Vanessa Bryant during Kobe Bryant memorial©GettyImages
Celebrity lawsuits

Vanessa Bryant says her mother Sofia Laine ‘has spiraled out of control’ after new lawsuit

The 38-year-old former model is getting sued by her mother for financial support.

Vanessa Bryant is facing another sad moment in 2020. The 38-year-old former model and philanthropist is getting sued by her mother, Sofia Laine, for financial support. According to the lawsuit, Laine claims that for 18 years, she worked unpaid as a “personal assistant and nanny” to her daughter and Kobe Bryant. The court documents also state that the late basketball player “promised to take care of” his mother-in-law ”for the rest of her life.”

Despite the multiple accusations, Vanessa Bryant assures that all the claims are false and Laine is extorting her family. “I have supported her for nearly 20 years, and she was never my or Kobe’s personal assistant, nor was she a nanny,” says Vanessa, according to PEOPLE. “I have always been a stay-at-home mother, and my husband and I were our daughters’ 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,” she informed in her statement. “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.”

According to Vanessa, her mother wants to charge her millions of dollars for alleged unpaid services. “She was a grandmother who was supported by me and her son-in-law at my request,” Vanessa claims. “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.”

Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game©GettyImages
Kobe Bryant, wife Vanessa Bryant, daughters Gianna Maria Onore Bryant, Natalia Diamante Bryant and Bianka Bella Bryant, and Sofia Laine attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors.

Bryant also added that despite the allegations, she was willing to help her mother. “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,” claims Vanessa. “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,” Vanessa alleges. “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.”

Bryant also added that Laine is “now trying to get more money than my husband and I ever spent to provide for her while he was alive.” She also described the lawsuit as “frivolous, disgraceful and unimaginably hurtful.”

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers©GettyImages
Kobe Bryant poses with his family at halftime after both his #8 and #24 Los Angeles Lakers jerseys are retired at Staples Center.

“She has no regard for how this is affecting my children and me,” she says. “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.”

Vanessa Bryant concluded her statement by saying that Kobe Bryant never made promises to her mother. “My husband never promised my mother anything,” says Vanessa, “and he would be so disappointed in her behavior and lack of empathy.”

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