As Kobe Bryant's family mourns the loss of the NBA player and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna following their deaths in a Calabasas, California helicopter crash on Sunday, "unnamed sources and blind quotes" cited in various reports by the media are only furthering their pain. In the days since the crash, which claimed the lives of all nine people aboard the aircraft, numerous articles have surfaced with sources reportedly close to the family offering updates on how they are doing, though those updates are not actually coming from those close to Bryant's loved ones, according to Molly Carter, president of Kobe Inc.
"We are disappointed in some media's broad use of unnamed sources and blind quotes, and remind everyone that the Bryant family will speak on our own behalf when appropriate," Carter told the Los Angeles Times. "To this point, no one has been authorized to speak on behalf of the family regarding any personal details surrounding Sunday's tragedy, including stories related to the family's previous air travel decisions. We ask members of the media for respect and responsible judgment during this difficult time. These inaccurate reports only add unnecessary pain to a grieving family."
In the first and only statement from Bryant's family following the tragedy, his wife, Vanessa, asked for privacy as she and her three daughters – Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months – as they "navigate this new reality."
"There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now," she wrote in part. "I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it's impossible to imagine life without them."
"Our love for them is endless — and that's to say, immeasurable," she continued. "I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever."
"Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us," she added. "We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality."
Along with Bryant and Gianna, the crash also claimed the lives of Orange Coast College John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa; girls basketball coach Christina Mauser; Sarah and Payton Chester; and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Vanessa and the Mamba Sports Academy have created the MambaOnThree fund to raise money for the families of the other victims.