Vanessa Bryant first burst onto the scene when she began dating NBA legend Kobe Bryant. But even as she was launched into the spotlight for being romantically linked to such a talented and famous athlete, she preferred to remain out of the public eye. According to the Los Angeles Times, Vanessa never boasted about her relationship with the celebrated athlete nor did she ever use her relationship with Kobe as a means to get ahead in school. And it appears that Vanessa maintained those same ideals regarding her privacy throughout her entire life.
During a since-deleted 2012 interview with FabFitFun (via Complex), Bryant quickly shot down any rumors of her participating in a reality show. “Absolutely 100% no. Kobe and I were approached to do a reality show after Nick and Jessica started Newlyweds, then they wanted my friend La La and I to do one, years ago,” Vanessa confessed. “I really enjoy my privacy and I love being my goofy and sarcastic self with family and friends. I certainly don’t want to enable people to think they have a significant opinion on what goes on in my life.”
But, while she mostly flew under the public’s radar, we were able to uncover a few nuggets about the fascinating life and transformation of the beautiful Vanessa Bryant. Keep reading after the jump to learn all there is to know about the wife of the late basketball pro.
Vanessa Bryant did not grow up with a silver spoon
Vanessa Bryant’s life with the late Kobe Bryant brought immense wealth, but make no mistake about it — while growing up, things were quite different for the professional athlete’s wife. Vanessa was raised by a single mother, Sofia, after her parents divorced when she was very young. Her father quickly moved to Baja, Mexico and her mother was frequently gone in an effort to make ends meet. During that time, Vanessa’s mother worked as a shipping clerk as they lived with Sofia’s sister.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, however, her mother eventually remarried and Vanessa changed her last name to that of her stepfather, Laine, dropping her biological father’s last name, Cornejo During an interview with FabFitFun (via Lipstick Alley), Vanessa praised her mother “for being an independent single mother and sole provider” and teaching her “to be a person of substance and character.”