Culture

Kobe Bryant's Widow Breaks Silence to Announce Fund to Help Other Victims

Screenshot/Instagram

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant and mother of his four girls, has broken her silence since her daughter and husband died in a tragic helicopter crash on Sunday morning. Seven others, personal family friends, died with them.

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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

In an Instagram post, Vanessa Bryant talked of the outpouring of love to her and her family:

My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.

I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.

Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.

In breaking her silence, Kobe’s widow announced one of the more selfless things that one could do at such a horrible time.

She sought to redeem the tragedy by announcing the establishment of a fund to help the families of the others lost in the crash.

We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.

To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org.

To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org

Gianna, who went by Gigi, was also known as a chip off the old block and called “Mambcita”:

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Gigi Bryant class of 2024 #Mambacita 🏀❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

TMZ reports that the maker of the helicopter, Sikorsky, urged the owners of older model helos to upgrade their safety equipment to include a terrain warning system:

The specific model flying Kobe was the S-76B and, as you know, the NTSB said it wasn’t equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS). It was an optional feature until 2005 — Kobe’s was built in 1991.

Sources familiar with Sikorsky tell us before Kobe’s crash … the company frequently reached out to customers of older S-76 models and urged them to implement new safety measures like TAWS.

Sikorsky is one of the most trusted and finest helicopter companies in the world. It makes several iterations of the helicopters used by the U.S. military and is used as the presidential helicopter.

Marine 1/US Marines

Kobe, Gigi, teammates, parents and friends were headed to the “Mamba Sports Academy” in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game. Before they left for the game, Kobe and Gigi went to church and took communion at their home church in Newport Beach at the 7 a.m. Mass.

There is no cause established yet for the crash into the hills of Calabasas. There was no black box onboard. One is not required.