Vanessa Bryant spoke out for the first time since the death of her husband, Kobe, and daughter, Gianna, on Sunday. She said her family is "completely devastated," but thanks everyone for the overwhelming outpour of support in this "horrific time."
She also announced that a fund has been established for the other families who were affected by the crash.
"There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gig both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon."
View this post on Instagram
My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. 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. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️
Kobe and Gianna, only 13 years old, were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California. They were among seven other victims in the crash, which is still undergoing investigation.
Kobe and Vanessa had been married since 2001, and were together since she was eighteen years old. They had four daughters together, Natalia, 17, Gianna, 13, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
Kobe and Gianna were on their way to a youth basketball game before the helicopter crashed. Gianna was a promising basketball star who was following in her father's footsteps. She played at Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy under his coaching.
Other victims included pilot Ara Zobayan, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester and daughter Payton, and Bryant's assistant coach Christina Mauser.
"We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately," Vanessa Bryant wrote.
We are devastated and have been forever changed by the sudden loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. We send our love to Vanessa, the Bryant family, and to the families of the other passengers.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 30, 2020