In the 2015 documentary Kobe Bryant’s Muse, the late basketball player opened up and revealed intimate details about his relationship with his wife Vanessa Bryant. The two met in 1999 on the set of his music video, which was three years after he joined the LA Lakers. Directed by Gotham Chopra, the film reveals just how much Kobe Bryant valued the love of his life.
“It was a two-day video shoot, and I was always looking for her, like I wanted to know where she was,” he recalled. “I would finish a take and go to my trailer but I would wonder where she was the entire time. Then I would come out of the trailer and just wanted to talk to her some more, in between takes and stuff like that.” It wasn’t just an instant chemistry that hooked Kobe—he also remembered they had many things in common, including a shared a love for all things Disney.
“She was just beautiful. We literally did everything together. Everything together. And I thought I was a big dork because I loved Disneyland,” he shared. “I loved the Disney movies and things like that, but I never really had a chance to go to the park much. She was a big Disney fan, too, and we used to hang out as Disneyland, we used to go to Magic Mountain, she became my best friend.” The blossoming relationship between Kobe and Vanessa was something that he admitted he wasn’t used to.
“For me, it was very different to have somebody that I was so close to, because I had been so used to growing up in isolation, really,” he revealed about his life before Vanessa. “Moving around from place to place, making new friends all the time, so I never really opened up to anybody because I knew I was just going to inevitably move. But now, being in Los Angeles and feeling like I’m going to be a Laker for the rest of my life, I just met this beautiful woman that I just see the world the same way with.”
The couple tied the knot on April 18, 2001 and welcomed their first daughter Natalia in January 2003. Over the years, they grew their family with three other daughters—Gianna, Bianka and Capri. On January 26, 2020, the world said goodbye to the NBA legend and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna when they died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. A memorial was held at the Staples Center for the late basketball player with fans from all over the world bringing items in honor of Kobe and Gianna. The Staples Center announced it will be gifting Vanessa and her family those items for them to keep and remember their lost loved ones.