Vanessa Bryant Just Shared a Heartbreaking Photo of Kobe and Gianna Bryant
On Sunday, Jan. 26, Vanessa Bryant lost her husband and daughter, Kobe and Gianna Bryant. The two had been flying on a helicopter with seven others when the chopper crashed and caught fire on a hillside, killing everyone on board.
The news of their deaths led to an outpouring grief on social media, with many fans and celebrities sharing warm words and tributes. Bryant just shared a post herself — and it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
A summary of the crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Shortly after 9 a.m. PT on Jan. 26, Kobe and Gianna left their home in Orange County and headed to Thousand Oaks, California for a basketball tournament. Reports say Gianna, 13, was expected to play in the game and Kobe, 41, was supposed to coach it.
The two were joined by seven others: mother-and-daughter Sarah and Payton Chester, basketball coach Christina Mauser, pilot Ara Zobayan, baseball coach John Altobelli, his daughter Alyssa Altobelli and wife Keri Altobelli.
After the helicopter departed, it reportedly encountered heavy fog. The pilot was allegedly trying to clear a cloud layer when the chopper crashed into a hillside and burst into flames. The exact time of the crash is unclear, but the first 911 call about it came in at 9:47 a.m. PT. As of writing, the accident is still under investigation.
Vanessa Bryant’s post about Kobe and Gianna
As of writing, Bryant has not publicly commented on Kobe and Gianna’s deaths. But on Jan. 29, she quietly changed her header photo on Instagram to a picture of her husband and their daughter. The image shows Gianna beaming and giving her dad a bear hug as he smiles back and stares lovingly into her eyes.
Click here to get a closer look at the photo.
Sources say Vanessa Bryant is taking the deaths really hard
An insider told People on Jan. 28 that Bryant is “devastated.”
“It’s an extremely difficult and devastating time for Vanessa and the whole family,” a friend of the Bryants told the outlet, referencing Bryant and Kobe’s other daughters — Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
“She can hardly keep it together,” another insider said of Bryant. “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.”
The source went on, “Of course, you can never be prepared for this. Despite their ups and downs, [Vanessa and Kobe] were soulmates. She thought of him as her partner for life.”
The two met in 1999 when Bryant was just 18 years old. Kobe proposed six months later and they married in 2001. In 2011, Bryant filed for divorce, but she and Kobe reconciled and called off the proceedings in 2013. In a recent Instagram post, Kobe professed his love for Bryant and called her his “best friend.”
As she grieves the loss of her husband and daughter, Bryant “is surrounded by people who love her and love Kobe. She has a good support system. She is relying on her faith. She is not alone. But she will be grieving this for a very long time,” the second insider claimed.