Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant died on Sunday, January 26, during a private helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, according to TMZ, and he leaves behind wife Vanessa Bryant and their three daughters — Natalia Diamante, 17, Bianka Bella, 3, and Capri Kobe, 7 months. Their fourth daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore, 13, reportedly died along with her father in the crash.
“Vanessa and I are beyond excited to announce that we are expecting another #mambacita to go along with Natalia, Gianna and Bianka #blessed #bryantbunch #daddysprincesses #love #2019,” he wrote on Instagram at the time.
In a matching post on her own Instagram account, Vanessa revealed that their daughters Natalia and Gianna are “super excited to welcome another little baby sister to love.” Vanessa changed her account to private following news of her husband’s death. However, on January 29, Vanessa made her Instagram public once more and changed her icon photo to one of her husband and daughter.
While opening up about his “little princesses” in 2017 to Extra, Bryant said his wife was hoping for a son to join their daughters one day.
“I hear boys are just walking tornadoes. We’ll see. I think Vanessa wants a boy more than I do,” he told the outlet, before adding, “My friends say, ‘It takes a real man to make a boy.’ I’m like, ‘Dude, it takes a king to make a princess … get in line!’”
Following his passing, celebrities shared tributes to the late legend on social media. “Like everyone, I am stunned and saddened by the news about Kobe Bryant. My heart is broken for his wife and family,” talk show host Ellen DeGeneres wrote on social media.
Like everyone, I’m stunned and saddened by the news about Kobe Bryant. My heart is broken for his wife and family.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 26, 2020
Singer Demi Lovato, meanwhile, shared two messages for both Kobe and his baby girl. “This makes me so sad. Kobe, you were always so sweet to me. Known you over 10 years … not super well, but we always joked about you coming over and playing that game of horse! You will he [sic] so missed by so many. You’re a legend with wings now. RIP Kobe.” She later continued, “*Update* I just heard his daughter Gigi was also in the accident and it breaks my heart. This whole family was so sweet and now they’re in my prayers heavy. RIP Gigi beautiful girl.”
Our thoughts are with Vanessa and her family during this difficult time.