While a massive public funeral ceremony honoring the late Kobe Bryant, 41, his daughter Gianna, 13, and the seven other victims that tragically died in the helicopter crash on January 26, is planned to take place in Los Angeles on February 24, Vanessa Bryant placed her husband and daughter to rest with a private service last week.
In documents obtained by Extra TV, Bryant’s held their funeral service on February 7, at Pacific View Mortuary, which is located in Corona Del Mar, California. It’s the same location where Hollywood’s most famous cowboy John Wayne was also buried.
It’s unknown how many friends and family attended the private burial but based on Vanessa’s social media post last weekend, which featured a video of her daughter, Capri, 7 months, standing up with the help of her aunt, which meant Kobe’s sister Sharia Bryant Washington aka “Aunt Ri-Ri” was in town from Las Vegas for the service.
According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office, Bryant and Gianna’s bodies were released to the family a little over a week after the crash in Calabasas, which meant the family could start preparing for a funeral. The cause of death for Kobe was listed as “blunt trauma” by deputy medical examiner Dr. Carillo.
While it’s unknown which family members joined Vanessa and her three daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianca, 3, and Capri, it’s likely mourners included her mother, Sofia Laine, and her older sister, Sophie Laine, who’ve always been her supportive rocks.
And because Sharia was in town last weekend, it’s likely that Kobe’s other sister, Shaya, also traveled from Las Vegas to attend her brother’s private ceremony. While Vanessa and Kobe’s relationship with his parents, Pamela Cox Bryant and Joe Bryant remained icy prior to his untimely death, they always remained close with his sisters and their children.
Kobe & Gianna’s Public Memorial Service In Los Angeles Is Planned For February 24
The city of Los Angeles worked with Bryant’s family to put together an honorable memorial service. Mayor Eric Garcetti worked with Vanessa to arrange the upcoming service, and the date they decided on was February 24, a nod to both Kobe and Gianna’s jersey numbers.
After the Los Angeles Lakers played their first home game the Staples Center following the helicopter crash, in which they held a special tribute to Kobe and Gianna prior to tip-off, Vanessa shared on Instagram, “There is no #24 with #2.”
The memorial service will also take place at Staples Center despite there being speculation that it would too small a venue to fit all the city’s mourning fans. According to TMZ Sports, there was consideration to hold the public memorial at L.A. Coliseum since the Staples Center holds roughly 20,000 people while the Coliseum can hold around 80,000.
Fans have been gathering outside the Staples since the day he died, and the turnout for the public memorial service is expected to be massive. Vanessa has shared on social media that she is grateful for the city’s thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes. On February 10, captioning a video of Gianna playing basketball at the Mamba Academy, she opened up about how she’s struggling in the aftermath of the devastating loss of Kobe and her daughter.
Kobe’s wife of 19 years wrote:
“I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri.