Kobe Bryant started trending on Sunday night when the basketball player took home an Oscar for best animated short film for writing “Dear Basketball.” The former NBA star won an Academy Award before Hollywood greats like Christopher Nolan and Harrison Ford.
The minute Bryant took the stage to accept his Oscar, everyone began wondering what he’s been up to since leaving the Los Angeles Lakers in 2015. And it turns out not much is different in his personal life: Bryant is still married to his wife Vanessa, who he married back in 2001.
Here’s what we know about Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant.
1. They got engaged when Vanessa was 18.
Vanessa Laine was an 18-year-old high school senior when she was swept off her feet by the famous basketball player.
2. Their marriage endured a sexual assault lawsuit.
Bryant was accused of rape by a 19-year-old hotel worker. He said that the sexual encounter was consensual, and apologized for cheating on his wife. Sexual assault charges were filed against Bryant, but the case was dropped three weeks after it was filed because the woman didn’t want to proceed.
3. Vanessa filed for divorce in 2011.
She cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split. In 2013, the couple announced that they had called off their divorce.
4. They have 3 kids together.
Vanessa and Bryant are parents to 15-year-old Natalia, 11-year-old Gianna, and 1-year-old Bianka.
5. She released a statement when Kobe retired in 2015.
“I’m so excited to see what God has in store for us as a family now that one chapter is closing and new ones are opening,” she said. The couple welcomed daughter Bianka soon after.