VANESSA Bryant has accused her mother of filing a lawsuit against her in a bid to “extort a financial windfall from our family”.
Sofia Laine sued her daughter Vanessa earlier this week, claiming NBA star Kobe Bryant had promised to take care of her for the rest of her life but that Vanessa was not allowing that to happen, following his death in January.
Sofia Laine pictured with her daughter Vanessa Bryant[/caption]
Vanessa and Kobe had been married for nearly two decades at the time of his tragic death in a helicopter crash. Kobe, 41, and his daughter Gianna Bryant, 13, died in a helicopter crash along with seven other people in Calabasas, California.
In her suit, Laine claims she worked as a nanny for Kobe and Vanessa — and was “forced” to work around the clock for 18 years without proper meal or rest breaks.
“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]. Vanessa Bryant did not intend to honor any of the Bryants’ representations, agreements and promises at any stage,” court documents read.
Laine claimed she was never paid for her work despite taking shifts on holidays and weekends.
But, in an Instagram post today, Vanessa said her mom was lying.
“I have supported her for nearly 20 years, and was never my or Kobe’s personal assistant, nor was she a nanny,” she wrote.
NBA player Kobe Bryant (R) and Vanessa Bryant attend EIF Women’s Cancer Research Fund’s 16th Annual “An Unforgettable Evening” presented by Saks Fifth Avenue at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 2, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California[/caption]
“I have always been a stay at home mother and my husband and I were my daughter’s full-time care givers.
“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.”
Vanessa said she repeatedly tried to “work things out with my mother” but had been unsuccessful.
“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,” she added.
Earlier this year, Laine accused her daughter of telling her to “get out” of the house and ordering her to give back a vehicle following NBA star Kobe Bryant’s death.
Vanessa also addressed those claims in her Instagram post today.
“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,” she wrote.
“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.”
Sofia Laine claimed she was kicked out of the house in a tearful interview with Univision[/caption]
“She told me, ‘I need you to get out of this house,’” Laine said on Univision’s ‘El Gorda y La Flaca’ show in September.
“She also told me that she wanted her car and she wants it now.”
Laine shed tears as she spoke to the interviewer, Dave Valadez.
It is not clear where Sofia Laine is living since she was apparently asked to leave Vanessa Bryant’s house[/caption]
Vanessa Bryant provided a statement to the program in response to her mother’s claims.
“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 wrote.
“She has removed all her diamond jewellery, emptied the apartment I provided, and put away the furniture to make it look like she doesn’t have my support.
“My husband and I have supported her financially for the past 20 years, and 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.
“Now I see what is most important to my mother and it’s more than painful. I hope that everything that is coming out about our personal relationship ends here.”
Sofia Laine appeared in a Thanksgiving photo with the Bryant family last November[/caption]
Laine lived in one of the several homes the Bryant family owns in Newport Beach and the coast, before it was sold in 2013.
The mother-of-four often looked very close to Kobe Bryant—who admitted his relationship with his parents was strained—and would wait outside his Los Angeles Lakers locker room in 2015.
Laine appeared with Vanessa Bryant in a family photo taken on Thanksgiving 2019 that the basketball legend shared on his Instagram.
Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter accident in January[/caption]
After Kobe Bryant’s death, Laine helped her daughter with her grandchildren, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months old, a source told Us Weekly.
The source said Vanessa Bryant “is incredibly close to her mom” and that Laine was “her rock” in the weeks following her husband’s unexpected death.
“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,” the source said.
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Vanessa Bryant’s stepfather, Stephen Laine, compared her to her mother in 2011 when Vanessa and Kobe Bryant nearly divorced over multiple alleged infidelities.
“Her mother taught her well to wait for the 10-year mark,” Stephen Laine said.
It is not known where Sofia Laine is currently residing.