Kobe Bryant Divorce: Inside the Rollercoaster Marriage

Vanessa Bryant, the wife of five-time championship winning Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe, filed for divorce on Friday.

The couple has been married 10 years and overcame a highly publicized sexual assault charge against Kobe in 2003. A representative for the pair released a statement to announce the couple’s split.

"The Bryants have resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately with the assistance of counsel and a judgment dissolving their marital status will be entered in 2012," according to a statement from a representative for the couple.

The representative said, “[The Bryants] ask that in the interest of our young children and in light of the upcoming holiday season the public respect our privacy during this difficult time."

The two met when Vanessa was an 18-year-old backup dancer in a music video. After six months, a 21-year-old Kobe proposed to her.

Media reports of Bryants’ family disapproving of the union soon surfaced. That seemed to be confirmed when none of his parents and teammates appeared at his wedding in a California Roman Catholic church.

The couples’ next highly publicized obstacle happened two years later, when a 19-year-old Colorado lodge & spa employee charged Kobe with sexual assault. The Lakers star admitted to committing adultery in a press conference, while holding the hand of his wife.

Kobe admitted to consensual relations with the woman, but denied any sexual assault. Vanessa stood by his claims publicly.

"I know that my husband has made a mistake - the mistake of adultery," Vanessa said in a previous statement. "He and I will have to deal with that within our marriage, and we will do so. He is not a criminal."

In 2004, media reports about Kobe accusing his wife of flirting with Karl Malone, his teammate at the time, surfaced. However, the pair seemed to work through their issues in 2005 when Bryant reportedly surprised his wife with a $50,000 re-commitment ceremony.

Through the years, the couple would deny reports of issues within their marriage. Vanessa officially filed for divorce on Dec. 1, with Kobe signing his response six days later.

There is reportedly no pre-nuptial agreement between the couple, and Vanessa requested spousal support in court documents. They both requested joint legal and physical custody of their two daughters, Natalia, 8, and Gianna, 5.

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