Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa has claimed her mother Sofia Laine is trying to ‘extort’ money from the family though a ‘frivolous’ lawsuit.
Vanessa – who has daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, four, and Capri, 18 months, with the late basketball icon – has slammed Laine after she launched a lawsuit against her on Tuesday, in which she alleged in documents obtained by People she had worked unpaid as a ‘longtime personal assistant and nanny’ for the family.
According to the publication, Laine adds in the lawsuit that before his death sporting legend Kobe had ‘promised to take care of’ his mother-in-law.
It read: ‘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, who vehemently refuted the claims, hit back, insisting she and Kobe – who died in a helicopter crash in January alongside several others, including the pair’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna – had never employed her mother, but add she ‘occasionally babysat’ when her kids were younger.
She said in a statement: ‘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. I have always been a stay-at-home mother and my husband and I were our daughter’s full-time care givers.
‘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. (sic).’
Vanessa went on: ‘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. As of ten years ago, our kids were full time students and athletes and I didn’t have another child until 2016.’
She then insisted she had continued to offer financial support to her mother, even after she gave an interview with Univision back in September ‘disparaging the family’ and making ‘false accusations’, including that Vanessa forced her out of a family home, as well as made her return a car she used.
Vanessa continued: ‘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. 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 discourage 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 behaviour and lack of empathy.’
Credit: Original article published here.