Mother of Vanessa Bryant Responds to Extortion Claims: ‘I Am So Disappointed’

by Joe Rutland

It’s becoming a messy situation between Vanessa Bryant, widow of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, and her mother, Sofia Lane.

Lane has filed a lawsuit against Bryant, seeking financial support in what Lane calls her role as a special assistant to Kobe Bryant. Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

Vanessa Bryant said that her mother was attempting to “extort a financial windfall.” Lane, though, was not sitting idly by while this was going on.

“For starters, I would like to state that I do not enjoy airing our family grievances in the public,” Lane said in a statement. “Although I filed a lawsuit, I did not make any public comments and was hoping for the court process to run its course without the publicity, as hurtful as it is. I did not want this and do not want this. All I wanted is what I worked for.

“Vanessa, despite everything that I have been promised and done for her and the family, has attempted to sever all ties and renege on all obligations and agreements,” Lane said. “Why would she do this to her own mother? I am so disappointed, hurt, and wronged to the point that I had no choice but to file a lawsuit. I am nearly 70 years old, my health is deteriorating, and my own daughter is doing this to me?”

Vanessa Bryant Says Her Mother Received Help, Support

Meanwhile, Bryant spoke to People Magazine after the lawsuit surfaced. She said that the family supported her mother for nearly 20 years and that she never was a nanny or assistant.

She also made claims about Lane’s financial life.

“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,” Vanessa Bryant told People.

“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.”

Kobe Bryant Squared Off As Starter Against Michael Jordan

Kobe Bryant’s play on the court was filled with fierce strength and tenacity. He would never give up the fight against anyone, even if that someone was Michael Jordan.

During his first season as a starter for the Lakers, Bryant and Jordan played against one another for the first time on Dec. 17, 1997.

Kobe Bryant was smart with the ball, a great shooter, and a leader that drove his team. Jordan was all that and more, too. But he had the added pressure of defending his legacy. Heading into that game, it was important for Jordan to prove he wasn’t ready to give up the crown to Kobe.

Bryant, who was only 19 years old at the time, needed to back up his boasting, as well.

Here’s a breakdown of that initial clash with some highlights, too, from that Dec. 17, 1997 game.

H/T: Pop Culture