The NBA legend and Vanessa married in April 2001 when he was 22 and she was 18.
Together they have four children: Gianna, 13, who was killed alongside her father, Natalia, 17, three-year-old Bianka, and seven-month-old Capri.
However , Kobe Bryant’s grieving wife, Vanessa, is trying her very best to be strong for her three daughters after the deaths of her husband and their 13-year-old, Gianna.
‘It’s an extremely difficult and devastating time for Vanessa and the whole family,’ a source told People.
Another insider said Vanessa is completely ‘devastated’ and can ‘hardly keep it together’.
‘She can’t finish a sentence without crying. But she is working very hard to pull it together for the other girls. She now has to be the strong one.’
Bryant met Vanessa in 1999 when she was 17 and was working as a background model on a music video. They got engaged six months later and they got married in 2001.
The intense attention over their relationship forced her to miss her high school prom.
Bryant’s family is said to have refused to attend their low-key wedding because they were reportedly concerned that he was too young to wed and were worried there was no prenuptial agreement.
In 2003, the year their daughter Natalia was born, Kobe was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old in a hotel in Colorado.
Rape charges were later dropped after he claimed it was consensual and Vanessa appeared alongside him at a press conference where he admitted cheating on her.
The tearful star told his wife: ‘You’re my backbone. You’re a blessing. You’re a piece of my heart. You’re the air I breathe.’
He added: ‘And you’re the strongest person I know, and I’m so sorry for having to put you through this and having to put our family through this.’
The accuser later dropped all charges.