Following her mother Vanessa Bryant's multiple posts honoring her daughter, Gianna Bryant for what would have been her 14th birthday, 17-year-old Natalia Bryant is paying tribute to her younger sister with a heartfelt photo shared to her Instagram on Friday. In the photo featuring the two sisters hugging tightly while at an event prior to Gianna's death, which also saw her father, Kobe Bryant and seven others killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Jan. 26, 2020.
"Happy 14th Birthday Gigi! [heart emoji] I miss your smile everyday but I know you’re always smiling down on us from heaven with daddy. I LOVE YOU [angel emoji]," Natalia captioned the photo. The teenager also took to her Instagram Stories to re-post her Bryant and other friends' birthday posts dedicated to her sister.
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Several fans and friends of Natalia's took to the comments section to share their thoughts and love for the teenager, with many replying simply with heart emojis, while others expressed their sentiment eloquently. "This picture is so gorgeous you guys where so cute together," wrote one fan, while another echoed, "I'm sure you were a great big sister who she loved very much. God Bless and Happy Heavenly Birthday again Gigi."
On Friday, Natalia's mother and former model shared a number of emotional posts honoring her late daughter. "Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna," Bryant wrote alongside a photo of her daughter. "Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever."
Bryant also shared a snapshot of herself wearing a red bracelet with Gianna's name on it. "Gianna loved to wear a red bow in all of her school pictures. Red means love and life," the doting mom explained. "To commemorate Gigi's birthday today, please consider wearing red, caption an act of kindness or show how you will play Gigi's way since she always gave everything she did her all and led with kindness."
She continued, "Please use the hashtag #PlayGigisWay [heart emoji] Thank you. 5-1-06 Mambacita," adding how they are in the "process of making this bracelet available for proceeds to benefit our Mamba and Mambacita foundation." She further shared how she would update fans with a post when we have them available for purchase.0comments
On Jan. 26, Kobe, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash when they were traveling to a youth basketball tournament at the Lakers star's Mamba Sports Academy facility. The crash has been officially ruled an accident by the L.A. County Coroner, although investigators are still attempting to determine further details, including the cause of the crash, which occurred on a particularly foggy morning.
Kobe's wife, Vanessa Bryant has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company, claiming the helicopter should have never been permitted to fly due to the weather conditions. The 76-page lawsuit also argues that the aircraft was unsafe, as it lacked a Terrain Awareness and Warning System. She is also seeking damages for the "pain and anguish" her husband and daughter could have potentially suffered amid the crash.