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Kobe Bryant’s widow has criticized his mother for filing a “hurtful” lawsuit against him weeks before the first anniversary of the death of her husband and daughter in a helicopter crash.
Vanessa Bryant accused Sofia Laine of trying to “extort a financial windfall” from her family in a lawsuit she filed in California on Tuesday.
In legal documents, Laine claims she worked as an unpaid “personal assistant and nanny” for the family, and before her son-in-law’s death in January, he had promised to care for her “for the rest of her life.” .
“Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant’s promises have not seen the light of day since he has since passed away, and Vanessa Bryant took any and all steps she could to nullify and cancel all promises Kobe Bryant made to (Laine).” says the complaint. “Vanessa Bryant did not intend to honor any of the Bryants’ representations, agreements and promises at any time.”
Vanessa has responded to her mother in a new statement, obtained by People magazine, stating that Laine “continues to try to find ways to extort money from our family.”
“I have supported her for almost 20 years and she was never my personal assistant or Kobe’s, nor was she a babysitter,” says Vanessa. “I have always been a stay-at-home mom and my husband and I were full-time caregivers for our daughters.
“For nearly two decades, we arranged for my mother to live on our nearby properties, at no cost to her because she had claimed she had no money to buy her own home after her divorce. My husband and I felt that it was better for her not to live in our house. She babysat our girls from time to time, like most grandparents do. She did not deal with business matters or expenses.
“She was a grandmother who was supported by me and her son-in-law at my request. She now she wants to charge me $96 an hour for allegedly working 12 hour days for 18 years to take care of her grandchildren. Actually, she only occasionally babysat my older daughters when they were little. For 10 years, our children were full-time students and athletes and I did not have another child until 2016. Her claims are obviously false, but I still tried, repeatedly, to patch things up with my mother.”
Vanessa claims this isn’t the first time her mother has publicly attacked her, revealing that Laine put her down during a TV interview earlier this year while “looking for a new home for her.”
“Even after that betrayal, I was willing to give my mom monthly support for the rest of her life and that wasn’t enough,” Bryant adds. “Instead, he contacted me through intermediaries (contrary to what he claims, my phone number has not changed) and demanded $5 million, a house, and a Mercedes SUV. Because I did not give in to his hurtful threats and requests for money, he has gotten out of control and is making false and absurd claims.
“(She) is now trying to get more money than my husband and I spent to support her while he was alive… She doesn’t take into account how this affects me and my children. She wants to live off my daughters and me for the rest of her life while she continues to collect monthly alimony from her ex-husband since 2004.
“My husband never promised my mother anything and I would be very disappointed in her behavior and lack of empathy.”