This week, Vanessa Bryant’s mother Sofia Laine said during an interview with Univision that her daughter had forced her to leave her house in Irvine, California, and insisted that she return the car she was using.
“She told me: ‘I need you to get out of this house.’ She also told me that she wanted her car and she wants it now,” Laine said in Spanish during the interview, according to Page Six.
In a statement to People, Bryant denied the claims and criticised her mother’s “audacity” to do a TV interview while the family is still grieving the loss of her husband, the late basketball star, and her 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
"My husband and daughter passed away unexpectedly and yet my mom has the audacity to do an interview on TV talking negatively about me while shedding tears about a car and home that wasn’t in her name,” Bryant told the outlet.
The 38-year-old also said that her mother has made an effort to make it appear as if she has no support, telling the outlet: “She has removed all her diamond jewelry, emptied her apartment that I provide, and put the furniture in storage to appear as though she is without support.
"My husband and I have financially supported her over the past 20 years, and I continue to do so, in addition to her monthly alimony."
Bryant also denied that Laine has been “physically present or emotionally supportive for my daughters and me” since the passing of Kobe and Gianna in a helicopter crash in January, calling her mother’s intentions “beyond hurtful”.
“Going forward, I see what is most important to my mom and it is beyond hurtful. I hope this public airing of our personal relations will stop here," Bryant concluded.
Over the years, Laine has been pictured with the family numerous times, including in a Thanksgiving post shared to Kobe’s Instagram page last year.
Kobe and Gianna died in a Calabasas, California, helicopter crash along with seven other passengers and a pilot on 26 January.
In August, on what would have been the NBA star’s 42nd birthday, Bryant reflected on his death and her “wish” that she could “wake up from this horrible nightmare”.
"I wish I could wake up from this horrible nightmare," she wrote. "I wish I could surprise our girls and welcome you and Gigi home to us. I'm mad I didn't go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn't have to feel this heartache. You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should've been me.”
The Independent has contacted a representative for Bryant for comment.