Just months after the deaths of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna, Vanessa Bryant found herself in the middle of a public dispute with her mother who claimed she kicked her out of her house and ordered her to return a car she had been given. Now Sofia Laine has filed a $5 million lawsuit against her daughter and her late husband’s estate, claiming the pro-athlete promised to take care of her financially for the rest of her life and charging that her daughter has broken that promise.
A source close to the Bryant family provided BOSSIP with a statement from Vanessa refuting the claims. Referencing the allegations in the lawsuit, the statement reads:
“My mother is continuing to try and find ways to extort a financial windfall from our family. I have supported her for nearly twenty years, and she was never my or Kobe’s personal assistant, nor was she a nanny. I have always been a stay-at-home mother and my husband and I were our daughter’s full-time care givers. 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. She did not take care of business issues or expenses. She was a grandmother who was supported by me and her son-in-law at my request.”
The statement also speaks to Laine’s appearance on Univision’s entertainment news show El Gordo y la Flaca in which she first accused Vanessa of kicking her out on the street without any means to provide for herself.
“My husband and I have never discouraged or kept her from providing for herself. This lawsuit is frivolous, disgraceful, and unimaginably hurtful. My husband never promised my mother anything, and he would be so disappointed in her behavior and lack of empathy,” the statement concludes.
Univision correspondent David Valadez posted the first page of Laine’s lawsuit on Instagram which shows her claim that she worked as a personal assistant and nanny for Kobe and Vanessa and was never compensated as such. This isn’t the first time Vanessa has publicly addressed the quarrel with her mother. After her television appearance in September, an official statement was posted on the @Vanessabryantfanz Instagram account that read:
“My husband and daughter passed away unexpectedly and yet my mother had the audacity to do a television interview speaking negatively of me while shedding tears for a car and a house that were not in her name. She has removed all of her diamond jewelry, emptied the apartment I provided, and out the furniture away to make it look like she doesn’t have my support,” she continued. “My husband and I have supported her financially for the last 20 years, and I continue to do so, in addition to her monthly alimony. Contrary to previous reports, she has not been physically present or emotionally supportive of my daughters and me after my husband and daughter passed away.”
Vanessa has filed her own lawsuits in lieu of the deaths of her husband and daughter in a helicopter crash on January 26. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp in Los Angeles claiming the helicopter’s pilot, Ara Zobayan, acted out of negligence by flying in foggy conditions. A second lawsuit was issued against the L.A. Sheriff’s Department for leaking photos of the helicopter crash site.