Vanessa Bryant responds to her toxic mother’s lawsuit, which is full of lies

The 2018 Baby2Baby Gala

Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant died on January 26th of this year. I honestly don’t know how Vanessa Bryant has gotten through this year in one piece after she buried her husband and her child. It’s clear that Vanessa has a support system of friends and the “Laker Nation.” But what also became clear was that Vanessa can’t count on a lot of support from her family. In September, Vanessa’s mother Sofia Laine gave a melodramatic interview to Telemundo, claiming that Vanessa “broke promises” to take care of her, and that Vanessa, like, evicted her and took away her car. It was all very Thomas Markle, come to think of it. Vanessa went IN on her mother and issued a statement basically calling Sofia a liar and a fraud who was desperate for attention. Now Sofia has sued her daughter for financial support and again, Vanessa is not having it.

Vanessa Bryant’s mother, Sofia Laine, is suing her for financial support in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death. Laine, 68, filed a lawsuit against Vanessa, 38, in California on Tuesday, December 15. According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly, Laine claims she worked as an unpaid “longtime personal assistant and nanny” for the family and the late NBA star “promised to take care of” her “for the rest of her life.”

The papers allege: “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.”

Vanessa claims in a statement to Us that Laine is “continuing to try and find ways to extort a financial windfall from our family.” She also denies her mother was ever a nanny or personal assistant to her.

“She was a grandmother who was supported by me and her son-in-law at my request,” the former model alleges. “She now wants to back-charge me $96 per hour for supposedly working 12 hours a day for 18 years for watching her grandchildren. In reality, she only occasionally babysat my older girls when they were toddlers. As of 10 years ago, our kids were full-time students and athletes and I didn’t have another child until 2016. Her claims are obviously false but I still tried, repeatedly, to work things out with my mother.”

Vanessa tells Us Laine “demanded $5 million, a house and a Mercedes SUV” from her, but because she “did not give in to her hurtful threats and monetary requests, she has spiraled out of control.” She further claims that her mother is “now trying to get more money than my husband and I ever spent to provide for her while he was alive” and alleges Kobe “never promised my mother anything.”

[From Us Weekly]

My guess – and I truly have no idea – is that Vanessa understood when she was quite young that her mother is a parasite, a user, a toxic a–hole and a drama queen. My guess is that Kobe probably acted as a go-between with Sofia and Vanessa, and Sofia was constantly begging HIM to “take care of her.” And Kobe set it up so that his mother-in-law was taken care of. When Kobe passed, I kind of wonder if Vanessa was looking through their accounts and she suddenly realized just how much Kobe had given Sofia over the years, and Vanessa cut her off… or merely tried to renegotiate and get her mom to downsize. Anyway, toxic parents are the absolute worst. So manipulative, such emotional terrorists. I kind of enjoy that Vanessa isn’t backing down, and she’s pushing back against her mom’s drama.

(FILE) Kobe Bryant Dies At 41

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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73 Responses to “Vanessa Bryant responds to her toxic mother’s lawsuit, which is full of lies”

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  1. Noki says:

    California will just about entertain any lawsuit filling. How do you sue your daughter for entitled money or assets? In my country you would get laughed out of court,actually you wouldnt even make it there.

    • ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

      The standard for having a lawsuit thrown out just from the face of the Pleading is extremely high. Basically, you have to be able to show that even if everything in the pleading was true they still could not prevail on their claim. The system is designed to make sure that people get their day in court unless there’s absolutely no way they could prevail. So unfortunately the Brian’s are going to have to pay a lot of money to fight this case unless they can meet that very high standard

    • Killfanora says:

      Non-American here with a genuine query…..for these (seemingly nonsense) litigations, do the people trying to sue have to pay all their own expenses? How do they afford it if pleading poverty?

      • FeatherDuk says:

        Yes, they must pay their own expenses. They put the legal fees on credit cards, or the lawyer takes a cut of the winnings.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Or the lawyers will do it for free and take a larger cut out of the settlement IF they win. Sometimes in big name cases the publicity alone is worth it.

  2. STRIPE says:

    This is far worse than Toxic Tom. He pulled some BS and gave interviews around Meghan’s wedding etc. This women is suing her daughter who just lost her husband and child. It is truly vile.

    • smcollins says:

      And Vanessa having to deal with this bullshit on top of trying to get through her first holiday season without her husband & daughter, and the one year “anniversary” of their tragic passings just over a month away. She’s been through so much and this time of year has probably set her back from what she’s been able to emotionally work through thus far. I hope she’s able to cut that woman out her life once and for all so she can continue working, in peace, on rebuilding her life & family.

  3. L84Tea says:

    Luckily, it sounds like her mother has no case at all. I hope for the sake of Vanessa’s peace of mind, none of it gets very far. That poor woman has been through enough this year. Her mother is disgusting.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I really hope this gets thrown out quickly. My heart goes out to Vanessa. She’s had such a difficult year, and I can’t imagine what kind of mother would sue her daughter during this time. The suit says SO MUCH about what kind of person her mother is. A good person would not do this to her child.

  4. Christine Stephens says:


  5. VS says:

    As someone said on Twitter: Vanessa’s mother and Thomas Markle should get together…….both are greedy and have narcissistic tendencies….two horrible parents!

  6. S808 says:

    What a disgusting mother. I hope she ends up with what she deserves: nothing.

  7. souperkay says:

    Good for Vanessa. I have 2 toxic sentient dumpster fires for parents and telling people the truth about them like she is doing here really did help, even though it was incredibly painful. You want your mother to love you unconditionally. Mine, like Vanessa, does not. Her love was extremely conditional so she had to go and I had to tell everyone how poorly she acts in private.

    I am hoping that Vanessa does not settle just to stop the lawsuit.

    • ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

      I am sorry. At least you (and Vanessa Bryant) know who your parents are and can disassociate yourselves from it so that YOU are healthy. Some people never realize that they can never do enough to satisfy parents like this long-term.

    • Christina says:

      Warm thoughts to you, Souperkay. It’s very, very hard. I applaud you for going on after. It can tear a person apart.

    • sunny says:

      That must be incredibly difficult. I’m sorry you had to experience that.

      I feel terrible for Vanessa. I mean, she is trying to heal in the midst of a horrific tragedy and here come toxic mommy to make life even more difficult. She must be emotionally exhausted.

  8. anniefannie says:

    The timing of this tells us everything we need to know about this “mother”!
    My heart breaks for Vanessa and I admire her ability to throw down boundaries during a time when I’d have difficulty getting out of bed.

  9. CMS says:

    This is awful. We are not entitled to the financial windfalls of our children, or our parents! Money can split families. This can also happens when adult children get unhappy about how parents spend their “inheritance”. We ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THESE THINGS. I feel so bad for Vanessa and her children.. Her oldest must be devastated by this. The younger ones at least won’t really understand. When Vanessa lost Kobe she lost her protector And with all that money…that is hard.

  10. Josie Bean says:

    I am not an attorney, but I don’t see how anyone is legally required to financially support their parents. I just don’t see how the mother would have a legal right to demand her daughter pay her $5million, buy her a home and car regardless what Kobe promised her. I don’t know – it seems very odd.

    • CMS says:

      I agree. Unless they signed something how does she even have a case?

    • superashes says:

      I’m an attorney, and I don’t see it either. At worst, a court would look at the past support and say she was already paid for her “services”.

      The blessing here is that Vanessa has all the evidence she needs to cut this person out of her life completely, rather than doing anything else to continue to support her.

    • Kate says:

      Without looking at the pleading, I’m guessing she’s trying to make the case for promissory estoppel? She would have to prove that she acted reasonably in reliance on the promises made by Kobe (like foregoing other work, buying a house/signing a lease to be close to “her work”) and that she suffered some detriment by acting in reliance on the promise. Seems difficult for her to prove, since she was living rent-free in Vanessa’s and Kobe’s property (so it’s not like she owes money on a mortgage or lease that she can claim she signed in reliance on a promise) and it doesn’t sound like she gave up some lucrative job or that she is now incapable of working.

      • pottymouth pup says:

        her mother also continues to get alimony from her ex-husband as well – how she doesn’t have all that money saved up considering her biggest expenses were covered by her daughter & SIL is astounding

  11. J ferber says:

    This makes me wonder about his relationship with his own parents. They were estranged, it seems, for years, yet Kobe was generous with his wife’s mother, who seems very toxic herself.

  12. Veronica S. says:

    I would bet literal money that her mother has NPD. They just can’t stand not being the center of attention and given constant validation. It must kill her that her daughter has been in the news, getting so much sympathy and attention since the death of her husband child, that she just HAD to get in on that action by making herself the victim. I’m sorry she grew up with a parent like that, and I hope she’s able to do the healthy thing and just cut her off as much as possible following this.

    • Meg says:

      My relatives have NPD too. No contact was the only solution for my situation

    • Lady D says:

      How lucky am I to have never had to deal with a NPD’er or worse have one as a family member?
      I’m glad they are rare and I’m really sorry you had to deal with such emotional upheaval from the place you were supposed to be safest.

      • Purple prankster says:

        Lady D, I think maybe people are too quick to put the NPD label on others but I’m sure self centred and emotionally immature adults are a dime a dozen. You are so lucky if you’ve never had a run in with any, leave alone the pain of having one as your parent. As for Vanessa’s mum, I expect no less from a woman who allowed her daughter to be a video vixen at the age of 17.

      • Veronica S. says:

        You’re very lucky. Really, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. My stepmother is one and they are….they are something, I’ll tell you that. It’s like something functionally human is just completely broken there when it comes to basic empathy and human interaction, but they’re also frighteningly good at manipulating people if you don’t know the red flags. They are very talented at turning people against each other and singling out someone to focus their self-hatred; at the same time, they also excel at putting on a charming face and building up the ego and happiness of those who will feed their own. It’s a pattern they perform over and over again.

        I haven’t spoken to my father or stepmother in years once I got old enough to realize how incredibly screwed up they were, but she did quite a bit of damage in the years we were in my father’s custody. I have a lot of lingering guilt of how often she used me against my own siblings when I was too young to know better, but that’s how they get you. The bright side is that once you’ve dealt with one you know the red flags intimately, but hoo boy. What a ride to get there.

      • Monica says:

        It’s not up to us to diagnose anyone with NPD. Garden-variety narcissistic behavior, however, is another matter.

    • LillyfromLilooet says:


  13. Mina_Esq says:

    I’m sure if Kobe wanted to take care of her, he would have made it happen in his will. That’s where deceased person’s wishes are outlined. To think that this as*hole is worried about Mercedes SUVs and such at a time when her daughter lost her husband and child is obscene. Absolutely obscene.

  14. lucy2 says:

    This poor woman has been through way too much, I can’t believe her own mother would do this to her, especially now.
    Unless they had some kind of written agreement about child care or property or something, she’s got no chance, but is probably pushing this to get some kind of settlement.
    If I were Vanessa, I’d cut her off completely, let the lawyers fight it out on her behalf, and be done.

  15. Kari says:

    So the interview was actually on Univision’s “El Gordo y La Flaca” one of the most problematic and popular celebrity gossip shows in the Latinx community (at least in the states). I note that because it just goes to show how awful and intentional this woman was in her approach. She is definitely playing up and using the cultural belief that the children take care of the elders. Listen, I love my culture and personally I will make sure my mom is taken care of in her later years, but my mom is also not a toxic mess. Just because something is tradition does not mean it can’t be problematic. I’m all for saying peace out to toxic family ✌🏽

    I feel for Vanessa being dragged by her mother and some of the (older) Latinx community is not what she needs while grieving her daughter and partner.

  16. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Kobe and Gianna’s deaths are what kicked off this disastrous year. I’ll never be able to comprehend that tragedy. And Vanessa cannot go through the grieving process because she has to grapple with the toxicity of her out of control, greedy, in-name-only “mother.”

  17. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    So absolutely terrible.

    • YatterOn says:

      I am just appalled that her own terrible mother would do this to her. I think it’s time for Vanessa to throw her mother out of that home she lives in, rent free, and bid her farewell!

  18. JT says:

    In the people article it says that Vanessa and Kobe allowed her mother to live rent free in one of their homes for years and supported her financially. Even after her mother’s awful interview trashing her, Vanessa still offered to buy Laine a home and set her up with a monthly stipend. Laine turned it down and is now suing Vanessa. It seems like the mother is wanting to live just as extravagant as her daughter, but not on her own dime. And Laine is still getting alimony for her ex husband as well. She is just greedy.

  19. Lauren says:

    That toxic piece of garbage that is Vanessa’s mother is still receiving alimony from her ex-husband too, on top of what Kobe and Vanessa have given her for years. What more does she want?

    • Mignionette says:

      To piss of Vanessa. There will never be enough money to satiate her. This is not about money, rather this is about be cast off as a Narc.

  20. molly says:

    Related, Ciara seriously looks like the best friend to have. Especially after a tragedy. I hope Vanessa is getting the love and support she needs from friends like that.

  21. Rocķy says:

    It will backfire on her. She will lose the suit and will lose what support she is getting now from her daughter. Hope she never sees her grandchildren again.

  22. MissMarierose says:

    My hope is that that “mother” doesn’t get a dime. But the thing about her extortion (and that’s what this is, ladies and gentlemen) is that it may well end up enriching her to some extent because Vanessa isn’t going to want to put her babies through the mental anguish of having to testify (even in pretrial deposition) about whether their grandmother was their nanny or whatever.
    To prevent that, Vanessa’s attorney is going to need to get this dismissed quickly – before discovery starts. Otherwise, Vanessa may have to seriously consider giving this horrible excuse for a human being money to go away.

    • Kate says:

      I’m not a litigator but I kind of doubt they would depose minor children about that. I don’t think courts are generally in favor of having kids testify, even in family court matters. There would be other ways of proving/disproving her mother’s whereabouts during the years she claims to have been working long hours at their house. Like security cameras showing that she never was there on the days she claimed to be there.

    • Mignionette says:

      Even if Sofia is established as being the ‘Nanny’, she would need to back that up somehow in order to get any future payments and I suspect have a hard time proving that she was paid in the absence of a valid written contract or being able to show some sort of regular payments into a bank account.

      I think Sofia knows she won’t win but as someone said above, what she’s really looking for is a severance payment from Vanessa i.e. the 5 Mill, a car and a house.

      Both families on both sides look really fishy at this point.

  23. Nina Simone says:

    I wish Vanessa well. Her whole year has been dreadful. And for her mother to cap the year off like this is unforgivable. This is vanessa’s first holidays without her beloved husband and child. Her mother is a true narc

  24. HeyThere! says:

    This is insane. Her mother should be ashamed of herself for doing this to a grieving mother and wife. This honestly pisses me off!!!

  25. Watson says:

    Both Kobe and Vanessa’s parents are terrible. Vanessa’s mum is especially gross after watching this unfold. No wonder they married young to escape their families.

    • Yo says:

      Kobe’s parents warned him about marrying Vanessa because of her mom threatening to sue him for statutory rape. In light of her ridiculous lawsuit, Vanessa’s mother has proven Kobe’s parents were right all those years ago.

      • Lanie says:

        Yup. I haven’t forgotten that Vanessa was in high school when Kobe was messing with her. Vanessa’s mom has been predatory from the beginning and used her minor daughter.

  26. ME says:

    I don’t see how her mother could possibly win this lawsuit. No one is entitled to money. I am sure Kobe’s Will had all his assets going to Vanessa and the kids. Vanessa does not have to support her mother or any other person in her family. Just saying “well this dead person said they would take care of me for the rest of MY Life so I should get some of his money”. That’s absolute bullsh*t.

  27. Liz version 700 says:

    Reading this made me feel physically ill. To do this to your daughter and SURVIVING grandchildren after the year they have had is so beyond disgusting. To do it at any time would be awful but my God her mother is a complete Narc/sociopath.

  28. LH says:

    This repulses me on so many levels!! I had an ex-friend do this very thing to me! The level of grandiose entitlement of some toxic people knows no bounds.
    It’s shocking how Malignant Narcissist’s or sociopaths work. They are quite literally the devil.

    My situation had a darker bent because there was a criminal element to what she and her husband did (the very reason I had to cut her out) but the sociopathic grandiose entitlement playbook is the same. Before they knew they were under criminal investigation, they threw a meritless smear campaign civil lawsuit as a means of intimidation so I had to spend 4 years dealing with this toxicity on two legal fronts. Once the indictment was handed down, I naively thought the harassment would stop. Wrong!

    When you cut them off, they will stop at nothing to control the narrative around you, pivoting from one delusion to the next. In my case, and I see similarities with my experience to what Vanessa’s mother is doing to her. They will do anything for what they perceive is theirs. Pure delusion.

    Unfortunately, in my opinion, our judicial system isn’t really ready to deal with the onslaught of narcism that is running rampant in our society. These toxic people use it as a chess move more so now than ever. Look at Trump. Litigious narcissist that will stop at nothing. Sue sue sue! I wish these cases could just be thrown out from the get go but that’s not the way it works in the US.

    I can’t imagine having a parent to this!

  29. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Who’s to say IF Vanessa gave in to her mom’s demands that it would be enough? Seems to me she would just keep coming back for more and more and more…isn’t that how blackmailers work?

  30. Monica says:

    I hope Vanessa cuts her off completely and never speaks to her again. That’s about all you can do with a malignant narcissist.

  31. Mignionette says:

    I feel for Vanessa, but I also feel there is more to this story.

    Kobe cut off his parents for selling some of his memorabilia as he started to gain recognition. However he supported Vanessa’s mother whom we can now see is very toxic.

    Family dynamics can be very complicated, but I am willing to bet that Sofia was a useful ally to Vanessa and Kobe whilst he was alive. It has also been reported that Kobe’s children have no real relationship with his side of the family post death.

    Maybe Sofia now feels entitled to something as she feels she helped safeguard her daughters wealth. Kobe and Vanessa’s relationship was complicated and they almost divorced on more than one occasion.

    I wonder if Sofia talked Vanessa off the ledge and now feels that she should be entitled to some of the spoils of Kobe’s legacy.

    • Lanie says:

      I don’t really care what she feels. She ran to the press and to the courts to fuck with Vanessa in the worst year of her life.

      She’s a monster.

      • Mignionette says:

        Unpopular opinion but this whole family is a mess.

        Sofia is a messy monster.

        Kobe’s family are also messy but have never shown this level of mess so publicly.

        Vanessa also has a history of messiness.

        I am not excusing Sofia, she is clearly a horrible person to do this to her daughter, but this has been going on even before Kobe died. Sofia was scamming her ex out of alimony and fell out with Vanessa and Kobe about it. Sofia was also on Mexican TV earlier this year tearing into Vanessa.

        I find them ALL extremely messy and this seems to be par the course when a rich celebrity dies i.e. Whitney. They’re all basically fighting for Kobe’s money and more will rear their heads before the final act.

    • april says:

      I actually wish celebrities would keep to themselves about such legal messes.

    • farah says:

      “It has also been reported that Kobe’s children have no real relationship with his side of the family post death”.

      This isn’t true since Vanessa is constantly posting pictures on IG hanging out with Kobe’s sister post his death.

    • Laugh or Cry says:

      Well, another unpopular opinion, I remember decades ago when he was in high school and she wasn’t the wife yet… All I’ll say is it is not uncommon for mothers to put their daughters in front of the money train. Vanessa may have to continue to pay for this woman’s silence. Remember what that step father said, they are a cut of the same cloth. The loss of life is indeed tragic.

    • Lanie says:

      That’s a fair take. So much messiness.

      I knew back in the day when Vanessa was a minor hanging out on rap video shoots that she and her mon were something else. It’s like Mayte and her mom: using your daughter as predator bait for a come up. And I do feel like Kobe cut off his family for far less than what Sofia has been allowed to get away with – I’ve got thoughts on him and anti-blackness. I mean, it’s not his family running to the press and trying to extort money from his wife.

      It’s a whole shitshow. But Sofia takes it to another level.

      • NewKay says:

        LANIE- omg- thank you for saying that. Everything you said I agree with. Him and his clinging to the Latin narrative as well- even his nick name. I agree with you 100. No question Vanessa has had a horrible year and the whole situation is beyond horrid and sad. But she was toxic herself before that and so was he really. And yes yes yes to the anti-Blackness. That always distressed me.

  32. Mollie says:

    This poor woman. My heart aches for her. Those poor girls, too. What an awful mother and grandmother.

  33. Midge says:

    Vanessa lost her baby and the love of her life and her mom is suing her. Jesus. Oh and there’s a pandemic.

  34. Reece says:

    I have many words to say about this but i don’t want to say them here and get banned, so…

  35. Delilah says:

    I just wish the world would stop imposing expectations of perfect family on others. I personally believe family dysfunction is more common than we think. I’ve had to distance myself from family for this reason. All my life I had to become a Jedi of boundaries to protect my mental, emotional and sometimes physical well-being. I dealt with insidious forms of abuse. Well, tbh, also physical. I feel like growing up in an environment where abuse was somewhat tolerated made it hard for me to take abuse and abusers seriously. Thankfully I learned to trust my instincts and b-lined right out of the way of Narcissists and other abusers. I pray for Vanessa and her family.

  36. jferber says:

    I just read that 25% of people are estranged from family. It’s complicated and sad. This will be unpopular, but I think it’s best to keep all of this mess private rather than public. The eldest daughter, Natalia, can look at the Internet now and see all of this. I think it’s in the best interests of the family for Vanessa to settle privately with her mom with a non-disclosure agreement. If Vanessa has to pay to keep this woman out of her life, so be it. Surely it’s less hurtful than having all this played out in the public eye. Also, the non-disclosure agreement would include the mother not writing a tell-all book. I’m sure she knows a lot and a private agreement would spare the family pain in the short and long run. That’s my opinion.

  37. coffeeisgood says:

    I feel for Vanessa. I have no idea about the complicated family dynamics here but considering she lost her 13 year old daughter and her husband in the past year I would say this is not the time to sue her. Sounds like the Mom cares only about money and when that stopped coming she showed her true colors. I hope Vanessa kicks this user our of her life and finds the peace she deserves.