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The Marriage of Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine

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Photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine Bryant at premiere in Los Angeles, California on March 26, 2007.

Photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Difficult issues have created tough times for Vanessa Laine and Kobe Bryant.
Marriage Fast Facts - Vanessa and Kobe
Met: When she was in high school.
Married: April 18, 2001.
Separated: December 2011.
Reconciled: Early 2013.
First Marriage: Yes.

Did You Know?
The couple wears leather bracelets that match to show their love for each other.

News Updates:

1/17/2013: Vanessa and Kobe appear to have reconciled and canceled their divorce.
Friend: “Kobe has a lot of pressure on him—that’s no fun to handle alone. You basically have two people who have no friends or close relationships with other people,” says a friend close to Bryant’s family. “They don’t have that great of a relationship with their own families either. So that only leaves each other. They are each other’s only friend in the end. It just took a year for them both to realize it.”
Source: Allison Samuels. "Why the Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Wife Vanessa Are Staying Together." TheDailyBeast.com. 1/17/2013.

12/16/2011: Looks like a really big diamond ring and a re-commitment ceremony aren't enough to keep Vanessa from filing for divorce. The ten-year marriage of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant will end in 2012 according to a statement released by their representative. TMZ reported that the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement.

8/10/07: Kobe and Vanessa Bryant denied rumors about their marriage having problems.

5/05/05: Kobe Bryant surprised his wife, Vanessa, with a re-commitment ceremony in Laguna Beach, California. The surprise reportedly cost Kobe $50,000. "The pair dined privately in a beachfront tent decorated to resemble a favorite L.A. restaurant Dolce."
Source: People Magazine

3/1/05: The woman who accused Kobe Bryant of sexual assault agreed to settle the civil lawsuit she filed after she dropped the criminal charges against him.

11/2004: Kobe accused Karl Malone of flirting with Vanessa and making inappropriate comments to her. Malone has denied the charge. We wondered if this whole scenario was just a manipulation by Vanessa to humiliate Kobe in public for the Colorado mess, or just a move by Kobe to control who plays and who doesn't play for the Lakers, or a ploy for more personal publicity.

Born:

Kobe Bryant: August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Vanessa Cornejo Ubrieta Laine: May 5, 1982, in Huntington Beach, California.

How Vanessa and Kobe Met:

Kobe and Vanessa met at a music video shoot where she was a background dancer. Engaged while she was still in high school, her engagement ring is 7 carats in size, and valued at $100,000.

Wedding Date:

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine were married on April 18, 2001 in Dana Point, California at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church. Kobe's parents were not supportive of the marriage between Kobe and Vanessa. Kobe's family and teammates did not attend the wedding.

Ages at Wedding:

Kobe, 22; Vanessa, 18.

Occupations:

Kobe: NBA basketball player for the LA Lakers.

Vanessa: Dancer.

Children:

Kobe and Vanessa have two daughters.
  • Natalia Diamante Bryant: Born in 2003.
  • Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant: Born in 2006 in Orange County, California.

Miscellaneous:

  • Kobe and Vanessa reportedly do not have a prenuptial agreement.
  • Shortly after admitting to being unfaithful, Kobe bought Vanessa a $4 million eight-carat, purple diamond ring.
  • Kobe and Vanessa reportedly often wear matching leather bracelets as a sign of their love for one another. Some wonder if these gifts are damage control or just good PR.
  • Although Vanessa and Kobe maintained that their marriage is strong, an article in Newsweek suggested that Kobe and Vanessa were growing apart in early 2003. Kobe apparently had contacted a divorce attorney in March 2003.

Sexual Assault Charges and Trial:

After being charged with sexual assault on July 18, 2003, Kobe Bryant admitted that he was unfaithful. In May 2003, Bryant plead innocent to charges of felony sexual assault.
Trial News Update:
9/1/04: The rape case against Kobe Bryant was dismissed with prejudice meaning the felony sexual assault charge cannot be refiled. Prosecutors said they dropped the charge because the alleged victim "could no longer participate." The federal civil lawsuit is still pending.

8/10/04: Kobe Bryant was notified that a federal civil lawsuit was filed against him on August 10, 2004. The suit asks for a jury trial, compensatory damages of at least $75,000, and punitive damages to be determined. Attorneys for the 20-year old woman stated that she is owed money for the pain, "public scorn, hatred and ridicule" she allegedly suffered since the alleged rape in the summer of 2003. The civil lawsuit also accuses Bryant of misconduct with other women. Some legal experts believe that the filing could cripple the criminal case against Kobe Bryant and could lead people to judge that the motives for the case are purely financial.

8/4/04: Statements from the prosecution team makes it appear that their case against Kobe Bryant may be falling apart. Additionally, the accuser may refuse to testify. Her attorney mentioned the possibility of a civil suit against Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant's sex assault trial was set for August 27, 2004. He is charged with allegedly assaulting a Colorado woman on June 30, 2004. She was 19 years old at the time of the alleged attack in a luxury hotel, the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera. The trial and juror selection process is expected to take three to four weeks. Conviction would have meant four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation, and a fine of up to $750,000 for Bryant.

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