Vanessa Bryant accuses mother of attempted extortion in ‘hurtful’ $5 million lawsuit

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

An ugly family battle between Vanessa Bryant and her mother, Sofia Laine, has been brewing after Laine filed a $5 million lawsuit that Bryant referred to as “extortion.”

Bryant is the widow of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. Of course, Kobe Bryant tragically died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash along with the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people.

Laine is claiming that Kobe Bryant pledged to financially support her for the remainder of her life, with her daughter now reneging on the murky promise.

“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],” the lawsuit read. “Vanessa Bryant did not intend to honor any of the Bryants’ representations, agreements and promises at any stage.”

The 68-year-old Laine is also alleging that she served as the Bryant family’s “longtime personal assistant and nanny,” which her daughter disputes while claiming that her mother had been supported for the past two decades.

“I have supported her for nearly 20 years, and she was never my or Kobe’s personal assistant, nor was she a nanny,” Vanessa Bryant said. “I have always been a stay-at-home mother and my husband and I were our daughters’ full-time caregivers.”

Vanessa Bryant also indicated that her mother is lying about the extent of work she performed for the family over the course of a decade

“She was a grandmother who was supported by me and her son-in-law at my request,” Vanessa Bryant claimed. “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 10 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.”

Especially painful for Vanessa Bryant was a “hurtful” interview that her mother did with Univision in September where Laine claimed that she had been kicked out of the Bryant home.

The nasty comments on both sides show that the painful process of trying to get past the horrific tragedy of losing Kobe Bryant is continuing for the family as it prepares for the first anniversary of his death next month.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.