Eight months after Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash, his widow Vanessa Bryant is facing some serious family drama.
Vanessa’s mom Sofia Laine made shocking claims in a new TV interview with the Univision program “El Gorda y La Flaca.” During the sitdown interview, Sofia accused Vanessa of forcing her to move out of the Irvine home in which she had been living and also requesting that Sofia return a car.
Laine told reporter Dave Valadez in Spanish, “She told me, ‘I need you to get out of this house.’ She also told me that she wanted her car and she wants it now.”
It is unclear what led to Vanessa and Sofia’s falling out, and when it happened.
In response to Sofia’s allegations, Vanessa said in a statement to the show, “My husband and daughter passed away unexpectedly, and yet my mother had the audacity to do a television interview speaking negatively of me while shedding tears for a car and a house that were not in her name.”
Vanessa continued, “She has removed all her diamond jewelry, emptied the apartment I provided, and put away the furniture to make it look like she doesn’t have my support. My husband and I have supported her financially for the past 20 years, and continue to do so, in addition to her monthly alimony.”
According to Vanessa, her mom “has not been physically present or emotionally supportive of my daughters or me” since Kobe and Gianna’s tragic passings.
Vanessa concluded her statement, saying, “Now I see what is most important to my mother and it’s more than painful. I hope that everything that is coming out about our personal relationship ends here.”
In February, Us Weekly reported that Sofia and Vanessa were “incredibly close.” A source claimed, “Her mom is always with her and the girls [Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months] and she’s been keeping Vanessa strong and she’s the weight of her support system. Vanessa takes solace in the support of her mom and her sister [Sophie Laine], who are committed to seeing her through this. But at the end of the day, there aren’t words to describe her feelings.”
In other news, Vanessa has just filed a lawsuit against the L.A. County Sheriff Department over shared crash-scene photos.
The court documents, obtained by TMZ, claimed, “no fewer than 8 sheriff's deputies at the crash site, pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches. The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification."
The lawsuit accuses Sheriff Alex Villanueva of attempting to cover it up by telling deputies to delete the photos to avoid disciplinary actions.
According to the lawsuit, Villanueva never told the families about the photos' existence. Instead, survivors learned of the possibl existence of the gruesome photos via media reports.
Citing emotional distress, the papers said, “Ms. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online."
Vanessa is suing for unspecified damages, including punitive damages.
TMZ reached out to the Sheriff’s Department, but have not heard back.