Vanessa Bryant has accused her mother Sofia Laine of trying to “extort a financial windfall” from her through a “disgraceful and hurtful” lawsuit after the death of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna.
According to a documented obtained by USA TODAY, Laine is seeking financial support from her daughter, alleging that she worked unpaid as a longtime personal assistant and nanny for the Byrant family. Laine claimed that prior to the basketball icon’s death, he promised to “take care of” the 68-year-old for the “rest of her life”.
“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),” the complaint reads.
Kobe Bryant and her daughter, Gianna, died in a tragic helicopter crash in January this year.
In a statement to People.com, Vanessa fired back at her mother, saying she “supported he for nearly 20 years, and she was never my or Kobe’s personal assistant, nor was she a nanny.”
The 38-year-old widow of the Lakers legend clarified that she has always been a stay-at-home mom, caring for her daughters Natalia Bianka, Capri and Gianna.
“For nearly two decades, we arranged for my mother to live in our nearby properties, at no cost to her because she had claimed that she didn’t have any money to buy her own home after her divorce. My husband and I felt it was best for her not to live in our home. She watched our girls from time to time, just like most grandparents do,” Vanessa said in a statement.
“(Laine) 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. Her claims are obviously false but I still tried, repeatedly, to work things out with my mother,” Vanessa said.
Vanessa said her mother is contacting her through intermediaries demanding $5 million, a house and a Mercedes SUV.
According to the lawsuit filed by Laine, Vanessa’s actions are rooted from the fact that Laine did not condone Vanessa’s actions after the death of her husband and child.
Laine “believed this was extremely inappropriate and troubling and told Vanessa Bryant that she should be home mourning the death of Kobe Bryant and their daughter, Gigi, as opposed to going out social,” the lawsuit says.
Vanessa, on the other hand, claimed that her mother spiraled out of control and is now making false and absurd claims because she did not give in to her threats and monetary requests.
“My husband never promised my mother anything. He would be so disappointed in her behaviors and lack of empathy,” said Vanessa.