Vanessa Bryant wishes daughter Natalia a happy 20th birthday… days before the three year anniversary of late husband Kobe Bryant’s death
Vanessa Bryant and late NBA star Kobe Bryant‘s firstborn daughter Natalia Bryant celebrated her birthday on Thursday.
The mother-of-three, 40, who lost daughter Gianna Bryant along with her husband in a 2020 helicopter crash, took to Instagram to wish her eldest child a happy 20th birthday.
‘Welcome to your 20s!!! We love you so much baby!!!’ the philanthropist wrote in an emphatically excited caption.
Birthday tribute: Vanessa Bryant and late NBA star Kobe Bryant ‘s firstborn daughter Natalia Bryant celebrated her birthday on Thursday
Vanessa, who married Kobe in 2001, uploaded three solo snapshots of her daughter and began the caption: ‘Happy 20th birthday @nataliabryant!!!’
The proud and protective mama bear shared a headshot of Natalia attending last month’s Babylon premiere in a brown one-shoulder dress.
She also included a close-up shot of the young beauty in a pink sweater and her hair in loose waves with accent braids.
The last in the trio of images was a vacation snapshot that showed Natalia relaxing on a yacht with sunglasses on her face.
Proud mother: Vanessa took to Instagram to wish her eldest child a happy 20th birthday
Natalia’s birthday comes ahead of the upcoming three-year anniversary of her father and sister’s shocking deaths.
The former five-time Lakers champ perished at the age of 41, and his second-born daughter Gigi was only 13.
Six other passengers and a pilot also passed away when their aircraft crashed into the side of a hill near Calabasas, California on January 26, 2020.
In addition to Vanessa and Natalia, Kobe left behind two younger daughters — Bianka, six, and Capri, three.
Since losing their two family members, Vanessa and Natalia have remained close, sharing a tight bond.
Gushing: ‘Welcome to your 20s!!! We love you so much baby!!!’ the philanthropist wrote in an emphatically excited caption
Vanessa spoke about her grieving process, stating she moves forward by focusing on her daughters during a 2021 interview with People.
In the conversation she expressed that she’s ‘extremely proud of Natalia,’ who she described as her ‘right-hand woman.’
She also said that she had taken on the role of a comforting figure with her daughters following the tragic losses of Kobe and Gianna.
‘Helping my girls navigate through this heartache is important to me. Making sure that they know that they are loved, supported and important is what motivates me,’ she noted.
Unbreakable: Since losing their two family members, Vanessa and Natalia have remained close, sharing a tight-knit bond; pictured at a Baby 2 Baby charity event in December 2022
The early years: Vanessa and Kobe began their family with the birth of Natalia in 2003
Last August a jury awarded Vanessa Bryant $16 million in compensation after Kobe’s body was photographed by officials.
The jury found that sheriff’s deputies and firefighters who rushed to the scene of the January 2020 accident unlawfully snapped pictures of the carnage, including the mangled remains of the basketball legend and his daughter.
The sheriff’s department was ordered to pay Bryant $2.5 million for emotional distress already suffered and $7.5 million for future suffering.
The fire department must pay her $1 million for past and $5 million for future suffering.
Family-of-six: Vanessa and Kobe posed with their four daughters Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri in 2019