A lot has happened for Vanessa Bryant and her family during their first year of grieving after the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna back in January. Now, during an already tumultuous period, Vanessa and mother Sofia Laine have ended up in a legal battle revolving around Kobe’s estate.
On December 16, the 68-year-old submitted paperwork with the Orange County Superior Court to sue her daughter for financial support. She’s done so on the basis that Kobe allegedly promised to take care of her for life. According to reports, Sofia claimed this in the court docs:
“Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant’s promises 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 Bryant’s promises made to Plaintiff. Vanessa Bryant did not intend to honor any of the Bryants’ representations, agreements and promises at any stage. Kobe Bryant died on January 26, 2020.”
Sofia also alleges she worked as a “longtime personal assistant and nanny” for Vanessa and her children, and that she should be reimbursed for this work. Per a statement made by Vanessa, her mother is seeking $96 per hour of backpay for supposedly working 12-hour days for 18 years.
On December 7, Bryant spoke out about the lawsuit her mother is filing, calling it completely ridiculous. Of the money Sofia’s claiming she’s owed, Vanessa said:
“In reality, she only occasionally babysat my older girls when they were toddlers. As of ten 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.”
Vanessa also mentioned in her statement:
“This lawsuit is frivolous, disgraceful, and unimaginably hurtful. My husband never promised my mother anything, and he would be so disappointed in her behavior and lack of empathy.”
Originally, news broke of the tension between the mother and daughter back in September of 2020. El Gordo Y La Flaca interviewed Sofia who claimed that Vanessa had kicked her out of her house and had taken away her car. Instantly, Bryant fired back, setting the record straight, saying that they do in fact still pay for her mom’s home and for other things as well. Back in September, the 38-year-old told El Gordo that:
“She [her mother] has removed all her diamond jewelry, emptied her apartment that I provide, and put the furniture in storage to appear as though she is without support. My husband and I have financially supported her over the past 20 years, and I continue to do so, in addition to her monthly alimony. Contrary to previous reports, she has not been physically present or emotionally supportive for my daughters and me after my husband and daughter passed away. Going forward, I see what is most important to my mom and it is beyond hurtful. I hope this public airing of our personal relations will stop here.”
It’s already tragic enough that they’ve lost Kobe and Gianna, but a lawsuit sounds like even more pain for the Bryants to endure. Especially given that it’s between family. We sincerely hope that Vanessa and Sofia are able to resolve this, and that they can be a light for each other during this difficult time. As always, our hearts are with them.
[Image via WENN/Avalon]