Kobe Bryant’s Personal Life
In November 1999, 21-year-old Bryant met 17-year-old Vanessa Laine while she was working as a background dancer on the Tha Eastsidaz music video “G’d Up”. Bryant was in the building working on his debut musical album, which was never released. The two began dating and became engaged just six months later in May 2000, while Laine was still a senior at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California. To avoid media scrutiny, she finished high school through independent study. According to Vanessa’s cousin Laila Laine, there was no prenuptial agreement. Vanessa said Bryant “loved her too much for one“.
They married on April 18, 2001 in Dana Point, California. Neither Bryant’s parents, his two sisters, longtime advisor and agent Arn Tellem, nor Bryant’s Laker teammates attended. Bryant’s parents were opposed to the marriage for a number of reasons. Reportedly Bryant’s parents had problems with him marrying so young, especially to a woman who was not African-American. This disagreement resulted in an estrangement period of over two years, which ended when Bryant had his first daughter.
The Bryants’ first child, a daughter named Natalia Diamante Bryant, was born on January 19, 2003. The birth of Natalia influenced Bryant to reconcile his differences with his parents. Vanessa Bryant suffered a miscarriage due to an ectopic pregnancy in the spring of 2005. Their second daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, was born on May 1, 2006. Gianna was born six minutes ahead of former teammate Shaquille O’Neal‘s daughter Me’arah Sanaa, who was born in Florida. In an early 2007 interview, it was revealed that Bryant still speaks Italian fluently.
8/10/07: Kobe and Vanessa Bryant denied rumors about their marriage having problems.
5/05: Kobe Bryant surprised his wife, Vanessa, with a re-commitment ceremony in Laguna Beach, California. The surprise reportedly cost Kobe $50,000. “The pair dined privately in a beachfront tent decorated to resemble a favorite L.A. restaurant Dolce.”
Source: People Magazine
3/1/05: The woman who accused Kobe Bryant of sexual assault agreed to settle the civil lawsuit she filed after she dropped the criminal charges against him.
11/2004: Kobe accused Karl Malone of flirting with Vanessa and making inappropriate comments to her. Malone has denied the charge. We wondered if this whole scenario was just a manipulation by Vanessa to humiliate Kobe in public for the Colorado mess, or just a move by Kobe to control who plays and who doesn’t play for the Lakers, or a ploy for more personal publicity.
Kobe Bryant: August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Vanessa Cornejo Ubrieta Laine: May 5, 1982, in Huntington Beach, California.
Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine were married on April 18, 2001 in Dana Point, California at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church. Kobe’s parents were not supportive of the marriage between Kobe and Vanessa. Kobe’s family and teammates did not attend the wedding.