In February 2015, Kobe Bryant and his estranged wife, Vanessa, filed for divorce in the Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court — just outside of the LA Lakers' Staples Center — citing irreconcilable differences. Bryant asked for joint custody of their three daughters and that Vanessa be awarded spousal support, in accordance with the terms of their prenuptial agreement. Less than three years later, on Sunday, they officially called it quits.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and one of the NBA's all-time greats, announced the breakup Friday morning on his Facebook page. Bryant and his wife -- who had originally filed for divorce in 2013, but withdrew it after Bryant was injured for the 2013-14 season -- have since split up, though the former pro athlete said he intends to remain an active member of the Lakers.
Bryant has split up with Vanessa and taken up with Yasmin LaValle, a former Playboy model. But in an interview with TMZ Friday, Vanessa said her ex still had a great relationship with the Bryant daughters, Gianna, Natalia and Gianna Vida.
"Kobe and I have agreed on everything regarding their day-to-day living," Vanessa said. "I'm very involved with their lives, both of my girls ... Being a mother is definitely the most important role. Kids, they understand, no matter how many accolades you have, kids want to know their parents are together and that they have a good foundation for the future."
According to TMZ, the girls attended Bryant's funeral Friday. Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were buried next to Vanessa in a private service last Thursday.
In announcing his separation, Bryant said he hopes "this time spent with Natalia and Gianna will bring healing to both of us."
Vanessa and Kobe, who first met at the University of Michigan when he was just 15 and she was 19, will always be linked as a couple who had the idealized Hollywood story: the star athlete who landed the wife who would someday be able to keep up with him. They've never acted on that dream, and their divorce will just make them even more infamous.