Vanessa Bryant Accuses Mother of Trying to Extort Money

Vanessa Bryant is accusing her own mother of trying to extort money following the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna in the January, according to court documents obtained by People magazine.

People reported that the documents showed, “Sofia Laine, 68, is suing her daughter Vanessa, 38, for financial support, claiming she worked unpaid as a ‘longtime personal assistant and nanny’ for the family. Laine adds in the lawsuit that before his death on Jan. 26 at age 41, Kobe had ‘promised to take care of’ his mother-in-law ‘for the rest of her life.'”

Kobe, Gianna, 13, and seven others were killed when their Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed on the way to a girls basketball game in southern California. Kobe coached the team and Gianni was a member.

In response, Vanessa Bryant released the following statement to People:

“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. She 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.”

Bryant added that she has continued to support her mother financially, despite her mother’s claim in a September interview that Bryant had kicked her out of the family home.

“She has no regard for how this is affecting my children and me,” Bryant told People. “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. … My husband never promised my mother anything. And he would be so disappointed in her behavior and lack of empathy.”

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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