Kobe Bryant and vanessa bryant
Kobe Bryant/Instagram

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant's love story is one for the books. The couple met when they were just teenagers and remained together until the former basketball star died in January 2020. Their relationship was always a part of his story, and she was by his side throughout his NBA career. The couple shared four kids together, four girls, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri. 

More from MamásLatinas: Celebrities who welcomed babies in 2019

Their 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also aboard the helicopter on January 26 when it crashed, killing all nine on board, including Kobe. The NBA star married Vanessa in 2001, and aside from a brief separation in 2011, they remained together ever since. The couple seemed to have the perfect family life, and after he retired from basketball in 2016, they were beginning a new phase in their lives together now that he had more time to spend at home with his wife and their girls. Scroll through to see a timeline of Kobe and Vanessa's incredible love story. 

With additional reporting by Sugey Palomares.

The couple met in 1999. 1

"This pic is the day I asked @ladyvb24 for her number 11/28/99. Thru the ups and downs she has been my love and best friend," he captioned this pic. "20 and 17 yrs old when we met, we have actually grown up together. A true honor and a blessing."

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The lovely couple tied the knot in 2001. 2

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Me and my baby #popupdisney

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Kobe married his lady on April 18, 2001, at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, California. It was reported that his parents were opposed to him getting married because he was so young and because Vanessa was not African American. They did not attend his wedding.

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They hit a major rough patch 2003. 3

They hit a major rough patch 2003.

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In 2003, the NBA player made headlines after being accused of sexually assaulting an employee at a Colorado hotel. Bryant admitted to having sex with 19-year-old Katelyn Faber, but claimed it was consensual and not assault. The civil suit was settled outside of court and Vanessa stuck by her man. 

They reunited in 2003. 4

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Mamba and Queen #vacai

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After accepting her husband's infamous forgiveness ring, worth $4 million, in 2003, the couple seemed to be on better terms. 

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They announced their second pregnancy in 2006. 5

They announced their second pregnancy in 2006.

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Vanessa confirmed they were expecting their second daughter Gianna. The little one was born in May 2006.

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The couple had plenty to celebrate in 2008. 6

The couple had plenty to celebrate in 2008.

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In 2008, Bryant won five NBA championships and the title of MVP. He was at the height of his career and his marriage seemed just fine. 

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Vanessa filed for divorce in 2011. 7

Vanessa filed for divorce in 2011.

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Vanessa filed for divorce from the Lakers star after 10 years of marriage. Reportedly, he was having affairs with multiple women and she was done for good. 

They reconciled in 2013. 8

They reconciled in 2013.

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The divorce was called off! In 2013, Vanessa wrote on her Instagram page, which is now private, "We are pleased to announce that we have reconciled. Our divorce action will be dismissed. We are looking forward to our future together," she wrote. 

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They took a trip to Europe in 2015. 9

They took a trip to Europe in 2015.

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The Bryants took a selfie under the Tower in Miracle Square. They look like lovebirds again, no?

2016 was a big year for them. 10

This year, the couple commemorated two major milestones. Kobe wrote, "Just finished celebrating my 20 year career. It's a blessing to now celebrate 15 years of marriage today!"

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The couple announced their baby news in 2016. 11

The Bryants confirmed that they're expecting their third daughter. He wrote, "Beyond blessed and excited to share that we are expecting our third baby girl!!!"

Bianka was born in December 2016. 12

They welcomed their third child together! "@vanessabryant and I are beyond excited to welcome our newest baby girl, Bianka!! #BabyBlessing #SweetBaby #AnotherAngel ❤," he added. "Bianka Bella Bryant. December 5, 2016. 7 pounds 5 ounces 20 inches."

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Vanessa was by his side at the start of the second act of his career. 13

Vanessa was by his side at the start of the second act of his career.

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The couple attended many events together and Vanessa was by his side as Kobe began his new roles after he retired from basketball.

Kobe became an Oscar winner! 14

Kobe became an Oscar winner!

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The former Lakers star won for his animated short Dear Basketball in 2018 and his wife was by his side at the awards ceremony, beaming with pride. 

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Their fourth baby girl was born in 2019. 15

Kobe announced the arrival of their third bundle of joy in June 2019 with an adorable photo of their baby girl. "Our little princess Capri Kobe Bryant “KoKo” 6/20/19 ❤️," he captioned the post.

The family of five looked beautiful at Vanessa's baby shower. 16

Kobe shared this pic of his family in May 2019 to give his wife a shout out for Mother's Day. "Happy Mother’s Day @vanessabryant we love you and thank you for all that you do for our family. You are the foundation of all that we hold dear. I love you #mybaby #lioness #mamabear #queenmamba," he wrote.

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They celebrated their 18th anniversary in 2019. 17

"Happy 18th Wedding Anniversary baby! Ti Amo per Sempre 🎉❤️," he captioned this adorable photo of them in April 2019.

Kobe showed his wife a lot of love on her birthday. 18

"Happy Birthday to my beautiful baby @vanessabryant you are like fine wine baby ti amo per sempre #queenmamba #taurus," he captioned this sweet post in May 2019. 
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They celebrated their 20 years of dating at Disney World! 19

"On this day 20 years ago I met my best friend, my Queen @vanessabryant I decided to take her on a date to Disneyland tonight to celebrate old school style (pre 4princesses) I love you my mamacita per sempre," he captioned this post on November 2019.

The family Christmas card was too sweet. 20

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Merry Christmas 🙏🏾🎄🎁

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The family of six celebrated the holidays in 2019 with a gorgeous Christmas card. Such a beautiful family.