Vanessa met Kobe when she was still in high school. But he pursued her regardless, he was only a few years older than her, and after only six months he asked for her hand in marriage. Sensibly they did wait a little while before getting married, which was still just a year and a half after they met for the very first time.
Famously Kobe’s family opposed the union and stayed away from the wedding. Obviously he went ahead and married Vanessa anyway. Also famously, he did not sign a pre-nup with her, even though he was advised several times to do so.
It would appear Kobe does what Kobe wants and doesn’t much care for the opinions of others, not even his close family. For the most part, it would appear, he is sticking to heeding his own counsel and is doing it just fine.
Vanessa was pregnant with their first daughter in 2002 and the couple couldn’t have been happier. It is rumoured that the arrival of the child prompted a reconciliation of Kobe with his parents. Grandchildren will do that in divided families.
Shockingly, however, only six months after the birth of their daughter, it was reported that Kobe had been issued with an arrest warrant for sexual assault. The charge had been brought up by an employee of a hotel where he had stayed during a knee surgery in Colorado.
Kobe denied the sexual assault, but had instead to admit to consensual sexual intercourse with the 19-year old woman in question. In other words, he had to admit to cheating on his young wife and the mother of his child. But, lo and behold, during the ordeal Vanessa decided to stand by her man. He publicly apologized and gave her an 8-carat purple diamond ring, reportedly worth $4 Million.
The charges were dropped later, because the accuser refused to testify and eventually Kobe settled with her outside of court. Then he settled back into married life with Vanessa and they had another daughter in 2006. A year earlier they had even renewed their vows. It seemed they were in it for the long haul.
But they continued to face rumors of trouble in paradise. They kept denying those rumors and appeared together in public often, always smiling. And as the faithful wife of a basketball player, Vanessa would be at the side of the court during Kobe’s games.
It is said that in this particular industry most players cheat on their wives. But the wives, for the most part, let it happen because of their otherwise prestigious lives. When you get to live like a queen, a cheating husband doesn’t seem a huge concern, does it?
It’s a very cynical way of looking at these relationships, which, presumably, started out with love after all. But none of us are inside these relationshipsand this means it is very difficult to judge what is happening from afar. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy a luxurious life. Everyone has their own priorities and, as outsiders, we must respect that.
In December 2011, though, Vanessa filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. She asked for spousal support and joint custody. Kobe responded in his filing, offering spousal support and also wanting joint custody. But apparently he wasn’t going to give up easily and vowed to get Vanessa back.
Consequently the estranged couple was seen frequently after their divorce announcement made the news. On Valentine’s Day 2012 they were seen kissing and in June 2012 Vanessa reportedly didn’t want to sign the divorce papers.
Since there was no pre-nup she would have made it out of the marriage with a lot of money, not just assets that would’ve been given to her, but also ongoing spousal support and child support. That means she would easily have been able to continue the lifestyle she had been accustomed to all her adult life.
But in January 2013 the couple announced on social media that the divorce was off and that they were giving their relationship another chance. Many were surprised. Some said that true love won out after all. The couple had been together for 14 years at that point. Others said that Vanessa simply didn’t want to give up her status as a player’s wife. Again, that is a rather cynical approach.
As of June 2014 they were still the picture of happiness, though, when they vacationed with their girls in Greece. It has to be a very shallow woman indeed, who forsakes love for status, so let’s hope love won out and not the latter.