The untimely demise of legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant in a helicopter accident, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, more than three years ago, left the world in mourning. Since then, his family has been embroiled in a contentious struggle over the distribution of his estimated $600 million fortune.
The complexity of the situation further intensified when Bryant's mother-in-law, Sofia, became entangled in the legal dispute.
Turmoil Erupts as Sofia, Vanessa Bryant's Mother, Files Lawsuit
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's wife, inherited the majority of the assets, along with their two other daughters.
However, Sofia's involvement has thrown the family into disarray. She recently filed a lawsuit against her own daughter, asserting her entitlement to the inheritance due to the support she claims to have provided during Kobe's life.
According to Sofia, she possessed a signed agreement with Bryant, ensuring her financial assistance until her demise. Additionally, she is demanding compensation for her supposed services as a nanny to her granddaughters. The lawsuit, as reported by the LA Times, highlights the contention: "Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant's promise did not see the light of day as he is now deceased, and Vanessa Bryant took each and every step she could to void and cancel all of Kobe's promises." Sofia's claim seeks a total of $7.5 million from Vanessa Bryant, intensifying the legal strife within the family.
Accusations of Betrayal and Extortion Shake the Bryant Family
Vanessa Bryant has responded to the lawsuit with strong statements, shedding light on the deteriorated relationship between herself and her mother.
She revealed, "Earlier this year, I was looking for a new home for her, and a week later, she went on television and gave an interview disparaging our family and making false accusations while living rent-free in a gated apartment complex in Newport Coast." Continuing her account, Vanessa Bryant shared, "Even after that betrayal, I was willing to provide my mother with monthly support for the rest of her life, and that wasn't good enough.
She, instead, contacted me through intermediaries—contrary to what she claims, my phone number hasn't changed—and demanded $5 million, a house, and a Mercedes SUV." Vanessa further expressed her frustration, stating, "She's continuing to try and find ways to extort a financial windfall from our family.
She was a grandmother who was supported by me and her son-in-law at my request. She now wants to back-charge me $96 per hour for supposedly working 12 hours a day for 18 years for watching her grandchildren." Refuting the allegations, Vanessa Bryant clarified, "In reality, she only occasionally babysat my older girls when they were toddlers.
As of 10 years ago, our kids were full-time students and athletes, and I didn't have another child until 2016. Her claims are obviously false, but I still tried, repeatedly, to work things out with my mother." Amidst the legal turmoil surrounding the Bryant family, Los Angeles County has reached an agreement to pay nearly $29 million in damages to Vanessa Bryant.
The settlement comes after the police released unauthorized photos of the fatal helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, along with seven others. Seeking justice, Vanessa sued the police and revealed the names of the officers responsible for sharing the intrusive images from the accident scene.