Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash, according to TMZ. The legendary basketball star is survived by his wife, Vanessa Bryant, who was not on board the helicopter at the time of the crash. Kobe and Vanessa got married in 2001 and had four daughters together. One of the four girls, Gianna, was on board the helicopter and has also been killed.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that there was a helicopter crash this morning. Deputy Navarro told The Inquisitr that all five people on board the aircraft have been confirmed dead. She did not confirm or deny whether or not Kobe Bryant was one of those people. She also did not address whether or not any of those on board were children.
On January 29, Vanessa released a statement, saying she and her daughters are “completely devastated” by their sudden loss.
Vanessa & Kobe Bryant Met In November 1999 & Got Engaged In 2000
Vanessa met Kobe when she was still in high school. It was November 1999 when the two first locked eyes. It all happened at a recording studio when a then-19-year-old Vanessa had been working as a back-up dancer and Kobe, 21, was recording a hip-hop album.
The two had an instant, undeniable chemistry. The following year, Kobe proposed. At the time, Vanessa was a senior at Marina High School in Huntington Beach.
They Got Married In California & Raised Their Children In The Golden State
Vanessa became Mrs. Bryant at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Dana Point, California, on April 18, 2001. The wedding didn’t go off without any drama, however; Kobe’s parents and sister reportedly didn’t attend the nuptials. Things were fairly hairy between Kobe and his parents for a couple of years, but the family was able to come together in 2003 when Vanessa and Kobe welcomed their first child together. Natalia Diamante Bryant was born on January 19 of that year, making the Bryants a happy family of three.
In 2006, the couple welcomed their second daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant.
They took a break from adding more children to the family for several years before welcoming Bianka Bella Bryant in 2016. They became a family of six just last year, welcoming their fourth girl, Capri Kobe Bryant, into their family.
Vanessa Filed For Divorce In 2011 But She & Kobe Ended Up Working Things Out
Vanessa and Kobe have had their fair share of ups and downs over the years. In July 2003, Kobe was accused of rape and was charged with sexual assault a few weeks later. Vanessa stood by her husband and ended up being a huge support system for him as the trial proceeded. The criminal case was dropped and Kobe’s accuser filed a civil lawsuit, which was settled out of court.
In December 2011, Vanessa filed for divorce from her husband. She asked for joint custody of their children but requested that the girls live with her.
The divorce didn’t end up going through, however.
“The Bryants have resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately with the assistance of counsel and a Judgment dissolving their marital status will be entered in 2012. We ask that in the interest of our young children and in light of the upcoming holiday season the public respect our privacy during this most difficult time,” a publicist for the Bryants said in a statement at the time.
The couple also posted to their respective social media accounts, letting fans know that they had worked things out.
“We are pleased to announce that we have reconciled. Our divorce action will be dismissed. We are looking forward to our future together. Kobe & Vanessa,” Vanessa wrote on Instagram at the time.
“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! Much luv, Mamba out,” Kobe wrote in a Facebook post.