Vanessa Bryant, wife of NBA star Kobe Bryant, has made her first public statement following Sunday’s helicopter crash that killed her husband, daughter, and seven others.
In an Instagram post, Bryant thanked the millions who have shown support to her and her family since the accident. She described Kobe as an “amazing father” and 13-year-old Gianna as a “loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.”
“They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon,” Bryant wrote. “I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable.”
Bryant also highlighted the other families who lost loved ones in the accident. The passengers were en route to a basketball tournament; Gianna’s coach, teammates, and their families were among those who died.
“We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately,” Bryant wrote. “There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now.”
Bryant directed readers to the MambaOnThree Fund to honor and support the other families who were impacted by the tragedy and the Mamba Sports Foundation to honor Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports.
The horror and devastation Vanessa Bryant has been faced with is obvious, and whether she made her heartbreaking Instagram post because she felt ready or because she felt obligated, we’ll never know. But there’s something ghoulish about the multiple media headlines describing Bryant’s post as “breaking her silence.” Her husband and teen daughter died only three days prior in a devastating helicopter crash. To muster the wherewithal to do anything other than cry and sleep for a week straight is impressive. Vanessa Bryant owes us nothing. But the current state of celebrity and social media has made it so that there’s an expectation for stars to respond to everything, publicly, at all times, even in the wake of immense tragedy.
“We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality,” Bryant wrote. Given the vulturous and entitled nature of the press and curious onlookers alike, her statement suggests she knows she probably won’t get it.