Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa Bryant is understandably struggling to deal with the loss of her husband and 13-year-old daughter.
NBA legend Kobe, 41, and daughter Gianna were among nine people who lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash in foggy conditions over Calabasas, California at the weekend.
The 37-year-old is “working hard to pull it together” for her three “inconsolable’ daughters 7-month-old Capri, Bianka, three, and Natalia, 17, but – as to be expected- is finding it hard.
“She can hardly keep it together,” a source told The Hollywood Gossip.
“She can’t finish a sentence without crying. But she is working very hard to pull it together for the other girls. She now has to be the strong one.”
They added: “It’s an extremely difficult and devastating time for Vanessa and the whole family.”
The insider shared that Kobe’s daughters have been inconsolable, noting that “he had a special bond with each of them.”
Following the tragic news Vanessa shared a statement on Instagram.
She wrote: “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.”
Vanessa went on to write that she was thankful for all the messages and reading about the joy that Kobe and Gianna brought to other people’s lives.
She continued: “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.”
Vanessa revealed that she wanted to help others affected by the tragedy with a fund set up for donations.
She added: “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.
The cause of Kobe and his daughter Gianna’s passing was confirmed by the LA County coroner’s office on Thursday.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has announced that all nine victims of the crash lost their lives to “blunt trauma”, with the deaths certified as an “accident”, according to Hollywood Life.
Also among those who also died in the crash were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56, his wife Keri, their daughter Alyssa and Harbor Day School assistant coach Christina Mauser.
Another young player, Payton Chester, was also killed along with her mother Sarah Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan.
The S-76B helicopter they were travelling in crashed after suffering a descent rate of 2,000 feet per minute.
Jennifer Homendy, a board member on the National Transportation Safety Board, described the accident as a “high energy impact crash” after the helicopter suffered a descent rate of 2,000 feet per minute.
Heavy fog blanketed Los Angeles on the morning of the accident – but the probable cause of the crash will not be confirmed until the NTSB release a final report into the incident, which may not be for another 12-18 months.
Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at email@example.com or call us direct 0207 29 33033.