Vanessa Bryant shares family photo with daughters at mural honouring Kobe and Gianna

Father and daughter were tragically killed in a helicopter crash 

Sarah Young
Tuesday 10 March 2020 09:07 GMT
Vanessa Bryant's emotional tribute to Kobe and Gianna

Vanessa Bryant has shared a touching family photo of her posing with her daughters in front of a mural dedicated to their late father Kobe and sister Gianna.

The pair were killed on 26 January 2020 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California alongside seven other people.

On Monday, Vanessa posted the image on her Instagram account, which showed her and her three surviving daughters Capri, Bianka and Natalia smiling at the camera.

In the photo, Vanessa can be seen holding 8-month-old Capri as three-year-old Bianka stands alongside her big sister Natalia, 17.

Behind them is a painted mural that depicts a now famous photograph of Kobe kissing his daughter Gianna’s head, which was taken as they sat courtside at a Los Angeles Lakers game.

The original image was taken in November 2019, just two months before they both died.

The mural features the father and daughter in black-and-white with a bright blue sky behind them and a gold halo painted above Gianna's head.

In the caption of the post, Vanessa quoted the lyrics of Nat King Cole’s 1954 song “Smile,” writing: “Smile though your heart is aching / Smile even though it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by / If you smile through your fear and sorrow.

She continued: “Smile and maybe tomorrow / You’ll see the sun come shining through for you / Light up your face with gladness / Hide every trace of sadness.”

“Although a tear may be ever so near / That’s the time you must keep on trying / Smile, what’s the use of crying? / You’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile.

“That’s the time you must keep on trying/ Smile, what’s the use of crying? You’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile.”

Many of Vanessa’s followers responded to the post, which has since received nearly four million likes.

A number of the family’s celebrity friends also commented on the photo, including actor Zendaya and singer Ciara who both left a series of red heart emojis.

Meanwhile, fans sent their well wishes to the family, writing: “Sending you and your girls love, prayers and positive energy!”

Another added: “Kobe would be immensely proud if you, Vanessa. You are strong beyond measure.”

The post comes after Vanessa posted a solo image of her eldest daughter Natalia posing in front of the mural on the way to her winter formal dance.

In the image, Natalia can be seen standing with one hand on her hip while wearing a blue-and-white patterned mini dress and gold strappy heels as she smiles for the camera.

Vanessa shared the photo alongside the caption: “[heart emoji] my babies. Natalia” and the hashtags #winterformal, #family and #together.

Earlier this month, Vanessa issued a statement regarding allegations that deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash site where Kobe, Gigi and seven others were killed.

In the statement, which was written by the family’s lawyer Gary Robb, Vanessa said she was “absolutely devastated” by the allegations and called the alleged actions “inexcusable and deplorable”.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office also released a statement, confirming that an investigation surrounding the allegations was underway.

“The Sheriff’s Department is aware of recent media reports alleging deputies shared images from the January 26th, 2020 helicopter crash, which tragically claimed the lives of nine people,” a statement read on Facebook.

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