Vanessa Bryant thanks the fans for support ‘during this horrific time’

Vanessa Bryant has made a public statement about the deaths of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and her daughter Gianna (“Gigi”). I hope no one was clamoring for a statement from Vanessa – she’s reportedly in a pretty bad state, which is 100% understandable. My guess is that she really just wanted to thank people for the outpouring of support and love she’s gotten throughout the worst days of her life. Here’s her statement in full:

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. 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.

We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.

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. 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.

I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. 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. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.

Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.

To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to

To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit

Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

[From Vanessa’s Instagram]

Vanessa has wisely turned off the comments on her Instagram, which is a good thing because, again, how does a person even begin to process what happened? And reading the comments would not be helpful at this point. I hope people – in general – give this poor woman some space and time to heal and grieve. I hope the NBA doesn’t ask her to do a million tribute appearances, and I hope the tabloid media just steps the f–k off.

Photos courtesy of Instagram.

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43 Responses to “Vanessa Bryant thanks the fans for support ‘during this horrific time’”

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  1. runcmc says:

    I truly feel heartbroken for her and her daughters (and the other families involved who lost people too!) Just thinking of losing my fiancé makes me want to cry and we’ve “only” been together 5 years. Losing someone you’ve been with for 20 years, losing a child? How does one even put one foot in front of the other after that?

    My heart goes out to their family. I agree- I hope they’re left in peace until (or IF) they’re ready.

  2. Lurker says:

    Peace and prayers to all the families involved. Vanessa’s strength is commended. If I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t have been able to put out a statement so soon, I’d still be in hysterics for 2 weeks. I hope she has good people around her. It makes me glad she’s looking out for the other families involved.

    I witnessed my own best friend die in a traffic accident when I was 13. This has been incredibly triggering for me. All I can think of lately is those girls’ friends are going through.

    • stormsmama says:

      Im really sorry for your loss..I can imagine this is triggering for you and many others…hang in there…hugs

    • Frida_K says:

      Oh, @Lurker, I’m sorry for your loss and the pain that is resurfacing to you now!

      I had a close family member commit suicide and, in a separate situation, a beloved person in my life murdered and the two are linked in ways I prefer to not outline because it is too painful for me. But I know what it is like to wish to be dead too from anguish. So yes, this is triggering me as well. I’ve found myself remembering how it felt and how the first couple years I cried daily and now, though it’s been many years, how the scar is never going to heal and I thought I’d made my peace with it but apparently not, apparently not to the degree I thought I did.

      I send you the kindest thoughts and hope you will take good care of yourself at this time.

      And Vanessa, the children, and the other families are in my heart, too. May we all be kind to one another as we process this shocking loss. May we all find peace, no matter how tenuous.

  3. Flamingo says:

    I cannot fathom the level of grief that she is feeling. I hope that she has a strong support system around her. Scrolling through her instagram, it looked like they had an incredibly full and happy life together with their girls.

    • Jess says:

      I agree, I looked through Kobe’s Instagram yesterday and he really posted a lot of pictures with his family and seemed very happy. I see quite a few with Gigi, maybe her pictures stand out because of the tragedy, but he seems especially proud of her, such a happy looking girl.

    • Bettyrose says:

      There are no words. She has the emotional welfare of three children to consider. She owes the world nothing.

  4. EMc says:

    Her statement was beautiful and sad. I thought it was really nice where she mentioned that the MambaonThree fund is using the donations to help the other families who are also suffering.

    • lucy2 says:

      I thought that was really nice too.
      I get that she probably had to make some kind of statement, but I hope people just leave her and their family alone now.

    • Snappyfish says:

      I thought the fund to help the other families was extremely lovely. To be in the midst of such turmoil but also grieve & hold out a hand to the others suffering was stunning. Godspeed to all involved

  5. TheOriginalMia says:

    I truly hope people didn’t clamor for that statement and that she made it freely. Also, I hope people leave them alone about the funerals. Let her bury her husband and child in private. Those public events honoring Kobe can wait. Let this family grieve and mourn their losses in peace.

    • Lurker says:


      I’d like to add just how traumatic it may have been for her if she had to view their bodies as next of kin as well (it does seem given the news that it coincided with the official confirmation of Kobe’s body). I’m unsure of how it works in the USA or California regarding the claiming process but I think people under-estimate how traumatizing it can be, especially when bodies are in a less than ideal state. I hope plenty of people are surrounding all of the families with love.

      • HMMM says:

        The bodies of the 4 adults confirmed so far were ID’ed by fingerprints, not by their next of kin.

        The teen girls’ bodies still haven’t been ID’ed yet either. They may not have fingerprints on file anywhere. Also, not to be graphic, but there was a fire – they may have to go by dental records or DNA. Either way, I doubt the family is having to see them unless it’s by their request.

      • Lurker says:

        I read a report this afternoon that all bodies were identified. Regardless of ID, someone has to claim those bodies. I don’t know, can a funeral home just come in after they’ve been identified? I know a family member in the UK would have to sign off on that.

    • Notsoanonymous says:

      Also not to be graphic, but as someone who recently lost her mother / was next of kin, I was never required to view her body for confirmation that it was her. We knew; the cops knew, her landlord knew, the coroner knew. I think we all assume that what we see on TV shows is real when in fact, there are plenty of cases where a body is not visually identified due to condition/decomposition.

      In order to have her remains cremated, all I needed to do was pay for the service and provide her social security number/sign off saying I was the person responsible.

      • Lurker says:

        I hope this doesn’t sound weird but for me I would need to see the body to know in my mind that my loved one is gone. I say that as a person who has necrophobia too.

      • Notsoanonymous says:

        @lurker – I have lost both of my parents and seen neither of their bodies, but holding the box of my dad’s ashes was enough. He died in hospice. Seeing my mothers body would have traumatized me beyond belief due to the condition her remains were in when she was found. It’s not always the way we think it will go down, sitting with your parent in a hospital bed. Sadly.

  6. Lucy says:

    May she, her remaining daughters and the families of the rest of the victims get through this surrounded by love and peace. It’s the least they all deserve.

  7. TrustMe says:

    I hope Vanessa goes after TMZ

    • Lurker says:

      I hope it’s the other families that go after TMZ. They should have waited to announce until all of the families had been notified. The world could have waited a few more hours if it meant those families were informed first.

      From what it sounds like, Vanessa’s people were trying to get ahead of the news and get in touch with all the families. I’m all for a free and fair press, but I wish there was a way to make a law prohibiting reporting deaths like this until families volunteer information.

      • WTW says:

        I know it’s popular to want to blame TMZ, but according to Harvey Levin, they confirmed with a law enforcement official and with Kobe’s rep before announcing his death. In other words, his family did know already when the site posted news of Bryant’s death. I work in media, and if all of that is true, TMZ actually did due diligence from a journalism standpoint. TMZ did not mention the names of the other family members or even of Gianna. I’m no real fan of the site, but, again, as someone who works in media, I know how the news works, and if a famous person dies, and you have a law enforcement official and reps for his family confirming, they have done due diligence. Sharon Osbourne also pointed out that her son knew someone who was involved (not Kobe), and the word was already out at that time.

      • Lurker says:

        It would have been appropriate 1)for the law enforcement official not to give out the info to TMZ and wait for an official press release from LE. 2) to wait and confirm all parties involved had been notified (which I will recant my statements if they were told). Confirm away but please let those trained in the delicate task of informing families do their jobs. How traumatic to find out if a loved one may be dead on the news.

      • HMMM says:

        @WTW I doubt the rest of the families could be notified because TMZ reported he was dead as the helicopter fire was still burning. And didn’t local law enforcement slam TMZ the day of the crash for announcing before all families were notified?

      • WTW says:

        @HMMM and @Lurker, The helicopter started a brush fire that lasted for a while, but TMZ posted news of Bryant’s death nearly two hours after the crash occurred, so, yes, it’s entirely possible that all of the immediate family members knew. There was a manifest with the names of the passengers on board. By chance, I found out about the accident very early. I mean before any site but TMZ had reported it. I also live in L.A. Again, TMZ did not name the names of the other individuals, just Bryant.
        I also watched the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. press conference live, and, yes, a law enforcement official said something akin to “It would be horrible to find out about a loved one’s death” from a new site, but he didn’t say that actually happened, just that it would be terrible if that did happen. Again, I work in media, so I noticed the fact that the law enforcement official raised this as a possibility rather than fact. I also felt what the guy was saying was BS because it was pretty clear TMZ had found out from law enforcement, so I think the official would have been better off reprimanding the loose-lipped police officers who leaked the tragic news than TMZ.
        Also, @Lurker, there are no journalism industry standards about waiting for a press release to happen before posting news. It can take a day or more to get an official press release. Think about how many fatal shootings, accidents, natural disasters, etc. happen. News orgs don’t wait for press release to report them. As long as you get the news from trusted sources (in this case, law enforcement and the family’s reps) any new site hs done due diligence. I say this as someone who has previously covered public safety issues for the news.

    • Notsoanonymous says:

      I hope Vanessa goes after TMZ with the backing/intent of supporting those other families.

  8. Marianne says:

    Thats the business though. Yes, its totally scummy, but if it wasnt TMZ then it would have been someone else. It’s not an “exclusive” if you aren’t first.

    • Lurker says:

      The fact that people have that kind of mentality sickens me. People lost family members and getting the exclusive was the priority for TMZ.

  9. Malika says:

    May she get the privacy and support that is needed to process this horrific experience. To lose your partner and child in this way, andto keep going for you and your family, no one should have to go through this.
    I hope there is a media blackout regarding the funerals and that any tributes or memorials can wait until they are in the right place mentally to do them. She and her family owe the public zilch and if she chooses to say nothing else for the rest of her life, I would respect that.

  10. ReginaGeorge says:

    My heart goes out to Vanessa and the girls and I so admire the fact that during difficult time for her and her family, she also had the strength and compassion to create a charity for the families of the other victims. She knows that financially she will be set, but some of the other victims may not be. Shows the type of people Kobe and Vanessa were/are. I pray for all of the children who lost a sibling and one or both parents. Sigh.

  11. Case says:

    I thought this was a really lovely statement. Wishing all of the families as much peace as possible in such a terrible time.

  12. MellyMel says:

    Lovely statement. She didn’t have to say anything, but she did and I hope people respect her wishes and give her and her girls privacy to grieve and to try to start this next phase of their lives. I feel so horrible for them and the other families. Also the creation of the Mamba fund to help the other families says so much about her as a person.

  13. stormsmama says:

    My friend lost her 9 yr old just under a year ago in a ski accident and the grief has been unimaginable…he was young, vital, brilliant, and beautiful, Just bursting with potential.
    I see in this crash, all that and more. Lives ripped literally from the sky and violently extinguished instantly- stealing dreams and destroying families. forever.
    My heart hurts…
    This will not resolve itself or heal over time…There is no closure…this is an open wound that will live on inside of each of them- and collectively for us as a nation and world –
    its just very very very sad 🙁

  14. Anna says:

    I wish that people and media just let them be…
    Although everyone is supportive and respectful, let her have time to mourn.
    Like someone said on twitter, regarding the New York Post article, how she “can’t finish a sentence without crying” , I promise you, we don’t need updates on her grieving process.

  15. meeee says:

    I guarantee she didn’t write this. It’s far too clear headed, and if I know anything about grief, it’s that nothing is clear for quite some time.
    That being said, it’s sad that she already has to worry about the financial status of the other victims. How incredibly charitable to have already set something g up for the other families, but how sad it’s all going to fall on her shoulders. Lawsuits are coming, guaranteed. And keep an eye on that Mauser husband. What a piece of work. I can’t believe he was already laughing with the media 24 hours later.

    • Roro says:

      Wow, I hadn’t heard anything about Matt Mauser. Where did you see this? I want to check it out.

      • ME says:

        It’s on YouTube. It was an interview GMA did with him I think. It was more nervous laughter mixed with crying. It was odd but that may just be how the dude mourns. I don’t know. Let’s not judge anyone. The man has to be hurting and just doesn’t know how to cope.

      • meeee says:

        He updated his Facebook status at 1 pm the day of the crash, I’m sorry but who thinks to turn to social media immediately? He did an ABC interview within 24 hours, Anderson Cooper in 48 hours. He’s in a band close to where I live. Everyone knows of his band in Huntington Beach. He just so happened to mention he’s in a band within 3 minutes of an interview. Plus he reactivated an old Instagram account and has been posting pics of her nonstop since the accident. I’m trying really hard to not be judgemental, but his actions scream opportunist. 24 hours and you’re already interviewing? Give me a break. Go home and be with your kids.

      • ME says:


        I don’t know much about him other than the one GMA interview that was being talked about here. Either way, we need to tread lightly here. If he is a bad dude, it will come out eventually.

    • muhammad says:

      I’ve already heard about this guy. His dotting husband, we were soul mates shtick is all an act. I’m sure his shenanigans will eventually come to light the more he puts himself out there.

    • Eugenie says:

      Everybody grieves differently, there’s not a clear way to grieve. While you might not be clear and level headed, for someone else it may be how they deal with things. They bury themselves in task that need to be done, or find different outlets to grieve. We really shouldn’t judge or say how someone should react to tragedy

  16. Flying Fish says:

    My prayers and positive thoughts are with Kobe’s family and the families of others who lost their lives.