Meet Kobe Bryant’s wife of 20 years Vanessa Laine: Pics. A couple of weeks before his untimely death, basketball legend Kobe Bryant had penned a heartfelt message on social media celebrating his childhood sweetheart and wife Vanessa Laine. Kobe who was 41 met Vanessa (37) some 20 years ago when she was still in high school and they started dating before marrying eventually. In the post, Kobe called his wife “Queen” and their four daughters “princesses”.
“On this day 20 years ago I met my best friend, my Queen Vanessa Bryant, I decided to take her on a date to Disneyland tonight to celebrate old school style (pre 4princesses).
I love you my mamacita per sempre.” The couple shared four daughters, Natalia, 17, Gianna, Bianka, four, and seven-month-old baby Capri Bryant who was born on June 20 last year. Kobe was a family man at heart and at the time of his retirement, he said in a statement. “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.
The couple met in 1999 when Vanessa was working as a background model on a music video and 6 months later they were engaged. Vanessa was just 17 while Kobe was 21.
Their relationship was put on the spotlight and at some point, a television helicopter once flew over Vanessa’s high school campus to try to catch the couple together. Vanessa is said to have missed high school prom because of the attention their relationship courted.
They eventually tied the knot in 2001 however Kobe’s family reportedly did not attend the marriage because his parents were worried about him marrying so young, and the couple’s decision not to get a prenup.
The couple’s relationship was put to the test in 2003, the same year that their daughter Natalia was born when Kobe was arrested on allegations of the ra_pe of a 19-year-old girl in a Colorado hotel.
Kobe gave a press conference with Vanessa by his side and admitted that the se_x was consensual then tearfully apologized to his wife in public. “You’re my backbone. You’re a blessing. You’re a piece of my heart. You’re the air I breathe. The couple went through another hurdle in 2005 when Vanessa suffered a miscarriage due to an ectopic pregnancy. Kobe blamed himself for her loss saying he had put her through a lot of stress with his actions. “We should be building our family. But because of my mistake, because of this tough year, we lost a baby.” he said
In 2006 the couple had another baby Gianna but after ten years of marriage, Vanessa filed for divorce in 2011, citing “irreconcilable differences”. She was expected to receive half of Kobe’s $150 million fortune, but the couple reconciled and called off the divorce in 2013, before welcoming another daughter, Bianka in 2016.