing their newest arrival; “Kobe and I are so happy to add another baby blessing to our family!
“Bianka will have a new baby sibling to play with and Natalia and Gianna are super excited to welcome another little baby sister to love.”
When Kobe announced his plans to retire in 2016, Vanessa was right by his side.
“I’m so excited to see what God has in store for us as a family now that one chapter is closing and new ones are opening,” she wrote.
Only eight weeks ago, he commemorated he and his wife’s first meeting, posting, “On this day 20 years ago I met my best friend, my Queen.
“I decided to take her on a date to Disneyland tonight to celebrate old school style.”
Since his retirement, Kobe was on school pick-up duty at 2pm every day, according to his last ever interview with USA Today.
His wife Vanessa, 37, must now contemplate life as a single mum of three, the youngest of which is not even a year old.
When her husband and daughter died, they were reportedly on their way to one of Gigi’s basketball games – the sport she shared with her beloved dad.
Seven others also died in the crash.
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Smile: by Nat King Cole Smile though your heart is aching Smile even though it's breaking When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by If you smile through your fear and sorrow Smile and maybe tomorrow You'll see the sun come shining through for you Light up your face with gladness Hide every trace of sadness Although a tear may be ever so near That's the time you must keep on trying Smile, what's the use of crying? You'll find that life is still worthwhile If you just smile That's the time you must keep on trying Smile, what's the use of crying? You'll find that life is still worthwhile If you just smile
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Missing you both so much #GigiBryant and @kobebryant MUSE documentary ❤️ Even missing your “earthquakes”- (leg shakes) song is XO by @beyonce Your love is bright as ever Even in the shadows Baby kiss me Before they turn the lights out Your heart is glowing And I'm crashing into you Baby kiss me Before they turn the lights out Before they turn the lights out Baby love me lights out In the darkest night hour (in the darkest night hour) I'll search through the crowd (I'll search through the crowd) Your face is all that I see I'll give you everything Baby love me lights out Baby love me lights out You can turn my lights out We don't have forever Ooh, baby daylight's wasting You better kiss me Before our time has run out Mmm yeah Nobody sees what we see They're just hopelessly gazing, oh Oh, baby take me, me Before they turn the lights out Before our time has run out Baby love me lights out In the darkest night…
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My husband worked his ass off for 20 years. Gave it his all. All he wanted was to spend time with our girls and me to make up for lost time. He wanted to be there for every single milestone and special moment in our girls lives. He only got to enjoy 3 years and 9 months of retirement. We had 2 more daughters, he won an Oscar, he opened Granity studios, he became a 5x best selling author and coached Gianna’s basketball team in that time. She worked hard and gave her all 7 days a week just like her daddy. I wish I could go back to that morning, every day. I wish they had a normal local game on 1/26. Life truly isn’t fair. This is just senseless.
Feature image: Instagram/Getty.
Exerpts From Original Article by : Vanessa Bryant was 17 when she met Kobe. They spent the next 20 years by each other’s side.