LOS ANGELES - Nearly 14 months after losing her husband and 13-year-old daughter in an unspeakable tragedy, Vanessa Bryant is speaking out and shares how she found "light in the darkness" in an exclusive interview with People Magazine.
Bryant, who has maintained to live a relatively private life, gave the emotional interview in the magazine’s Women Changing the World issue that’s set to be released on Friday, March 5. The issue also pays homage to activists, innovators, and role models making a difference.
The 38-year-old widow of the Los Angeles Lakers legend expressed how she’s been trying to navigate heartache while trying to rebuild a life for herself and three daughters.
"Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again," she said. "But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do."
Kobe Bryant was killed when the helicopter carrying him, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others crashed into a mountainside in Calabasas, California, while flying to a girls basketball tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy on Jan. 26, 2020.
Vanessa Bryant said her devotion to her daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri have been a saving grace.
"My girls help me smile through the pain," she said. "They give me strength."
On the magazine cover, Vanessa Bryant sports a Lakers jacket with Kobe’s No. 24 on the right sleeve.
Vanessa Bryant said she wants to honor her husband and daughter’s legacy by creating opportunities for young female athletes.
She has since taken charge of creative projects left unfinished at Granity Studios, the late NBA star’s multimedia company she now helms. She recently relaunched Kobe’s charitable non-profit as Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation — a nod to the father-daughter duo — to help empower young girls and provide equal opportunities to underserved athletes.
Bryant felt compelled to follow through on the vision her husband long championed.
FOX 11's Kelli Johnson contributed to this report.