5 Things to Know About Kobe Bryant’s Wife Vanessa After Husband and Daughter’s Deadly Helicopter Crash

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a tragic helicopter accident on Sunday, January 26, leaving behind wife and mom, Vanessa Bryant.

The California native, 37, who also shared daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months, with the late basketball legend, 41, wed Kobe in April 2001 after two years of dating.

On their 12th wedding anniversary in 2013, the former Los Angeles Lakers player posted a throwback photo with his wife on Instagram, writing,

“This pic is the day I asked @ladyvb24 for her number 11/28/99. Thru the ups and downs she has been my love and best friend.

Lead Vanessa Bryant 5 Things to Know Kobe Bryant

20 and 17 yrs old when we met, we have actually grown up together. A true honor and a blessing. Ti Amo Queen Mamba.”

The Philadelphia native honored that date again in November. “On this day 20 years ago I met my best friend, my Queen @vanessabryant I decided to take her on a date to Disneyland tonight to celebrate old school style (pre 4princesses),” the athlete wrote on social media at the time. “I love you my mamacita per sempre.”

Kobe’s friend and former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, gushed about what a “family man” the Wizenard Series: Training Camp creator was.

“Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man,” the TNT sports analyst, 47, captioned a photo of the shooting guard with his family. “That was what we had most in common. We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gianna was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. I miss you already brother. This is truly unbelievable. Everyone please keep the Bryant’s in your prayers.”

Keep scrolling to read more about Vanessa’s life with Kobe, from their relationship highs and lows to their future family plans.

Model Vanessa Bryant 5 Things to Know Kobe Bryant

1. She Was a Model and Music Video Dancer

Vanessa and Kobe met on the set of Snoop Dogg’s “Tha Eastsidaz” video in 1999.Model Vanessa Bryant 5 Things to Know Kobe Bryant

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP/Shutterstock

2. She Left Her Public High School to Be Homeschooled Amid Scrutiny

After the NBA player sent flowers to Marina High School and picked her up, Vanessa continued her studies at home. She wed Kobe two years later at a Catholic Church in Dana Point, California.Divorce Vanessa Bryant 5 Things to Know Kobe Bryant

Credit: Jerome T Nakagawa/AP/Shutterstock

3. She Filed for Divorce in 2011

Two years after announcing her split from her husband, citing irreconcilable differences, Vanessa called off the breakup. “We are pleased to announce that we have reconciled,” she wrote on Instagram at the time. “Our divorce action will be dismissed. We are looking forward to our future together.”

Kobe confirmed the news with a Facebook post of his own, writing, “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.”

Mother of 4 Vanessa Bryant 5 Things to Know Kobe Bryant
Credit: Courtesy of Kobe Bryant/Instagram

4. She Is a Doting Mother

The California native welcomed Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri in 2003, 2006, 2016 and 2019, respectively. She suffered a miscarriage in between her eldest two daughters’ births due to an ectopic pregnancy.

Expanding Family Vanessa Bryant 5 Things to Know Kobe Bryant

Credit: Matt Baron/Shutterstock

5. She and Kobe Were Considering Expanding Their Family

“I think she wants a boy more than I do,” the Olympian told Extra of Vanessa in March. “I love having girls — I’m super, super excited about that. She is as well. She wanted a boy so he can be mama’s boy forever — that sort of thing. We’ll see if I can deliver, I don’t know. She’s like, ‘You go see if you can hit a clutch shot. You gave me all girls, let’s see if you can bring a boy!’ Nope, not yet. We’ll see.”

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