Vanessa Bryant Gives Rare Life Update In Heartbreaking Message On Late Daughter’s 18th Birthday

Vanessa Bryant shared a heartfelt message on what would’ve been her late daughter Gianna’s 18th birthday, giving rare insight into how her family is doing after losing Kobe as well as Gianna in a plane crash four years ago.

“Happy birthday to my gorgeous girl, Gigi! I love you. I miss you. I’m so proud of you,” Vanessa, 41, captioned an Instagram post featuring video footage of Gianna growing up.

Some of the clips showed Gianna with her sisters, while others featured her famous father.

kobe bryant closeup

Further in the caption, Vanessa reflected on what she believes Gianna would’ve been doing in her final year of high school, noting what a big year it would’ve been for her.

“2024 was your year. You would’ve been graduating high school and choosing which college to go to. ( I would’ve been trying my hardest to convince you to stay close to home),” she wrote.

“I’m proud of the change in sports you and daddy worked so hard on. You continue to motivate me and inspire young women and girls daily. I love you always, mommy,” Vanessa concluded her post, which was filled with sentimental comments from her followers expressing condolences.

Vanessa Bryant Celebrates Late Daughter Gianna's 18th Birthday With  Throwback Videos of Her and Dad Kobe | Entertainment Tonight

On January 26, 2020, the news broke that a tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his then-13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others. The other victims included Gianna’s basketball teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, their parents John and Keri Altobelli and Sarah Chester, assistant coach Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan.

The group was en route to a basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy, for which Gianna and her friends were going to participate in, when the helicopter encountered thick fog and crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California.


Following the crash, investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were launched to determine the cause of the accident. The NTSB’s preliminary report cited poor visibility due to fog as a contributing factor.

In the aftermath, lawsuits were filed by Vanessa Bryant and the families of the other victims against Island Express Helicopters Inc., the company that operated the helicopter, and the estate of the pilot. The lawsuits alleged negligence and wrongful death, claiming that the pilot should not have flown in such hazardous weather conditions. They were eventually settled in 2021.

Vanessa Bryant honors late daughter on would be 18th birthday with touching  tribute - The Mirror US

Moreover, Vanessa also filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department over the unauthorized release of graphic photos of the helicopter crash. The lawsuit claimed that deputies shared photos of the crash scene, including images of the victims’ remains, with unauthorized individuals and members of the public.

Bryant sought damages for emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and negligence, as well as punitive damages against the department for the violation of her rights and the insensitive handling of the tragedy. Her lawsuit eventually won a $28.8 million settlement.

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