Vanessa Bryant accuses her mother of trying to ‘extort $5M’ from the family after Kobe’s death by filing a lawsuit claiming the star athlete promised to take care of her
Earlier in the week, Laine claimed in a suit that she was promised by the late star that he would take care of her for the rest of her life. She claimed Vanessa left her out to dry after her son-in-law and granddaughter died in January.
But Vanessa took to her Instagram story Thursday to defend both her and Kobe’s treatment of her mother over the past two decades.
‘My mother is continuing to find ways to extort a financial windfall from our family,’ she said in the post. ‘I have supported her for nearly twenty years, and she was never my or Kobe’s personal assistant, nor was she a nanny.’
Describing herself as a ‘stay-at-home mother,’ Vanessa asserted that she and her husband had always been the ‘full-time care givers’ for their daughters.
‘For nearly two decades, we arranged for my mother to live in our nearby properties, at no cost to her because she claimed that she didn’t have money to buy her own home after her divorce,’ Vanessa continued.
Vanessa claimed that she and Kobe both decided that it was best that Sofia Laine not live in their home.
She said that while her mother did watch her granddaughters, Sofia Laine ‘did not take care of business issues or expenses.’
‘She now wants to back charge me $96 per hour for supposedly working 12 hours a day for 18 years for watching her grandchildren,’ Vanessa said. ‘In reality, she only occasionally babysat my older girls when they were toddlers.
‘As of ten years ago, our kids were full time students and athletes and I didn’t have another child until 2016.’
Denying the claims from her mother, calling them ‘obviously false,’ Vanessa said that she did still try to work things out with her mom.
‘Contrary to what she’s saying, I haven’t left my children’s side since the accident except to visit the cemetery to make arrangements,’ she said.
‘Earlier this year, I was looking for a new home for her and, a week later, she went on television and gave an interview disparaging our family and making false accusations while living rent-free in a gated apartment complex in Newport Coast.
‘Even after that betrayal, I was willing to provide my mother with monthly support for the rest of her life and that wasn’t good enough. She instead contacted me through intermediaries (contrary to what she claims, my phone number hasn’t changed) and demanded $5 million, a house and a Mercedes SUV.
‘Because I did not give in to her hurtful threats and monetary requests, she has spiraled out of control and is making false and absurd claims. She is now trying to get more money than my husband and I ever spent to provide for her while he was alive.’
Vanessa blasted her mother for having ‘no regard’ for how her actions were impacting her and her daughters.
‘She wants to live off of my daughters and me for the rest of her life while continuing to collect monthly alimony from her ex-husband since 2004.
‘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.’
Laine’s suit is seeking financial support from the 38-year-old widow, adding that in addition to being told she would be supported, she worked as an unpaid assistant and nanny to the couple.
‘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],’ court documents read, according to People. ‘Vanessa Bryant did not intend to honor any of the Bryants’ representations, agreements and promises at any stage.’
In September, Laine hit out at her daughter in the Univision interview, alleging she demanded she ‘get out of this house’ and immediately return a vehicle.
‘She told me, “I need you to get out of this house.” She also told me that she wanted her car and she wants it now,’ Laine told interviewer Dave Valadez through tears on the Spanish language show ‘El Gorda y La Flaca.’
It is not clear what may have caused the apparent rift between Bryant and her mom, who was spotted regularly with the family when Kobe and Gianna were alive.
Laine was last pictured with Vanessa in a Thanksgiving family photo that was posted on Kobe’s Instagram account last November.
After the basketball legend’s death, a source told Us Weekly that Laine was helping her daughter and grandchildren – Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
‘[Vanessa] is incredibly close to her mom and her mom has been her rock throughout the past few weeks,’ the insider said.
‘Her mom is always with her and the girls and she’s been keeping Vanessa strong and she’s the weight of her support system.’
Laine also appeared to be very close to her son-in-law Kobe and was waiting outside his locker room in 2015 after he played his last game.
Their relationship may have been even more special because Kobe admitted he didn’t get along with his own parents.
It’s not clear how Vanessa and her mother’s relationship was at Kobe’s memorial in February.