They don’t make celebrity couples quite like Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant anymore. The NBA star and his longtime love had actually a romance because that the ages, having actually met as soon as Kobe was just 20 and also Vanessa was 17 year old. After twenty years and 4 beautiful youngsters together, sadly, their love finished in tragedy once Kobe, 41, and his daughter, Gianna, 13, to be unexpectedly killed in a helicopter crash end Calabasas, CA. Today is the very first anniversary the Bryant’s death.

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To love Mamba was to likewise love Mamba’s queen. In two decades of knowing each other, Vanessa was standing by her man’s side, cheered him to 5 national championships as a Laker, and even sustained him during the sexual attack allegations he confronted after their very first daughter was born.

Like any relationship—or any basketball game, for that matter—Kobe and Vanessa faced low points. There were times as soon as they were winning and also times once they were the underdog, looking to do a comeback. Yet like any good team, they always seemed come be more powerful together.

Here’s a bittersweet look earlier at your 20-year marriage, and also everything you have to know about Vanessa.

November 1999: Kobe Bryant asks for Vanessa CornejoUrbieta’s number

view this write-up on Instagram

on this day two decades ago i met my ideal friend, my Queen
vanessabryant I made decision to take her on a date to Disneyland this evening to memory old school style (pre 4princesses) ns love you my mamacita every sempre

A write-up shared through Kobe Bryant (
kobebryant) on Nov 27, 2019 in ~ 10:41pm PST

Throughout your years together, Kobe constantly made that a suggest to call out their OG anniversary—November 28, 1999. That’s the first day the pair met top top the collection of Snoop Dogg‘s music video shoot for the track “Tha Eastsidaz.” Vanessa, 17, was a dancer and also music video girl at the time, and also Kobe to be 20.

For their very first date, they went to Disneyland together.

“This pic is the day i asked

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April 2001: Kobe and Vanessa acquire married

After almost two years of dating, the pair tied the knot April 18, 2001 in ~ St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, Calif. Reports allege that Kobe’s parents, Joe “Jellybean” and also Pam Bryant, were not supportive of the marriage. Lock allegedly claimed that the pair was as well young to wed and likewise might have taken worry with the fact that Vanessa wasn’t Black. Vanessa is the Mexican, Irish, German and also English descent.

Joe and also Pam did not attend Kobe and Vanessa’s wedding.

January 2003: Their very first daughter, Natalia, is born

The newlyweds invited their first daughter, Natalia, January 19, 2003.

(J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images)

July 2003: Kobe Bryant is accused of sexual assault

Kobe Bryant to be arrested in July 2003 in Eagle, Colorado in connection with a sexual attack investigation. On June 30, Kobe checked right into The Lodge and also Spa at Cordillera, a hotel in Colorado, whereby he was booked to obtain surgery adjacent on July 2. Work later, a 19-year-old hotel employee accused Kobe of raping her in his hotel room on July 1.

At the time, Kobe admitted to having sex with the hotel employee however claimed the encounter to be consensual. Police wondered about Kobe about the evident bruising top top the woman’s neck, however, the instance was eventually dropped as the mrs did no agree to testify. Instead, she filed a civil suit, i beg your pardon was resolved out the court. The details of the settlement have not to be made windy knowledge, yet The LA time estimates Kobe’s payout to be increase of $2.5 million.

At the time, Kobe said, “I didn’t pressure her to execute anything against her will. I’m innocent…I sit below in front of girlfriend guys, furious in ~ myself, disgusted in ~ myself because that making the failure of adultery. And also I love my wife with all mine heart.”

Despite a rocky time throughout these allegations and court case, Vanessa stood by she husband. She also sat with him throughout a push conference wherein he declared his innocence. Together a tear rolled under Kobe’s cheek during the conference, that told Vanessa, “You’re mine backbone. You’re a blessing. You’re a piece of mine heart. You’re the air ns breathe. And also you’re the strongest human being I know, and I’m so i m really sorry for having actually to placed you with this and having to placed our family members through this.” the added, “I’m innocent. And also together mine wife and also I and also our family, we’re going to fight this false accusations.”

July 2003: Kobe presents Vanessa through $4 million (forgiveness?) ring

Very famously, Kobe gift Vanessa through an 8-carat, $4 million violet diamond ring job after gift charged. It was referred to as the “apology ring”—though PEOPLE report the basketball player had commissioned the 8-carat violet diamond prior to charges were announced.

At the time, the jeweler, Raffi, that commissioned the ring for Kobe in advance told PEOPLE, “They looked very happy together. Once they left, Kobe and Vanessa were holding hands.”

Raffi also designed the couple’s wedding rings in 2001.

(Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

May 2006: Their second daughter, Gianna, is born

Despite a turbulent patch pertained to Kobe’s 2003 sexual assault accusation, Vanessa and also Kobe stayed together and seemed come lay low for the following few years. On might 1, 2006, they invited their 2nd daughter together, Gianna.

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December 2011: Vanessa Bryant accuses Kobe Bryant of having actually multiple affairs and files because that divorce

Once again, issues relating to infidelity to win the Bryants. ~ accusing Kobe of having actually affairs v multiple women, Vanessa filed because that divorce in December 2011, follow to TMZ. The main filing quote irreconcilable differences. In ~ the time, ESPN Los Angelesreported the Vanessa would gain the couple’s 3 California homes as per the terms of the divorce.

January 2013: The couple announces they have reconciled

But the divorce never ever took place. In January 2013, the pair publicly announced they had actually reconciled ~ Vanessa was spotted at number of Laker games, offering her support.

“We room pleased to announce the we have actually reconciled. Ours divorce activity will be dismissed. We are looking forward to ours future together,” Vanessa composed on Instagram.

Kobe included on his main Facebook page,“I to be happy come say that Vanessa and I are relocating on through our stays together as a family. When the show ends and also the music stops, the trip is do beautiful by having that who to share the with. Give thanks to you every for her support and prayers! much luv, Mamba out (sic).”

April 2016: Kobe Bryant retires indigenous basketball

After a 20-year career invested playing because that the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe retirement from experienced basketball in April 2016. He to be 38 years old.

To announcement his retirement, Kobe had actually a poem entitled “Dear Basketball” post on The Player’s Tribune. It read:

You offered a six-year-old boy his Laker dreamAnd I’ll always love you for it.But i can’t love you obsessively for lot longer.This season is every I have actually left come give.My heart deserve to take the poundingMy mind deserve to handle the grindBut my human body knows it’s time come say goodbye.

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Of Kobe’s retirement announcement, Magic Johnson said, “He’s the closest thing we’ve viewed to Michael Jordan. He’ll more than likely go down as the second-greatest scoring guard. You couldn’t stop him. His will certainly to win was incredible, and also he continued to be in the gym choose no other.”

(Harry How/Getty Images)

December 2016: The couple celebrates 15 years of marriage and also welcomes 3rd daughter, Bianka

Fresh of the heels that retiring, Kobe commemorated the large year by composing on Instagram, “Just finished celebrating my 20 year career. It’s a blessing to now celebrate 15 year of marital relationship today!”

Their third daughter together, Bianka Bella Bryant, was born December 5, 2016. Kobe created on Instagram, “
vanessabryant and also I are beyond excited to welcome ours newest baby girl, Bianka! #BabyBlessing #SweetBaby #AnotherAngel.”

2018: Kobe Bryant raves around his daughter Gianna Bryant’s talent

In 2018, Kobe raved about his climate 12-year-old daughter come Jimmy Kimmel, saying the Gianna was identified to make it to the WNBA.

“I’m telling you, the finest thing that happens is when we go out and also fans come as much as me and also she’ll be standing next to me, they’ll be like, ‘You acquired to have a boy. You and V got to have actually a boy, someone to carry on the tradition, the legacy."” Kobe continued, “ like, ‘I acquired this. Friend don’t need no boy for that, I acquired this.’ That’s right, yes, friend do. You acquired this.”