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Vanessa Bryant releases first statement after Kobe, Gianna's deaths

Vanessa Bryant releases first statement after Kobe, Gianna's deaths
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 16:37:49-05

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Vanessa Bryant released her first public statement Wednesday following the death of her husband, Kobe, and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna (Gigi).

Kobe and Gigi were among the nine people killed when the helicopter they were in crashed in Southern California on Sunday. The group was reportedly on their way to a basketball game.

The Los Angeles County coroner has identified the other seven victims as 13-year-old Payton Chester, 45-year-old Sarah Chester, 14-year-old Alyssa Altobelli, 46-year-old Keri Altobelli, 56-year-old John Altobelli, 38-year-old Christina Mauser, and 50-year-old Ara Zobayan.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Investigator Jennifer Homendy said Tuesday that the NTSB could release its initial findings as soon as next week, but its full report could take as much as 18 months.

Wednesday, Vanessa took to Instagram to address the tragedy for the first time.

"My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them," Vanessa Bryant wrote in a post. "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."

Vanessa also addressed the other families who lost loved ones in the crash.

“We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.”

The post goes on to say that the Bryant family appreciates the thoughts and prayers from around the world but would like privacy as they continue to grieve.

“There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now,” Vanessa wrote. “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.”

Vanessa Bryant says they've set up the "MambaOnThree" fund, to benefit the families of the other victims in the helicopter crash.

She also says that MambaSportsFoundation.org will continue to honor Kobe and Gianna's legacy in youth sports.

“I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them,” wrote Vanessa. “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.”

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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. 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. 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. 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. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

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