Vanessa Bryant Says Mother's Lawsuit Against Her Is 'Disgraceful and Unimaginably Hurtful'

In court documents obtained by ET, Sofia Laine is suing Vanessa and the Kobe Bryant Trust for financial support.

Vanessa Bryant claims her mother, Sofia Laine, is trying to "extort a financial windfall from" her family following the tragic death of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant

In new court documents filed in Orange County Superior Court and obtained by ET, Sofia is suing Vanessa and the Kobe Bryant Trust for financial support, claiming the legendary NBA star "promised to take care" of her "for the rest of her life" prior to his death.

"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 Plaintiff," Sofia alleges in the docs. "Vanessa Bryant did not intend to honor any of the Bryants' representations, agreements and promises at any stage. Kobe Bryant died on January 26, 2020.” 

According to the docs, Sofia also claims that she worked unpaid as a "longtime personal assistant and nanny" for the family, also made up of Vanessa and Kobe's three other children, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 1.

"My mother is continuing to try and find ways to extort a financial windfall from our family. I have supported her for nearly twenty years, and she was never my or Kobe's personal assistant, nor was she a nanny," Vanessa shared in a statement, provided to ET by her rep. "I have always been a stay-at-home mother and my husband and I were our daughter's full-time caregivers. 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. 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. She was a grandmother who was supported by me and her son-in-law at my request."

"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," the statement continued. "As of ten 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. Contrary to what she's saying, I haven't left my children's side since the accident except to visit the cemetery to make arrangements. Earlier this year, I was looking for a new home for her and, a week later, she went on television and gave an interview disparaging our family and making false accusations while living rent-free in a gated apartment complex in Newport Coast. Even after that betrayal, I was willing to provide my mother with monthly support for the rest of her life and that wasn't good enough. She, instead, contacted me through intermediaries (contrary to what she claims, my phone number hasn't changed) and demanded $5 million, a house and a Mercedes SUV."

"Because I did not give in to her hurtful threats and monetary requests, she has spiraled out of control and is making false and absurd claims. She is now trying to get more money than my husband and I ever spent to provide for her while he was alive," Vanessa concluded in the statement. "She has no regard for how this is affecting my children and me. She wants to live off of my daughters and me for the rest of her life while continuing to collect monthly alimony from her ex-husband since 2004. My husband and I have never discouraged or kept her from providing for herself. This lawsuit is frivolous, disgraceful, and unimaginably hurtful. My husband never promised my mother anything, and he would be so disappointed in her behavior and lack of empathy." 

Vanessa previously disputed her mother's claims that she was cutting her off financially earlier this year, after Sofia made an appearance on Univision's El Gordo y La Flaca in September. Sofia claimed in the interview that Vanessa (along with her eldest granddaughter, Natalia) asked her to leave the three-bedroom, Irvine, California, home she was living in, and also return a car she had been gifted.

"My husband and daughter passed away unexpectedly and yet my mom has the audacity to do an interview on TV talking negatively about me while shedding tears about a car and home that wasn’t in her name," Vanessa said in a statement at the time. "She has removed all her diamond jewelry, emptied her apartment that I provide, and put the furniture in storage to appear as though she is without support."

"My husband and I have financially supported her over the past 20 years, and I continue to do so, in addition to her monthly alimony. Contrary to previous reports, she has not been physically present or emotionally supportive for my daughters and me after my husband and daughter passed away," the statement continued. "Going forward, I see what is most important to my mom and it is beyond hurtful. I hope this public airing of our personal relations will stop here."

Hear more in the video below.


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