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Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, turned 38 in early May and celebrated her birthday for the first time in many years without her husband. Basketball legend and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash on January 26 this year, and since then, Vanessa has often shared family memories on Instagram.

Vanessa and Kobe met in 1999 when she was a guest on a video for the group, which then included Snoop Dogg. Bryant was trying to pursue a music career along with basketball at the time but failed. Still, he met his future wife then.

Vanessa was 17 and Kobe was 20. “She’d bring pictures of Kobe to school, and we’d all be like ‘Omygod!'”, Vanessa’s schoolmate said in a 2005 interview. They didn’t believe she was in a relationship with a famous basketball player.

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After turning 18, Kobe and Vanessa got engaged and were married in April 2001. His parents were not at the wedding because they were against that marriage. The basketball player discovered a few years later that his father Joe opposed the relationship because she was of Latin American descent, not African American.

He had been arguing with his father from the very beginning of his relationship with Vanessa. Joe and Kobe Bryant were estranged for years because of this.

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Just six months after Vanessa gave birth to daughter Natalia, Bryant was charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel employee in Colorado. He later told on a news conference that there was no harassment, but the girl agreed to meet with him. Vanessa was by his side the whole time he was talking and holding his hand. In a statement, she pointed out that she was aware that they had to work on their marriage and that Kobe had made a mistake.

Image source: inquirer.com

After that affair, she received an 8-carat ring with a purple diamond worth $ 4 million. Kobe’s wife had a miscarriage at the time, and they had a second daughter, Gianna, in 2006.

After ten years of marriage, Vanessa filed for divorce, and as the couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement, she was entitled to half of his fortune. However, they resolved their differences and announced two years later that they would stay together. Bianca Bryant was born in 2016, and in 2019 Vanessa gave birth to Capri.

View this post on Instagram

My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

Despite numerous problems, the couple stayed together until death separated them, that is, until a horrific accident in California earlier this year.

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