Everything You Wanted To Know About Vanessa Bryant, Who Lost Her Husband Kobe Bryant And Daughter, Gianna, In Horrifying Helicopter Accident

Photo: Getty Images
Who Is Vanessa Bryant? Kobe Bryant's Wife Lost Husband And Daughter, Gianna, In Horrifying Helicopter Accident
Entertainment And News

In news that shocked both the world as a whole and the basketball world, in particular, Lakers great Kobe Bryant was pronounced dead after a helicopter crash claimed his life and the life of his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. In the wake of that tragic death, fans are wondering how his wife is doing in dealing with all of this sudden tragedy.

So, who is Vanessa Bryant, and how is she doing? 

Vanessa Bryant was only 17 years old when she first met a then-21-year-old Kobe Bryant. Going by Vanessa Laine at the time, Bryant reportedly fell in love with her quickly — nearly "on sight" — and married her right after she finished high school.

Married since 2001, the couple certainly weathered their fair share of storms, but through it all, seemed committed to be by each other's side. 

RELATED: RIP Kobe Bryant — Basketball Great; Daughter Gianna, 13, Amongst Those Dead In A Helicopter Crash

So let's look at what we know about Kobe Bryant's widow, and how she's holding up amid this unspeakable tragedy that claimed nine lives in total. 

1. Who is Vanessa Bryant? Her coupling with Kobe Bryant was controversial, in the beginning. 

She was born Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta on May 5, 1982, and she met Kobe Bryant when she was dancing for the music video for "G'ed Up" by Tha Eastsidaz. Kobe Bryant was reportedly recording for his debut album when they met, and he proposed to her six months after they met. 

2. They waited until she graduated high school to get married.

Perhaps realizing that the optics of a 21-year-old basketball player hooking up with a 17-year-old girl were less-than-favorable, Kobe Bryant said that even though he met his wife in 1999, the couple waited until 2001 to get married so she could finish high school.

What's more, the Bryants didn't sign a prenuptial agreement when they got married, because Kobe Bryant was "too in love" to worry about such things. 

3. She was not on the helicopter that claimed the life of her husband and daughter. 

Though initial reports about the helicopter crash that claimed Kobe Bryant's life were unclear, it was later confirmed that Vanessa Bryant was not one of the nine victims who were on the helicopter that crashed outside of Calabasas, CA, on January 26, 2020.

TRENDING NOW on YourTango

However, the couple's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who was a rising basketball star, was amongst those who were killed. 

RELATED: Orange Coast College Coach John Altobelli, Wife Keri, Daughter Alyssa Amongst Victims In The Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash

4. Vanessa Bryant stuck by him throughout his sexual assault case. 

In the summer of 2003, Kobe Bryant was accused of raping a woman in Colorado. Though the case was ultimately dismissed in 2004 because the victim didn't want to proceed, Kobe Bryant claimed that the sex between himself and his victim was consensual and he ultimately apologized for cheating on Vanessa Bryant.

Despite the accusations, Vanessa Bryant ultimately stood by her husband throughout the accusations. 

5. But they almost got divorced. 

Despite sticking by her husband throughout his sexual assault case, Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce from Kobe Bryant in 2011, citing irreconcilable differences. Though the duo went back-and-forth for a little while in the courts, especially amidst accusations of infidelity, they canceled their divorce plans and decided to work things out. 

6. Vanessa Bryant has not commented on the deaths of her husband and daughter.

Even though people are wondering when, exactly, Vanessa Bryant will comment on the passing of her husband Kobe and their daughter Gianna, she has not made an official statement about their passing. However, we will be sure to keep you up to date if, and when, that changes. 

Our thoughts are with Vanessa Bryant, her family, and the Bryant family during this undoubtedly difficult time. 

RELATED: Everything You Wanted To Know About Gianna Bryant, 13, Who Was Confirmed Dead Alongside Dad In Horrific Helicopter Crash

Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!

Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.