Vanessa Laine Bryant

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Vanessa Laine Bryant

Vanessa Laine Bryant.jpg
Born: May 5, 1982 (1982-05-05) (age 35)
Huntington Beach, California
Ethnicity: Latina
Nationality: American
Body type: Slim
Eye color: Brown
Hair: Brown

Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta Laine Bryant (born May 5, 1982, in Huntington Beach, California) is the wife of Kobe Bryant, an American All-Star shooting guard who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Vanessa is of Mexican descent. She currently has two daughters with Kobe.

Vanessa Cornejo Ubrieta Laine Bryant (born Vanessa Cornejo Ubrieta May 5, 1982) is her original name.

Vanessa was born in Huntington Beach, California to Sofia Laine, and has a sister, Sophie, who is ten years older. Both of her parents are of Mexican descent. Sophie and Vanessa's parents divorced when Vanessa was just a baby, after which her father had moved to Baja, Mexico. Sofia raised her daughters alone until 1990, when she married Stephen Laine. In high school Vanessa legally changed her family name to Laine even though Stephen never adopted Vanessa. For the most part, Vanessa was raised by her step-grandfather, Robert Laine.

The Laines lived in Anaheim and Temecula before moving to Garden Grove, where they bought a four-bedroom house. Vanessa graduated from St. Boniface parochial school in 1995, and Laine used his father's Huntington Beach address to get Vanessa into his alma mater, Marina High School. Vanessa wanted to attend Marina High to be with her stepfather's nieces, because she was very close to them.

Vanessa met Kobe Bryant in November 1999, when she was 17, while she was working as a background dancer in the video G'd Up from the rap group Tha Eastsidaz. Bryant was in the building working on his album, which was never released.

The two began dating and soon the relationship started getting attention from the media. The media attention proved too much for the school and it banned Bryant from the campus.Bryant was also banned from attending Vanessa's prom and her graduation.

Eventually Vanessa completed high school in 2000 through independent study due to the attention.

Kobe asked Vanessa to marry him in May 2000, after just 6 months of dating. Vanessa's engagement ring was 7 carats (1.4 g) and cost $100,000.

On April 18, 2001, 23 year old Kobe and 19 year old Vanessa were married at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, California. There were only about 12 guests at the wedding. Neither Kobe's parents, nor his two sisters, nor his longtime adviser and agent Arn Tellem, nor Kobe's teammates attended. This disagreement resulted in an estrangement period of over two years, during which Kobe Bryant did not have any contact with his parents.

According to Vanessa's cousin Laila Laine, there was no prenuptial agreement: "She just came home one day and said something to the effect that Kobe didn't want a prenup... that he loved her too much for one."

After the wedding the couple drove away in Kobe's Ferrari. They moved into a $4.1 million mansion in Newport Beach, California.

Vanessa gave birth to the couple's first daughter, Natalia Diamante Bryant, on Sunday January 19, 2003. After Natalia was born, Kobe and his parents reconciled. In April 2005, Vanessa suffered a miscarriage due to an ectopic pregnancy. On Monday May 1, 2007 their second daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant was born.

On July 4, 2003, Kobe was charged with raping a 19-year-old hotel worker in Eagle, Colorado. Vanessa remained supportive of her husband and proclaimed his innocence, in spite of Kobe's defense that the incident in Colorado was consensual, thus meaning at best he had committed adultery. Kobe bought Vanessa a $4 million 8 carat (1.6 g) purple diamond ring as a way to say he was sorry. Eventually the charges against Kobe were dropped.

Kobe and Vanessa moved from the Los Angeles community of Pacific Palisades to the gated Newport Coast community of Ocean Ridge in Orange County. By coincidence, their new home was previously owned by Karl Malone's agent Dwight Manley. They decorated their home with things from their childhood: Kobe's Star Wars memorabilia and Vanessa's Disneyland memorabilia. In the backyard they put a replica of Hagrid's cottage from the Harry Potter movies.

In 2003 Kobe and Vanessa also purchased a home for Vanessa's mother, Sofia Ubrieta just around the corner from their home so she could be closer to her grandchildren. Sofia's home is kept in Kobe and Vanessa's name so Sofia can claim no assets and continue to collect alimony from her ex-husband (Vanessa's step-father), Stephen Laine.

In March 2009, Vanessa made headlines when she was accused of harassing their housekeeper Maria Jimenez, a Peruvian immigrant who is a U.S. citizen, says she worked as a full-time housekeeper at the Bryant’s Newport Coast home from September 2007 to March 22, 2008, and was making $50,000 a year, according to the wrongful termination lawsuit filed Friday. The Bryants’ lawyer, Mark D. Campbell, issued a statement denying Jimenez’s account. "Ms. Jimenez's outrageous allegations of improper conduct are totally unfounded and patently false," Campbell said. "The Bryants' intend to vigorously defend against these untruthful allegations and are confident that the baseless nature of the allegations will be proven." Jimenez also alleges Vanessa Bryant screamed at her after one of the Bryants’ children came to Jimenez for comfort, the lawsuit says. Vanessa Bryant yelled, "I don’t want you to touch my baby. I hired you for housekeeping, not babysitting," according to the claim.

The lawsuit says Jimenez was "constructively discharged from her job" because of such incidents.

Besides seeking money for wrongful termination, Jimenez also is asking for damages for emotional distress, unpaid wages, and invasion of privacy and breach of contract. She also alleges the Bryants' never provided her with health insurance, and should pay for her $130,000 in hospital bills for an ovarian cyst, Vogeler said.

The case has been assigned to Orange County Superior Court Judge Kirk Nakamura.

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