The on-again, off-again marriage of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant is on again. The couple used Vanessa Bryant’s Instagram account to tell the world that they’ve reconciled and are dismissing their high-asset divorce case. Kobe Bryant’s Facebook page confirmed the reconciliation. The announcement marks the latest chapter in the celebrity couple’s high-profile relationship.
The duo met in 1999 on a music video shoot when Kobe was 21 and Vanessa 19. They married in 2001 and have two daughters, ages 6 and 10.
A 2003 incident in Colorado that resulted in sexual assault charges being filed against Kobe focused the spotlight of scandal on their marriage. Prosecutors eventually dropped the criminal charges when the alleged victim, a 19-year-old resort worker, refused to cooperate. Vanessa supported her husband during the ordeal, and the couple purchased a home on California’s pricey Newport Coast shortly after criminal charges were filed, when the drama was at its highest point. That home was recently sold.
Had the divorce gone through, it would no doubt have involved a complex property division. The Bryants own two other homes and operate a non-profit foundation, the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. Their net worth is staggering, thanks to Kobe’s lengthy career with the Los Angeles Lakers and several profitable endorsement deals. Couples with such substantial wealth often settle their divorce cases privately instead of taking a chance on a court-ordered settlement that would expose their finances to public scrutiny.
Sources close to the couple are not surprised by the reconciliation, as Vanessa has shown her support for Kobe by attending several Lakers games this season.
Source: ESPN, “Kobe Bryant’s divorce canceled,” Jan. 12, 2013