Basketball player Kobe Bryant (†41) and his daughter Gianna Bryant (†13) tragically died in a helicopter crash in January 2020. In an interrogation protocol published by The New York Times it has now been revealed how Kobe's wife Vanessa Bryant (39) and her three remaining daughters found out about the death of their loved ones.

The helicopter crash attracted so much attention that news of Kobe Bryant's death made the rounds in the media before his death was even confirmed. Vanessa Bryant had received endless messages of condolences before the confirmation.

Vanessa Bryant: She heard the terrible news through the media

According to the minutes, Vanessa Bryant was informed that her husband's helicopter had crashed, but five people survived. Vanessa was not yet aware of which people were still alive until the first messages of condolences came in.

According to The New York Times, Vanessa "tried to call her husband, notifications began popping up on her phone: R.I.P. Kobe. R.I.P. Kobe."  

Kobe did not survive. His daughter Gianna is also not among the survivors. Vanessa Bryant found out about the death of her husband and child via social media.


After learning about which famous person had been in the helicopter crash, onlookers made their way to the scene of the accident. Bystanders and even first responders took photos of the bodies.

Vanessa said in the protocol: "The impact of the helicopter crash was so damaging, I just don’t understand how someone can have no regard for life and compassion, and, instead, choose to take that opportunity to photograph lifeless and helpless individuals for their own sick amusement." 

Kobe and Gianna were on their way to a 13-year-old team basketball tournament. Due to poor visibility with fog, the helicopter collided with a mountain in Calabasas near Los Angeles and went up in flames.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) stated that the reason for the accident was a misjudgment by the pilot.

Vanessa, who remembered her husband Kobe Bryant with a touching post in May 2021, was married to the basketball legend since 2001. The couple had four daughters. One of the daughters - Natalia Bryant - is now starting out as a model.