Venessa Bryant is an American model and is more known as the wife of famous NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. Venessa was still a senior at her high school when the already established LA Lakers superstar announced their engagement. The model of Mexican descent suddenly came into the spotlight but managed to develop herself to be more than a side story to her husband’s amazing career.
Kobe and Venessa remain active members of the community and have been seen attending several charitable events, including their own, ‘The Kobe and Venessa Bryant Family Foundation.’ The organization dealt with helping the lives of youth and families who are in need; the foundation operated both on local and international levels. Let us now get to know more about Venessa.
Caption: Kobe and Venessa at the 90th Annual Academy Awards.
Venessa Bryant: Early Life, Education, and Career
Venessa Cornejo Urbieta was born on May 5, 1982, in Huntington Beach, California. She was born to Mexican parents but they split up when she was just three. Venessa was then brought up by her mother Sophia Urbieta, whilst holding two jobs at once. Later, her mother married Stephen Laine, and Venessa too took the Laine surname despite the adoption never being official.
Caption: Venessa with Kobe and her daughters.
Venessa met Kobe as a teenager when he was pursuing a career in music. Back then, he was in a hip-hop group “Tha Eastsidaz” where he was the backup dancer. Soon after their first meet, Kobe used to send roses to Marina High when Venessa went to study. For Venessa’s 18th birthday, the couple made headlines as they made their engagement public and the pair finally said their vows on April 18, 2001.
The marriage ceremony was a private event but his parents, siblings and even his teammates did not attend it. Later Kobe’s father as the former NBA star Joe Bryant admitted that they did not approve their son’s choice of bride. There were speculations about their disapproval because Venessa was a Latina. However, in recent years, the birth of their first daughter Natalie Diamante has been able to heal some family wounds.
Venessa Bryant: Personal Life
Throughout her life, Venessa has been a fiercely guarded individual. She did not enjoy the fact that there were news crews at her doorstep and helicopters hovering over the school, after their engagement announcement. Venessa even had to quit her school to avoid the media and got herself an independent degree. Currently, Venessa is good at dealing with the media. People now consider her as the embodiment of a perfect sports wife, attending games and even accompanying her husband to social events.
Caption: Venessa at the 90th Annual Academy Awards.
Venessa gave birth to the couple’s second daughter Giana Maria-Onore in 2006. But later in 2011, she filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. Kobe and Venessa even appealed for joint custody of their daughters and in 2013 they again decided to call off divorce proceedings. Now the couple has given birth to their third daughter, Bianka Bella, who was born in 2016 and the family seems to be living a relatively happy life together.
Venessa Bryant: Net Worth
Venessa has earned a good deal of money from her modeling career and side business. She has even featured in a Snoop Dogg’s video and was a member of varsity cheerleading squad. Looking at the work she has been doing whilst maintaining the celebrity lifestyle on social media, it is safe to say that she has a strong net worth.
Caption: Venessa and Kobe’s $8 million LA mansion.
However, the exact figures of her net worth still remain a mystery. But again, she is said to inherit a large sum of Kobe’s fortune. Kobe, on the other hand, was ranked #33 on Forbes List of the “40 Richest Entrepreneurs under 40” in 2016. His net worth is somewhere around $350 million, with some rumors suggesting it could be even higher.