In the first month of this awful year, Vanessa Bryant lost Kobe and Gianna in a heartbreaking helicopter crash.
Now, she says that her own mother is trying to prey upon her as she grieves and extort millions from her in a vicious lawsuit.
This week, Sofia Urbieta, also known as Sofia Laine, filed a lawsuit through her attorneys.
In the court documents, the 68-year-old grandmother claimed that she worked as “a long-time personal assistant and nanny” for Vanessa and for Kobe.
She alleges that she “was never paid for her services despite promises” that she would be financially compensated … promises that she insists that Kobe made prior to his death.
In a statement obtained by E! News, Vanessa is denying her mother’s accusations.
“My mother is continuing to try and find ways to extort a financial windfall from our family,” Vanessa laments.
She’s not just saying that her mom is lying about financial promises, but also about alleged services rendered.
“I have supported her for nearly 20 years,” Vanessa’s statement says.
“And,” she continues, “she was never my or Kobe’s personal assistant, nor was she a nanny.”
“I have always been a stay-at-home mother,” Vanessa shares, “and my husband and I were our daughter’s full-time care givers.”
Sofia insisted that she “has personally taken care of each of the Bryants’ children.”
Additionally, her lawsuit asserts that she “has been on-call 24/7 in the event that the Bryants need her.”
Sofia says that this included when the parents traveled, attended sports events, worked, or enjoyed romantic getaways.
More than that, Sofia insists that this alleged childcare allowed Kobe and Vanessa to havemore children.
As we know, the Bryants had four daughters: Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri.
Gianna, of course, died with her father in that heartbreaking crash in January, alongside seven other victims.
Sofia does not seem to have any paperwork as evidence of what she claims to be owed.
Instead, she alleges that she “entered into an oral contract” with her daughter and her son-in-law.
Specifically, she says that Kobe “repeatedly promised” to care for her “financially in exchange for her many years of work for his family.”
Sofia insists that this includes the Bryants purchasing her home for $2.65 million.
She says that Kobe and Vanessa ended up selling this house for $3.22 million and then using the proceeds to buy a second home for $1.7 million.
Sofia says that she was owed $1.52 million from that sale, a quantity that she alleges “was wrongfully held from her.”
According to Sofia, “the Bryants promised over and over to give her the balance from the sale but never did.”
She goes on to allege that in March, not even two months after the devastating loss of Kobe and Gianna, Vanessa urged Sofia to sell the second home and move in with her.
Sofia claims in the court documents that she never moved into her daughter’s residence.
Vanessa has since told E! News that her mother is full of it.
“For nearly two decades,” she responds, “we arranged for my mother to live in our nearby properties, at no cost to her.”
Vanessa says that they did so “because she had claimed that she didn’t have any money to buy her own home after her divorce.”
Vanessa explains: “My husband and I felt it was best for her not to live in our home.”
“She watched our girls from time to time, just like most grandparents do,” she acknowledges.
Vanessa then clarifies: “She did not take care of business issues or expenses.”
“She was a grandmother,” Vanessa describes, “who was supported by me and her son-in-law at my request.”
“In reality, she only occasionally babysat my older girls when they were toddlers,” she details.
“As of 10 years ago, our kids were full-time students and athletes,” Vanessa notes, “and I didn’t have another child until 2016.”
“Her claims are obviously false,” Vanessa announces.
“But I still tried, repeatedly, to work things out with my mother,” she concludes.
Meanwhile, Sofia is insisting that Vanessa began “attending social events” shortly after Kobe and Gianna’s passing, leaving her entrusted with childcare.
Sofia says that she suggested that Vanessa should remain at home for all times, in a performative state of mourning.
According to her, Vanessa was angry at this and retaliated by cutting off her mother both physically and financially.
Vanessa has countered that: “I haven’t left my children’s side since the accident except to visit the cemetary to make arrangements.” She also says that she was willing to provide her mother with monthly support for the rest of her life, but that this was not enough to satisfy Sofia.
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