In 2003, the LA Lakers's Kobe Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a hotel worker. Bryant admitted to sleeping with the woman, but denied allegations of rape. Bryant issued a statement saying, "Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did." Throughout the ordeal, his wife Vanessa (pictured here) stayed by his side.
The wife of Lakers star Kobe Bryant filed for divorce in Orange County Superior Court Friday afternoon.
Vanessa Bryant, 29, cited “irreconcilable differences” in court documents posted by TMZ.
"We ask that in the interest of our young children and in light of the upcoming holiday season, the public respect our privacy during this most difficult time," the couple of 10 years said in a statement to The Insider.
The couple wed in April 2001 and have two daughters -- 8 and 5 years old. Vanessa Byant requested joint custody of the children with visitation rights for her husband, according to court documents. She is also seeking child support.
The couple reportedly had no prenuptial agreement, which likely means Vanessa Bryant is entitled to half of the all star's earnings during their decade-long marriage.
Property rights were marked "to be determined," though noted as separate property for the court were jewelry and earrings.
Vanessa Bryant signed the divorce petition on Dec. 1, with the Lakers star adding his signature to the papers Dec. 7. However, a date of separation is yet to be determined.
The sustainability of the Bryants’ relationship first came into question in 2003, when Kobe Bryant was accused of sexually assaulting a Colorado woman. The charges were dropped after the alleged victim refused to testify and the case settled out of court, People reported.
Bryant had denied any assault but admitted to cheating on his wife. He issued a public apology where he said he was "furious" and "disgusted" at himself for the infidelity and loved his wife "with all my heart."
“You’re my backbone,” Bryant said at the time, adding that he was, "so sorry I put you through this and having to put our family through this.”
Bryant's wife was seen wearing an 8-carat purple diamond ring, costing roughly $4 million after news broke of his infidelity.
Vanessa Bryant is being represented by Laura Wasser, a divorce attorney whose high-profile client list has included Maria Shriver, Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie.