Vanessa Bryant has responded to claims that she kicked her mother, Sofia Laine, out of her Irvine, California, home. “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, 38, told PEOPLE in a statement on Tuesday, September 22.
“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,” Kobe Bryant’s widow added. “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.”
Bryant noted that her mother “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,” she concluded. “I hope this public airing of our personal relations will stop here.”
In January, the basketball star, 41, and the couple’s second-oldest daughter, Gianna, 13, died in a tragic helicopter accident. There were seven people also killed in the crash. The couple shared daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 14 months.
Earlier that same day, Bryant sued the L.A. County Sheriff and his department for allegedly taking personal photos of Gianna and Kobe at the scene of the crime.
“No fewer than 8 sheriff’s deputies at the crash site, pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches,” the lawsuit, which was obtained by TMZ read. “The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification.”
Vanessa also claimed that one of the officers showed the disturbing photos of her husband and daughter to a woman at a bar. The bartender told the authorities what had happened. “Ms. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online,” the documents read.
Since Kobe’s untimely death, Vanessa has been spending lots of time with her daughters. On September 21, Vanessa shared a photo of her kiddos, writing, “Love my babies. #GirlMom.”
In August, Vanessa wrote a heartfelt note to the late athlete. “I wish I could make your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi,” she said in honor of his birthday. “I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh.
“Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi. I’ve been completely broken inside. As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters’ days shine a little brighter. I’m not the strong one, they are.”
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