Vanessa Bryant has been sued for $5m by her mother for financial support in what she has branded a “frivolous, disgraceful and unimaginably hurtful” lawsuit.
Sofia Laine, 68, claims in the lawsuit that she worked unpaid as a “longtime personal assistant and nanny” for the family.
In court papers filed in California, Ms Laine states that before his death in a helicopter crash in January the retired NBA star had “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,” the lawsuit states.
“Vanessa Bryant did not intend to honor any of the Bryants’ representations, agreements and promises at any stage.”
Ms Bryant, 38, lost her husband and also her 13-year-old daughter Gianna in the southern California crash that also claimed seven other victims.
In a statement she said that her mother was “continuing to try and find ways to extort a financial windfall from our family.”
“I have supported her for nearly 20 years, and she was never my or Kobe’s personal assistant, nor was she a nanny,” said Ms Bryant.
“I have always been a stay-at-home mother and my husband and I were our daughters’ full-time caregivers.”
Ms Bryant is also mother to Natalia, 17, Bianka, 4, and Capri Kobe, 18-months.
Mr Bryant and everyone else onboard the helicopter were killed instantly when it slammed into a hillside outside Los Angeles.
Mr Bryant, 41, had to be identified by fingerprints after his body was found outside the wreckage of the helicopter.
He was heading from his home in Orange County, California, to his daughter’s basketball tournament at his Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, when the helicopter went down in foggy weather.