What is Vanessa Bryant doing now? She’s taken over Kobe Bryant’s projects

Vanessa Bryant’s life changed completely after losing her husband Kobe Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a fatal helicopter crash in late 2020. Bryant drove to Malibu near the crash site believing that Kobe and Gianna were injured in the accident, but after she arrived, authorities shared the devastating news. 

The world lost one of its greatest athletes, but Vanessa lost so much more. Vanessa and Kobe had been together for two decades. Like all relationships, theirs wasn’t perfect, but they always found each other. 

Vanessa has shown incredible courage and leadership to take up Kobe’s projects, morphing into a leading light in the sports world. 

Vanessa is promoting equality in sports through the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation

Kobe secured his standing among basketball greats long before his passing; people would always remember him as a legend of the sport regardless of his retirement plans. However, Kobe chose to mentor young talent through his non-profit Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. 

It would have cost Vanessa little to end Kobe’s projects; however, she took over, vowing to see through Kobe’s work. Vanessa relaunched the non-profit to provide opportunities to underprivileged athletes and empower young girls.

Bryant also took over operations at Kobe’s multi-media company Granity Studios. 

In early February 2022, Vanessa earned the Be Your Own Champion Award at the Sports Power Brunch for her work with the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. In her acceptance speech, Vanessa said:

‘As a mother of four strong girls, I care deeply about not only leveling the playing field for girls, but elevating it. I want to instill in our young people that girls are just as good as boys and often times, better. I want to provide young girls with opportunities to showcase their talents and to dominate in their fields.”

She described the Foundation as a family project that she and her daughters will fight to keep alive. 

Vanessa revealed that young girls and boys participating in the Foundation’s skill academy train and play together. Bryant explained that it’s essential that genders learn to work together instead of perceiving each other as rivals. 

“If they’re taught how to share common goals and compete together to achieve them, then those skills will not only help them grow as children but it was also help them grow in business and future relationships as adults,” Vanessa said. 

A couple of weeks later, Vanessa presented the inaugural Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award to Chris Paul at the NBA All-Star game. 

Bryant stated that dealing with loss can be challenging, but her kids keep her going

From the outside, Vanessa seemed to handle Kobe’s death with exceptional grace, but inside, she fought a painful battle to keep it together. She’d lost Kobe and Gianna, but she had Natalia, Bianka, and Capri to think about. 

“I can’t say that I’m strong every day,” Vanessa told People. “I can’t say that there aren’t days when I feel like I can’t survive to the next.”

Vanessa struggled with pain, but she remained strong for her daughters by taking over Kobe’s projects and helping build a future for them. She added:

“This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward. Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.”

Kobe and Gianna provided Vanessa with never-ending motivation. “hey inspire me to try harder and be better every day,” she said. Vanessa’s goal is to make her family proud:

“My girls help me smile through the pain. They give me strength. I want to make Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka and Capri proud.”

Vanessa has sued LA County for allegedly sharing photos of Kobe’s fateful crash

In 2020, Vanessa sued LA County for allegedly sharing photos of the fateful crash that killed Kobe, Gianna, and seven others. Vanessa claims she experienced ‘severe emotional distress’ after county officials invaded her privacy by disseminating the images. 

The federal lawsuit contends that first responders passed around photos of the victims. Bryant said during her deposition that she pleaded with LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to prevent people from taking pictures of the scene. 

Sherriff Villanueva insisted that he’d secured the site, but Vanessa later learned that county officials had shared the photos. In her deposition, Bryant said:

“I do not want my little girls or I to ever have to see their remains in that matter. Nor do I think it’s right that the photographs were taken in the first place because it’s already tough enough that I have to experience this heartache and this loss.”

Via a motion to dismiss the suit, advocates for LA County claimed that the sheriff stopped dissemination of the photos before the images went public. Vanessa’s attorneys argued that it’s impossible to know how far the images spread, and one might appear in public in the future. 

“[Bryant] testified that this case is about her ‘having to fear those photographs surfacing.’ But a preemptive, speculative lawsuit about what ‘may’ or ‘could’ happen, as [Bryant] testified, fails as a matter of law,” county attorneys argued. 

However, Judge John F. Walter denied the request to dismiss the suit. He ruled that the facts present genuine issues for trial. Vanessa’s attorney, Luis Li, told The Los Angeles Times that Vanessa’s time looks forward to trial. 

The case has threatened to turn ugly on a couple of occasions. In November 2021, the judge granted opposition attorneys access to Vanessa Bryant’s private therapy records. “When a plaintiff puts her mental condition at issue and demands compensation for severe emotional distress, like Plaintiff has done here, she opens the door to discovery about her mental health,” the county attorneys argued. 

Vanessa has refused to settle with LA County, which settled with two other crash victims’ families after they filed a similar suit. Bryant wants to see LA County officials held accountable for their actions. In her deposition, she said:

“I just don’t understand how someone can have no regard for life and compassion, and instead, choose to take that opportunity to photograph lifeless and helpless individuals for their own sick amusement. I want accountability.”