Vanessa Bryant shares first post after deaths of "adoring" husband Kobe & "beautiful" daughter Gianna
30 January 2020, 10:37
Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa has spoken out for the first time since her husband and their daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash.
Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa Bryant has broken her silence after her husband and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Sunday (26 Jan).
Vanessa, 37, wrote a lengthy statement on Instagram alongside a photograph of the family she shared with the NBA legend, who was among the nine people killed after the aircraft they were travelling in came down in Calabasas, California.
Vanessa began by saying she and Kobe's other daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, three, and seven-month-old Capri, were thankful for the "millions of people who've shown support and love during this horrific time".
"Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe - the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna - a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri."
"We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now."
Gianna's teammate Alyssa Altobelli, her father, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli and her mother, Keri Altobelli also died in the crash. Payton Chester, her mother Sarah Chester and basketball coach Christina Mauser were also killed.
Vanessa continued, "I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon."
"I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way," wrote Vanessa.
"Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever."
"Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality."
Vanessa also announced the the Mamba Sports Foundation, which has been set up to help support the other families affected by the tragedy.