Bryant's mom, Sofia Laine, is suing her daughter for financial support, saying that she is owed money for years of being an unpaid "longtime personal assistant and nanny" for the family.
Laine also claims that her son-in-law, prior to his death in January, promised her that he would take care of her for the rest of her life.
According to the suit, obtained by PEOPLE, "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 Laine. Vanessa Bryant did not intend to honor any of the Bryants' representations, agreements and promises at any stage." Ouch.
But Bryant is firing back at her mother. In a statement circulated to various outlets, she furiously refuted Laine's claims, saying that her mom is "continuing to try and find ways to extort a financial windfall from our family."
Bryant denied that Laine had ever acted as a personal assistant to either her or Kobe, and that there was no need to press her into service as a nanny for their four daughters, either. "I have always been a stay-at-home mother and my husband and I were our daughters' full-time caregivers," Bryant stated. "She watched our girls from time to time, just like most grandparents do."
Bryant went on to point out the absurdities of the claim: "She now wants to back-charge me $96 per hour for supposedly working 12 hours a day for 18 years for watching her grandchildren. 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."
The NBA star's widow additionally noted that she and her husband had put her mother up in one of their properties for two decades, at no cost to her...and that she's been treated like dirt in return. "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," Bryant fumed.
The interview Bryant cites took place in September, when a tearful Laine told Univision that her daughter had kicked her out of her home and demanded she return a car that Laine was using.
However, Bryant says that Laine was unsupportive following the tragic death of her husband and daughter Gianna and is no longer contacting her directly, instead going through intermediaries to demand a house, a Mercedes SUV and $5 million from her daughter.
Bryant asserts that, despite all this "hurtful" behavior, she still was trying to work things out with mother so they could get along. However, it appears that things have come down to the last straw in terms of peaceful reconciliation.
"Kobe would be so disappointed in her behavior and lack of empathy," Bryant said.