Vanessa Bryant on mother’s interview: ‘It is beyond hurtful’
Kobe Bryant's widow responded to hurtful claims made by her mother during a recent interview.
In an interview this week, Sofia Laine, Vanessa Bryant‘s mother, made some shocking claims about her daughter and the status of their relationship.
In a preview of the conversation broadcast on Univision‘s El Gorda y La Flaca, Laine claimed to have been kicked out of her residence and forced to return a car to Vanessa, who lost her daughter, Gianna, and her husband, NBA icon Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash in January.
These allegations were made as Laine spoke through tears during the interview, conducted in Spanish.
‘She told me, “I need you to get out of this house,” Laine said Vanessa told her.
The 38-year-old has released an official statement in response to her mother’s allegations.
“My husband and daughter passed away unexpectedly and yet my mom has the audacity to do an interview on TV talking negatively about me while shedding tears about a car and home that wasn’t in her name,” Bryant said, according to People.
“She 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,” Bryant said. “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.”
The entertainment outlet reports Vanessa also revealed more about their relationship after the tragic helicopter accident.
“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.”
Today, Vanessa also filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County, the sheriff’s department and LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva over alleged photos sheriff’s deputies took of the crash site.
USA Today reports the lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of California and notes emotional distress, negligence, and invasion of privacy. The legal documents also claim at least eight sheriff’s deputies took photos on their personal cell phones, and a deputy trainee shared the photo with a member of the public days after the crash, according to a bartender who witnessed the incident and filed a written complaint.
“The moment the deputies snapped photos of Kobe and Gianna’s remains, they created a harm that cannot be undone, and the Department’s response has only exacerbated that harm,” the lawsuit says, according to the news outlet.
The lawsuit alleges Villanueva instructed the officers to delete the photos, however, no further disciplinary actions were taken. According to USA Today, lawyers representing Vanessa requested information from the county and sheriff’s department “including any photos or videos in the possession of or disseminated by the sheriff’s department personnel.” Legal representatives for the department informed the Bryant legal team the request could not be fulfilled.
USA Today reports that the lawsuit also states social media users have warned Vanessa that photos of the bodies of Kobe and Gianna exist online.
“Mrs. Bryant’s fear has been exacerbated by the fact that, despite knowing about the photos within days of the crash, Sheriff Villanueva took none of the steps that a reasonable supervisor (let alone a highly-trained professional investigator) would take to prevent dissemination of harmful photos … it is impossible to rule out that the photos will surface and go viral online. This uncertainty has caused Mrs. Bryant severe stress and anguish,” the lawsuit reads.
Vanessa has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company operator, Island Express Helicopters, and the estate of Ara Zobayan, the pilot in the fatal crash.