Vanessa Bryant’s Mother Suing Her For Financial Support, Claims Kobe Promised To ‘Take Care’ Of Her For ‘Life’

Vanessa Bryant's mother, Sofia Laine claims she worked for the Bryant family as an unpaid longtime personal asst. and nanny. We've obtained the court documents.

Vanessa & Kobe Bryant
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Vanessa Bryant‘s soured relationship with her mother, Sofia Laine has turned legal. According to court documents filed on Tuesday, December 16, in California and obtained by HollywoodLife, Laine, 68, is suing her daughter, 38, for financial support, claiming she was unpaid as a “longtime personal assistant and nanny” for the Bryant family. In the 48-page lawsuit, Laine alleges that — before his January 26 death in a tragic helicopter crash at age 41 — Kobe Bryant had “promised to take care of” his mother-in-law “for the rest of her life.”

The lawsuit states, “On a daily basis, for nearly eighteen (18) years, Vanessa Bryant gave Plaintiff a grueling schedule and detailed instructions on taking care of the Bryants’ children. Plaintiff was forced to work over twelve (12) hours per day with no meal or rest breaks.”

Laine’s attorney(s), according to the legal documents, allege that their client and the Bryants “entered into an oral contract,” claiming, “Prior to his death, Kobe Bryant repeatedly promised to take care of Plaintiff financially in exchange for her many years of work for his family, and to this end, bought her a home for $2,650,000.00.”

Vanessa Bryant & family at Staples Center
(L-R) Vanessa Bryant, Natalia Bryant, Gianna Bryant & Sofia Laine attend the game between the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center in LA on November 29, 2015. (Photo credit: AP)

Vanessa has since responded to her mother’s lawsuit, telling HollywoodLife in a lengthy statement, via her representative, on December 17, “This lawsuit is frivolous, disgraceful, and unimaginably hurtful. My husband never promised my mother anything, and he would be so disappointed in her behavior and lack of empathy.” (See full statement below)

In the court documents, Laine’s attorney(s) state, “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.”

For her part, Vanessa claims (via statement) that Laine “was never my or Kobe’s personal assistant, nor was she a nanny” to the couple’s daughters: Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, 18-month-old Capri and Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, who died alongside her father in the aforementioned helicopter crash that also killed seven others in Southern California in late January.

“My mother is continuing to try and find ways to extort a financial windfall from our family,” Vanessa states, before explaining, “I have supported her [Laine] for nearly twenty years, and I have always been a stay-at-home mother and my husband and I were our daughter’s full-time care givers.” Vanessa added, “She [Laine] was a grandmother who was supported by me and her son-in-law at my request.”

Vanessa tells HollywoodLife in her statement, “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 says, reiterating that “she [Laine] did not take care of business issues or expenses.”

Vanessa & Kobe Bryant with their daughters
Vanessa &Kobe Bryant pictured with daughters Natalia Bryant & Gianna Bryant arrive at the world premiere Of Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on February 26, 2018. (Photo credit: AP)

Now, Vanessa alleges that her mother “wants to back charge me $96 per hour for supposedly working 12 hours a day for 18 years for watching her grandchildren.” Supporting her argument further, she explains, “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. Her claims are obviously false but I still tried, repeatedly, to work things out with my mother,” she continued, noting, “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.”

In her statement, Vanessa also references a recent interview, in which she says Laine was “disparaging our family and making false accusations.” On December 21, an interview with Univision’s Dave Valdez on El Gordo y la Flaca, aired, in which Laine alleged that Vanessa forced her out of a family home and made her return a vehicle she had been using. “She told me, ‘I need you to get out of this house,’” Laine claimed in the interview, adding, “She also told me that she wanted her car and she wants it now.” At the time, Vanessa slammed the interview as “beyond hurtful.”

The lawsuit also states that Laine became “extremely depressed due to her forced isolation,” which she claims occurred when Vanessa “moved” her into a “fraudulently obtained empty apartment” — that had “no cable (Vanessa Bryant cancelled her cable tv subscription)” — after Kobe’s death.

Despite Laine’s claims, Vanessa alleges in her statement that she was still financially supporting Laine. “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,” Vanessa claims. “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.”

See Vanessa Bryant’s full statement to HollywoodLife in response to Sofia Laine’s lawsuit below: 

“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. 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. 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 discouraged 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 behavior and lack of empathy.”

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