Vanessa Bryant Speaks Publicly for 1st Time Since Kobe and Gianna's Deaths: 'There Aren't Enough Words to Describe Our Pain Right Now'

Illustration for article titled Vanessa Bryant Speaks Publicly for 1st Time Since Kobe and Giannas Deaths: There Arent Enough Words to Describe Our Pain Right Now
Photo: Maxx Wolfson (Getty Images)

Vanessa Bryant spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since her husband Kobe and 13-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant died in a horrific helicopter crash Sunday morning.

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“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them,” Bryant wrote in a long caption accompanying a family portrait.

“We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe—the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna—a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri,” she continued.

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Bryant hadn’t made any public comments since Kobe, 41, and her daughter died along with seven others in a helicopter crash over Calabasas, Calif. They were headed to a girls basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy, where Kobe was expected to coach his daughter and two other girls on the flight.

Earlier Wednesday morning, Vanessa changed her Instagram profile picture to an image of Kobe and Gigi embracing, a basketball tucked under Kobe’s elbow.

“There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved,” wrote Vanessa. “We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.”

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Vanessa also brought attention to the other seven victims of Sunday’s crash, directing followers to a fund created to support other families whose loved ones died in the crash: John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli; girls’ basketball coach Christina Mauser; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester; and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Vanessa and Kobe met in 1999—three years into what would be a 20-year career in the NBA for Kobe. They married two years later, having four daughters together. Their youngest daughter, Capri, was born just last year.

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“I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them,” Vanessa wrote. “But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way.”

Staff writer, The Root.

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DISCUSSION

Things like this is why I have had a lot of internal reflection for the last few days. I find myself cringing at mentions of Kobe’s rape allegations. I acknowledge that it is a part of Kobe Bryant’s story and I do not think it should be forgotten. I just wonder to myself if it is too soon to have bring the case back into the spotlight. I just couldn’t imagine his daughters and other family to Kobe seeing these discussions and how that is affecting their grief and mourning. Perhaps I have a flawed or problematic view on this particular topic but that is where I stand currently. Either way, despite how any one feels about Kobe and his past, the added fact that his daughter and 7 others perished with him makes this whole thing so unbelievable sad.