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Kobe Bryant And Vanessa Bryant - A Timeline Of Their Rare Love Story


Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant lived the kind of wonderful love story that seems rare and cherished in the sports and entertainment industries.

A chance encounter when they were young sparked a lifelong romance that sadly ended after 20 years of marriage.

No one was more horrified and heartbroken than Vanessa when Kobe, Gianna Bryant, and seven other people died suddenly in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on January 26, 2020.

She had to deal with the loss of a child, which is every parent's worst nightmare, as well as moving forward without the love of her life and taking care of their other three daughters.

Vanessa gives both Kobe and Gianna credit for her perseverance throughout the unimaginable moment.

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/kobe-bryant-and-vanessa-bryant/ by Candice Burns on 2022-08-25T20:58:50.349Z

In March 2021, she told People,

I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going. They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways.

Despite the devastating way in which their affair ended, there were many great points during the years.

Let us celebrate and look back at those great memories!

Kobe Bryant And Vanessa Bryant Story

1999 - Kobe And Vanessa Bryant First Met

During the filming of a music video, Kobe Bryant first saw Vanessa Bryant, then Vanessa Laine, as he remembered in the 2015 Showtime documentary "Kobe Bryant's Muse."

Kobe made light of his little effort into rapping at the outset.

He said in an interview with People,

It didn't last long, but I did make a video. On the video set is where I first met Vanessa.

Vanessa captured the attention of the aspiring NBA star, who repeatedly sought her out during the two-day shoot.

I would finish a take and go to my trailer but I would wonder where she was the entire time. Then I would come out of the trailer and just wanted to talk to her some more, in between takes and stuff like that.

Kobe took the chance to ask for Vanessa's phone number.

The two would talk on the phone for hours at a time, getting to know one another better over shared interests like a love of Disney films.

Kobe even took Vanessa to Disneyland to commemorate their love story 20 years after they first met.

May 2000 - They Got Engaged Just Six Months After They Met

Before he proposed to Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant waited until she turned 18.

Just six months after they initially met, in May 2000, Kobe proposed to her.

He was able to keep things between them so under wraps at the time that the identity of his future wife was initially unknown, with only the description "18-year-old woman from Orange County" as per CBS News.

Bryant dispelled suspicions that his mystery woman was another well-known person.

A 21-year-old Kobe told reporters,

She's my movie star, she's my star. She gives me balance. In the past, I've been pretty much all basketball.

Vanessa's life at Marina High School, where she was a senior, changed when she was eventually identified.

To the amazement of her students, Kobe would deliver roses to the front desk or pick her up in a Mercedes.

When the media began to arrive at the school, the situation turned chaotic. Vanessa ultimately made the decision to finish her high school studies on her own.

April 2001 - Kobe Bryant And Vanessa Bryant Wedding

The fact that Kobe Bryant was marrying Vanessa Bryant didn't exactly make his parents happy. The pair was too young, in their opinion, to get married.

Pam and Joe Bryant reportedly had a problem with Vanessa's race as well, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Kobe was still completely devoted to Vanessa.

It would eventually be revealed that the two wed without a prenuptial agreement, even though it wasn't made public at the time.

On April 18, 2001, the couple got hitched at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, California.

John Cox IV, a basketball player for the University of San Francisco, who was Kobe's close friend and cousin, acted as Kobe's best man.

Pam and Joe Bryant regretfully chose not to attend.

According to The U.S. Sun, Vanessa's parents, stepfather Stephen Laine and mom Sofia, were also present.

There isn't much information available concerning Kobe and Vanessa Bryant's wedding, despite their well-known romance.

Young Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant
Young Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant

January 2003 - Their First Daughter Was Born

Kobe Bryant frequently remarked on how special his relationship with Vanessa Bryant was.

As Kobe described in the 2015 Showtime documentary "Kobe Bryant's Muse," their early marriage was full of joy.

"We would get up and act like kids. We'd play miniature golf, go to the movies, dine out, and go to the batting cage with her "Regarding that time in their lives, he remarked (via People). "Man, that was simply a wonderful time."

When word of the couple's first child's impending birth spread among fans in the fall of 2002, they probably felt excited. Natalia Diamante Bryant was born on January 19, 2003, at 3:08 p.m.

The following day, Kobe returned to the court, although he acknowledged that his thoughts were on his infant daughter.

"I'm excited to play basketball, but to be honest, I really didn't want to leave.

I did not want to take my eyes off her and my wife.

I told Vanessa after Natalia was here it felt like I just played two back-to-back game sevens in the NBA finals, but the only thing was I didn't play.

I was on the bench waving the towel. She was in there playing and hitting all the big baskets."

December 2003 - They Experienced Hard Times In Their Marriage

When charges of sexual assault shattered Kobe Bryant's world, he was having a terrific time.

A Colorado lady claimed in December 2003 that the NBA star had forced himself on her in June at a ski resort in Vail.

Kobe acknowledged having a sexual encounter with the 19-year-old but insisted it was consensual.

On July 18, 2003, in Los Angeles, California, Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa attend a news conference where he declares his innocence of the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman.

I didn't force her to do anything against her will. I'm innocent. I sit here in front of you guys, furious at myself, disgusted at myself for making the mistake of adultery.

And then on to say, "I love my wife with all my heart. She's my backbone."

Vanessa also released a statement:

I know that my husband has made a mistake — the mistake of adultery. He and I will have to deal with that within our marriage, and we will do so. He is not a criminal. ... I believe in his innocence.

The accuser decided she would not testify in a criminal trial until September 2004.

Kobe issued an apology to the accuser following the case's dismissal, saying, "I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did."

Kobe also expressed his regret to Vanessa by giving her a $4 million "apology ring" made of purple diamonds.

April 2005 - Kobe And Vanessa Bryant Experienced A Difficult Loss

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant managed to overcome their problems and maintain their marriage.

Sadly, they suffered a further devastating setback in 2005.

After the unpleasantness of the previous year, the couple was relieved to find they were expecting their second child.

The couple discovered Vanessa had suffered an ectopic pregnancy in April 2005, in which a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus.

At the conclusion of the 2004–2005 season, Kobe missed a few games in order to be with Vanessa for testing and treatment.

Later, in the 2015 Showtime documentary "Kobe Bryant's Muse," he would acknowledge that he felt guilty for the loss due to the stress that his public admission of infidelity and court fight against sexual assault allegations caused Vanessa.

He said in the documentary, "The reality is it happened because of me. That's something I have to deal with. There was just so much stress, she actually, she actually miscarried. I have a real hard time dealing with that 'cause I felt like it was just my fault."

May 2006 - Their Daughter Gianna Bryant Was Born

Despite their hardships, Kobe and Vanessa Bryant were able to expand their family.

According to People, Kobe and Vanessa Bryant welcomed Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant at 2:03 a.m. PT on May 1, 2006.

In a statement, Kobe said, "The arrival of our daughter early this morning is an incredible blessing for me and my family. We are all full of beautiful emotions after what has been such an incredible day."

Similar to Vanessa's first pregnancy, Kobe had to juggle his pregnancy with the basketball season.

On April 30, he defeated the Phoenix Suns in the waning moments of overtime to win the game.

He then proceeded to the hospital, where Gianna was born.

It's interesting to note that Me'arah O'Neal, a baby girl, was also born to Shaquille O'Neal and his wife on the same day.

It was thought that becoming a father put a stop to their previous conflict.

2011 - They Are On The Verge Of Divorce During Their 10-year Anniversary

In April 2011, the couple's tenth wedding anniversary passed without any publicity. Kobe and Vanessa Bryant.

Their difficulties would become clear by year's end.

Kobe tried to repair the marriage, but Vanessa filed for divorce.

The Lakers superstar's alleged infidelity was the cause.

At this time, it also became known in the public that Kobe had not asked Vanessa to sign a prenuptial agreement, which would have given her the right to receive half of all of his earnings for the majority of his career.

Stephen Laine, Vanessa's ex-stepfather, is well known for commenting on the breakup and accusing Vanessa of pursuing money, just like her mother allegedly did to him.

He told TMZ that her mother had taught her properly to wait until after ten years had passed before separating.

"Her mother taught her well to wait for the ten-year mark [before divorcing]. 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 said.

They agreed that they would have joint custody to Natalia and Gianna and Kobe would have visitation rights.

But despite how close they came to breaking up, the two changed their minds.

January 2013 - Kobe And Vanessa Reconciled

Kobe Bryant persisted in seeking Vanessa out, and eventually, the couple chose to remain together.

Kobe announced the news on his social media sites in January 2013 with a statement.

I am happy to say that Vanessa and I are moving on with our lives together as a family. When the show ends and the music stops, the journey is made beautiful by having that someone to share it with. Thank you all for your support and prayers!

The notebook from the movie "The Notebook" and the blue dress that Rachel McAdams wore as the title character Allie were gifts from Kobe to Vanessa on Valentine's Day.

When paying respect to Kobe in 2020, Vanessa revealed, "When I asked him why he chose the blue dress, he said it was because it was the scene when Allie comes back to Noah. We had hoped to grow old together like the movie."

2016 - Kobe And Vanessa Celebrated His Retirement And A New Baby

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant with their kids
Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant with their kids

Kobe Bryant announced in November 2015 that he would retire following the 2015–2016 campaign.

Kobe and the Lakers were at the end of an era, but the player was sure it was time to move on.

In his final game as a Los Angeles Laker and NBA player on April 13, 2016, Kobe scored 60 points against the Utah Jazz.

As he adjusted to life as a retired NBA legend, Kobe spent a lot of time with Vanessa, Natalia, and Gianna that summer.

Kobe and Vanessa revealed they were expecting their third child in July of that year.

He posted a picture of a onesie that said "Baby Mamba" on Instagram and captioned it, "Beyond blessed and excited to share that we are expecting our third baby girl!!!"

On December 5, 2016, at 4:09 p.m., Bianka Bella Bryant was born at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach.

June 2019 - Kobe And Vanessa Welcomed Their Fourth Daughter, Capri

Kobe and Vanessa planned to continue adding another girl to their family.

Kobe stunned his followers on Instagram on January 1, 2019, by releasing a picture with the caption "New Year, New Baby."

He confirmed the joyful news that a fourth Bryant child was on the way in the caption.

To join Natalia, Gianna, and Bianka as #mambacitas, Vanessa and I are expecting another child, we said on Instagram.

At 12:21 in the morning on June 20, 2019, Kobe and Vanessa welcomed their daughter Capri Kobe Bryant (per The Blast).

Many congratulated the couple and wondered if he wanted a son.

He joked about having a starting five in his own home when he said to Extra in March 2019:

I think [Vanessa] wants a boy more than I do. I love having girls - I'm super, super excited about that. She is as well. She wanted a boy so he can be mama's boy forever - that sort of thing. We'll see if I can deliver, I don't know.

November 2019 - Kobe Celebrated 20 Years With Vanessa

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant were settling into life as a six-person family when Kobe took a break to commemorate a significant event.

Twenty years ago on November 28, 1999, he first encountered Vanessa while filming a music video.

He posted a photo collection on Instagram with the caption, "On this day 20 years ago I met my best friend, my Queen @vanessabryant," showing the two of them in 1999 and 2019.

I decided to take her on a date to Disneyland tonight to celebrate old school style (pre 4 princesses) I love you my mamacita per sempre.

In retrospect, the tender moment was even more devastating.

Exactly two months after that post, Kobe Bryant passed away, shocking and horrifying the many people who had hoped for the couple to find happiness in the second half of the 41-year-old's life.

January 26, 2020 - Plane Crash That Killed Kobe And Gianni Bryant

On January 26, 2020, a helicopter collision in Calabasas, California, cruelly claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, 13, and seven other people.

Kobe, Gianna, and others were being flown by helicopter to Thousand Oaks for the team's game.

Kobe and Gianna's safety was unknown after an accident, Vanessa Bryant was informed. She attempted to speak to her husband but was unsuccessful.

According to records obtained by Us Weekly, she then called her mother to watch her two youngest girls while she picked up Natalia, then 17, and enrolled in an ACT prep course.

Although it took some time before authorities informed Vanessa at a sheriff's station in Malibu that Kobe and Gianna had passed away, Vanessa immediately began receiving notifications on her phone indicating they had passed away.

On the "All the Smoke" podcast, Kobe made one of his final public appearances and revealed the key to their long-lasting union.

He stated that "commitment and competitiveness of 'We're going to succeed.' That's all the beauty of it: having the persistence and determination to work through things - very, very tough things - and we've been able to do that."

Vanessa Bryant Speaks at A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant

Vanessa Bryant Today

Vanessa Bryant is jubilant about the outcome of a legal lawsuit involving images of the January 2020 helicopter tragedy that claimed the lives of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people.

After an 11-day civil trial that included detailed details of horrifying images that were shot and circulated, a federal jury on Wednesday gave Vanessa Bryant $16 million.

The same jury gave Chris Chester, a financial advisor who lost his wife and kid in the same accident, a separate $15 million award.

The decision was made on Wednesday, which also happens to be Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles on August 24.

The decision date corresponds to Kobe's jersey number during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"All for you! I love you!" Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, and Vanessa Bryant are all smiling in a picture that Vanessa Bryant captioned. "JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi! 8•24•22"

People Also Ask

How Did Kobe Bryant And Vanessa Bryant Meet

They met while filming a music video. In a documentary, Kobe said, “For those that don’t know, yes, I had budding music career as a rapper. It didn’t last long, but I did make a video. On the video set is where I first met Vanessa.”

How Long Were Vanessa And Kobe Together For?

Before Kobe's terrible death at age 41 on January 26, 2020, he and Vanessa Bryant had been married for over 20 years.

How Much Was Vanessa Bryant Awarded?

The trial over the crash images resulted in a $16 million verdict for Vanessa Bryant. A jury determined that Los Angeles County must compensate Vanessa Bryant for the mental harm she experienced as a result of deputies and firefighters exchanging pictures of the NBA player and his daughter's bodies. Before Kobe's terrible death at age 41 on January 26, 2020, he and Vanessa Bryant had been wed for over 20 years.


Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant love story was one-of-a-kind.

We hope Vanessa and her kids the best in life!

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About The Authors

Candice Burns

Candice Burns - Candice Burns has worked in the real estate industry for a long time. She understands the importance of a home for long-term happiness and has dedicated her career to placing people in the home of their dreams. Candice's passions for helping others during difficult times and a strong interest in high-end, luxury homes drove her to explore real estate. She's been in the real estate business for ten years and has helped over 3,500 people find homes during that period. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Los Angeles. She's worked with some of Los Angeles' most prestigious real estate firms.

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