Kobe Bryant dead: 'We are completely devastated' – Vanessa Bryant

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Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa has spoken for the first time since her husband and daughter, Gianna, were killed in a helicopter crash.
Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa has spoken for the first time since her husband and daughter, Gianna, were killed in a helicopter crash.

Vanessa Bryant has thanked the "millions of people" who have expressed "support and love" following the death of her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna.

In her first public comments since Sunday's helicopter crash, Bryant published a heartfelt Instagram post describing the impact the losses have had on her young family, which includes three other girls aged under 18.

Los Angeles Lakers legend and five-time NBA champion Kobe, 41, and 13-year-old Gianna were among nine people killed in the crash in Calabasas, California.

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Vanessa Bryant shared a family photo alongside her comments and used the post to announce the Mamba Sports Foundation had set up a fund to support the other families affected.

She wrote: "We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe – the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna – a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.

"We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved.

"We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.

"I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it's impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way.

"Our love for them is endless – and that's to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.

"Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality."

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