Vanessa Bryant has released a statement following the tragic passing of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The mother-of-four was devastated to learn that the helicopter that her loved ones had been traveling on crashed in Calabasas, California, on Sunday, January 26. Up until this point, Vanessa had remained silent on the devastating crash and the unfathomable outcome, which has undoubtedly been akin to living a nightmare.
On Wednesday, January 29, Vanessa Bryant made her previously private Instagram account public and changed her profile picture to one of her late husband and daughter. In doing so, she shared her photos and videos — many of which feature Kobe and Gianna — with the world.
Vanessa took to Instagram to express her gratitude for the support she and her daughters have received in the wake of their tragic loss. You can read her full statement below.
“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.”
Vanessa and Kobe had been together for more than 20 years. The two first met in 1999 while Vanessa was still in high school. Their instant chemistry was undeniable and Kobe simply could not wait to make Vanessa his wife. The former Los Angeles Lakers star proposed about a year later. The couple tied the knot on April 18, 2001, at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Dana Point, California.
Since then, the Bryants have been through many ups and downs and nearly ended their marriage in 2011, after having two children together (Natalia and Gianna) and going through a scandal that threatened to ruin Kobe’s career. The couple was able to work things out, however, and their marriage only got stronger in the years that followed. They would welcome two more beautiful daughters, Bianka and Capri, pictured below.