Vanessa Bryant has dubbed Kobe Bryant as her “everything” as she gave a moving speech at his public memorial on Monday (24.02.20)
The 37-year-old beauty gave an emotional and lengthy speech in honour of the NBA star and their 13-year-old Gianna at their memorial at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, after they were among nine people to tragically lose their lives last month when Kobe’s private helicopter crashed
27 February 2020
Vanessa started her speech by talking about Gianna, whom she described as “an amazingly sweet and gentle soul”.
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She said: "First I'd like to thank everyone for coming today. The outpouring of love and support that my family has felt from around the world has been so uplifting. Thank you so much for all your prayers. I'd like to talk about both Kobe and Gigi. I'll start with my baby girl Gianna Bryant, an amazingly sweet and gentle soul.
"She was always thoughtful. She always kissed me good night and kissed me good morning. There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianka and Capri and thought she had left for school without saying goodbye. I'd text and say, 'No kiss?' and Gianna would reply, 'Mama, you were asleep and I didn't want to wake you.' She knew how much her kiss meant to me and kissed me every day.
"Her smile was like sunshine. Her smile took up her entire face, like mine. Kobe always said she was me. She had my fire, my personality, and sarcasm. She was tender and loving on the she had the best laugh. It was infectious. It was pure and genuine."
Vanessa said Gianna “always made sure everyone was okay”, and “kept [their] family together” despite her young age.
The beauty then went on to talk about Kobe - who was 41 when he died - and teared up as she described their romance, which began when she was a teenager.
She explained: "He was mine. He was my everything. Kobe and I had been together since I was 17.5 years old. I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his wife, his best friend, his confidante and his protector. He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. He was the early bird and I was the night owl. I was fire and he was ice, and vice versa at times. We balanced each other out. He would do anything for me. I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe. He was charismatic, a gentleman. He was loving, adoring and romantic. He was truly the romantic one in our relationship.
“We really had an amazing love story. We loved each other with our whole beings, two perfectly imperfect people making a beautiful family and raising our sweet and amazing girls. A couple weeks before they passed, Kobe sent me a sweet text and mentioned how he wanted to spend time together. Just the two of us without our kids because I'm his best friend first. We never got the chance to do it. We were busy taking care of our girls and just doing our regular everyday responsibilities, but I'm thankful I have that recent text. It means so much to me. Kobe wanted us to renew our vows. He wanted Natalia to take over his company, and he wanted to travel the world together.”
Vanessa also reflected on the devastating impact Kobe and Gianna’s deaths have had on her other children - 17-year-old Natalia, three-year-old Bianka, and eight-month-old Capri - as she vowed to make sure they remember the “amazing person, husband and father” Kobe was.
And she concluded her speech by saying: "God knew they couldn't be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi. I got Nata, Bebe and KoKo. We love and miss you, boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace, have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you forever and always. Mommy."