Vanessa Bryant has broken her silence on what she calls a “frivolous, disgraceful and unimaginably hurtful” lawsuit filed by her mother, Sofia Urbieta Laine, in California’s Orange County Superior Court on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
Urbieta, who also goes by the name Sofia Laine, is suing her daughter for financial support, claiming she is owed wages for acting as a “longtime personal assistant and nanny” to the Bryant family.
Laine claims in the lawsuit obtained by People that before Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in January, he “promised to take care of” his mother-in-law “for the rest of her life.”
“Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant’s promises did not see the light of day as he is now deceased, and Vanessa Bryant took each and every step she could to void and cancel all of Kobe Bryant’s promises made to [Laine],” the lawsuit states.
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Vanessa responded to the suit with a statement posted on her private Instagram account, and accused her mother of trying to “extort a financial windfall from our family.”
“She was a grandmother who was supported by me and her son-in-law at my request,” Vanessa said. “She now wants to back charge me $96 per hour for supposedly working 12 hours a day for 18 years for watching her grandchildren. In reality, she only occasionally babysat my older girls when they were toddlers.”
Vanessa also criticized her mom for going public with their dispute.
“Earlier this year, I was looking for a new home for her and, a week later, she went on television and gave an interview disparaging our family and making false accusations while living rent-free in a gated apartment complex in Newport Coast,” Vanessa added. “Even after that betrayal, I was willing to provide my mother with monthly support for the rest of her life and that wasn’t good enough. She, instead, contacted me through intermediaries — contrary to what she claims, my phone number hasn’t changed — and demanded $5 million, a house and a Mercedes SUV.”
Animosity between the mother and daughter began to take shape after the Lakers legend’s death.
As previously reported, Laine did an interview in September with Univision’s Spanish-language magazine show El Gordo Y La Flaca. She said she was “abandoned” and forced out of her home by her daughter following Bryant’s death.
“She told me, ‘I need you to get out of this house.’ She also told me that she wanted her car and she wants it now,” Laine told a Univision reporter through tears.
Following the interview, Vanessa issued a statement calling the interview “painful,” and accused her mother of exaggerating.
Kobe Bryant, their 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
Vanessa is mom to three other daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 4, and Capri Kobe, 18 months.