What is Vanessa Bryant’s Net Worth?
Vanessa Bryant is an American philanthropist who is known as the widow of NBA player Kobe Bryant. Vanessa Bryant has a net worth of $600 million. In 2007, the couple founded their own foundation to provide scholarships to minority college students around the globe. Among her other endeavors, Bryant leads the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation and serves as the president and CEO of Granity Studios.
Kobe and Vanessa met while she was working as a background dancer for a music video. She was 17 years old at the time. Kobe, who was 21 at the time, was at the studio to work on his debut musical album. They were engaged within six months of that first meeting. Laine was still a senior in high school when they married. Kobe’s parents, his agent and his sisters chose not to attend the wedding because they did not support the union due to her age. They married on April 18, 2001 in Dana Point, California at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church. Kobe did not speak to his parents for two years as a result. The ice was broken after Vanessa welcomed their first child in 2003. They would go on to have four children together, all daughters.
In December 2011, Vanessa filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. At the time she filed, Kobe’s net worth was $200 million. They did not have a pre-nup. Interestingly (though this didn’t ultimately matter because the did not divorce), Vanessa waited just a few months after their 10-year wedding anniversary to file for divorce. In California, any marriage lasting longer than 10 years results in spousal support indefinitely, as opposed to an amount of time based on the years they were married. She also decided to file just a few months after Kobe had signed an $84 million contract extension. Two years later they announced they had reconciled and called off the divorce.
Tragically, Kobe Bryant and one of the couple’s daughters died in a helicopter accident on January 26, 2020. Kobe was 41.
Vanessa Laine was born on May 5, 1982 in Los Angeles. Her birth name was Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta. She is of Mexican heritage, and has an older sister named Sophie. When Bryant was still a baby, her parents divorced; her mother later got remarried to Stephen Laine. Following the marriage, Bryant started going by Vanessa Laine, making that her official name in 2000. She lived with her step-grandfather Robert Laine in Huntington Beach, where she attended Marina High School.
In August of 1999, Bryant and her friend Rowena were attending a hip hop concert at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre when they were approached by a company offering them work as music video extras. Bryant went on to appear in music videos for such artists as Snoop Dogg and Krayzie Bone. It was on the set of the music video for Tha Eastsidaz’s “G’d Up” that Bryant met her future husband Kobe. The relationship soon garnered heavy media attention, and disrupted Vanessa’s high school education. She completed her senior year at home via independent study.
Marriage to Kobe Bryant
Six months after they first met, Vanessa got engaged to Kobe Bryant. The couple married in the spring of 2001 in Dana Point, California. A little less than two years later, in early 2003, they had their first child, daughter Natalia. In the summer of that year, Kobe Bryant became embroiled in a sexual assault case filed against him by a 19-year-old employee of a hotel where he had stayed. Although Vanessa defended him, she also conceded that he had committed adultery. Just days after this, Kobe gifted her with a $4 million, eight-carat purple diamond ring.
Throughout the early years of the marriage, Vanessa became the subject of intense tabloid and other media coverage, particularly after she accused Los Angeles Lakers player Karl Malone of acting inappropriately towards her. However, she was also championed for challenging the culture of sexual promiscuity in the NBA. In 2005, Vanessa drew more publicity when she had a miscarriage from an ectopic pregnancy. The year after that, she and Kobe had their second daughter, Gianna. Later, in December of 2011, Vanessa filed for divorce from her husband on account of irreconcilable differences; they ultimately called off the divorce in early 2013. The Bryants went on to have their third daughter, Bianka, in December of 2016. Their fourth and final child, daughter Capri, was born in 2019.
In 2007, the Bryants founded the VIVO Foundation, later rebranded the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation. A global charity, it works to provide scholarships to minority college students and other underrepresented youth around the world. In their other joint philanthropic activities, the Bryants were founding donors of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.
Working solo, Vanessa Bryant has partnered with the non-profit organization Baby2Baby to support impoverished women and children. She earned a philanthropy award from the organization in late 2021. Bryant’s other major philanthropic endeavors include the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which was founded by her husband to support child athletes in need. Through the organization, she launched a line of clothing in honor of her daughter Gianna.
Among her other ventures, Bryant serves as the president and CEO of Granity Studios, a multimedia production company founded by her husband in 2013. Notably, the company produced the 2017 Academy Award-winning animated short film “Dear Basketball.” Granity Studios has also produced a number of young adult novels created by Kobe Bryant, including the “Wizenard” and “Epoca” series.
Kobe Bryant Death and Lawsuit
In January of 2020, Kobe Bryant and second-oldest daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. In response to the incident, Vanessa sued Los Angeles County for invasion of privacy and negligence related to pictures that were taken of the crash and subsequently distributed. In August of 2022, she received $16 million in damages for the suit. Vanessa intends to donate the proceeds to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.