They don’t make celebrity couples quite like Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant anymore. The NBA star and his longtime love had a romance for the ages, having met when Kobe was just 20 and Vanessa was 17 years old. After 20 years and four beautiful children together, sadly, their love ended in tragedy when Kobe, 41, and his daughter, Gianna, 13, were unexpectedly killed in a helicopter crash over Calabasas, CA. Today is the first anniversary of Bryant’s death.
To love Mamba was to also love Mamba’s queen. In two decades of knowing each other, Vanessa stood by her man’s side, cheered him to five national championships as a Laker, and even supported him during the sexual assault allegations he faced after their first daughter was born.
Like any relationship—or any basketball game, for that matter—Kobe and Vanessa faced low points. There were times when they were winning and times when they were the underdog, looking to make a comeback. But like any good team, they always seemed to be stronger together.
Here’s a bittersweet look back at their 20-year marriage, and everything you need to know about Vanessa.
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November 1999: Kobe Bryant asks for Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta’s number
Throughout their years together, Kobe always made it a point to call out their OG anniversary—November 28, 1999. That’s the first day the couple met on the set of Snoop Dogg‘s music video shoot for the song “Tha Eastsidaz.” Vanessa, 17, was a dancer and music video girl at the time, and Kobe was 20.
For their first date, they went to Disneyland together.
“This pic is the day I asked @ladyvb24 for her number 11/28/99,” Kobe once wrote on Instagram. “Thru the ups and downs she has been my love and best friend. 20 and 17 yrs old when we met, we have actually grown up together. A true honor and a blessing.”
April 2001: Kobe and Vanessa get married
After nearly two years of dating, the couple tied the knot April 18, 2001 at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, Calif. Reports allege that Kobe’s parents, Joe “Jellybean” and Pam Bryant, were not supportive of the marriage. They allegedly claimed that the couple was too young to wed and also might have taken issue with the fact that Vanessa wasn’t Black. Vanessa is of Mexican, Irish, German and English descent.
Joe and Pam did not attend Kobe and Vanessa’s wedding.
Leylah Fernandez: Fans chanting my name at Indian Wells Masters felt surreal
US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez admitted that hearing fans chant her name at the Indian Wells Masters felt “surreal.” On Friday, Fernandez played her first match since her outstanding US Open campaign and fans in the stands chanted her name.
Fernandez, who is now enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 28 in the world, saw off Alize Cornet 6-2 6-3 to progress into the Indian Wells third round. “It’s surreal. You dream of that happening, but you don’t expect that to happen …
I got goosebumps. Like, even now, my Heart suit is beating so fast … I was so happy,” Fernandez said, per Mark Masters. Fernandez was asked on what did she work after the US Open. “Everything (laughs) … We always try to look for that extra inch, extra millimetre to be better …
We worked on everything,” Fernandez claimed.
Fernandez was thrilled to meet Maria Sharapova
“I was lucky enough to to meet Maria Sharapova at the Met (Gala). We kind of chatted a little bit and she gave me some pretty good advice.
She told me her own experience and the way that she was able to bounce back,” Fernandez revealed. Meanwhile, 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek shared advice for Fernandez and US Open champion Emma Raducanu. “Well I would say balancing all the things you have to do on-court and all the things that [you’ve] been doing for the past years with all that new stuff,” Swiatek explained.
“Because it can overwhelm [you] at the beginning. It was good for me that Roland Garros was the last tournament of the season. I know that [Fernandez and Raducanu] probably have one or two more. “Then they’re going to have a break and they’re going to have time to reflect on [their success].
“Also having the people around you who won’t be pushing you to do more because of public relations or publicity. Just you know maybe staying calm a little bit and waiting for how you will react to all of that.”
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Martina Hingis Used Me! Says Ex Husband to Le Journal du Dimanche
Martina Hingis is happily back to tennis life. After leaving the circuit, she got back to living it. Just in doubles though, and some random single’s appearances in Fed Cup, just to show that despite the years and rust, she still is one of the greatest talents ever witnessed in women’s tennis.
As great as she is on court, Martina over the years has draw attention on her personal life far more than she ought to, with troubled relationships. Now, her former marriage is back on the news, with Martina’s ex husband Thibault Hutin taking on French Le Journal du Dimanche, to reveal that first of all the couple is legally still bonded and secondly that Swiss champion has used him over the years they have been together.
Hingis and Hutin got married in 2010, and while according to the media the Swiss is divorced, legally it appears the couple is yet to tear apart. In 2013 Thibault sued Martina for harassment. Their divorce is yet to be made official, and that hurts Hutin, as reported by JDC.
“My life is trash. I mistakenly left riding to preserve our marriage. I left my passion, there is nothing left. Without my family, I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent” confessed Thibault. When the couple met, Martina had just gotten back from a two-year suspension for cocaine abuse, thus she was quite fragile and not well seen by the media.
“Martina asked me to do interviews with her. Someone told me about her problems briefly, I didn’t know anything about it. Back than things were still tense. She wasn’t allowed to go to tournaments. She needed to rebuild an image.
The marriage with a good Frenchman was perfect at that time. She used me. Thinking about it now it seems obvious”. After more trouble, that including a surprising visit from Hutin to Hingis in New York that didn’t go well, the two separated in 2013.