Kobe Bryant’s wife files for divorce

Kobe Bryant’s wife, who stood by her husband when he was charged

with sexual assault in 2003, filed for divorce on Friday from the

Los Angeles Lakers star, citing irreconcilable differences after a

decade of marriage.

Vanessa Bryant signed the papers on Dec. 1. Kobe Bryant signed

his response on Dec. 7 and it was filed Friday, according to the


”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.

In the filing, Vanessa Bryant asked for joint legal and physical

custody of the couple’s two daughters, Natalia, 8, and Gianna, 5.

Kobe Bryant asked for the same in his response. Vanessa Bryant also

requested spousal support.

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,” according to the


Bryant met his future wife in 1999 on a music video shoot when

Vanessa Laine was 18 years old. Six months later, she and the

then-21-year-old Bryant became engaged. They married on April 18,


The Bryants have been through trying times together.

Vanessa Bryant appeared at a news conference with her husband

when he was charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman

who worked at the exclusive Lodge & Spa at Cordillera near

Vail, Colo., in 2003. She held his hand and stroked it tenderly as

the NBA star admitted he was guilty of adultery – but nothing else.

Earlier she had issued her own statement to the media, vowing to

stand by her husband.

”I know that my husband has made a mistake – the mistake of

adultery,” she said in the statement at the time. ”He and I will

have to deal with that within our marriage, and we will do so. He

is not a criminal.”

A year later, prosecutors dropped the criminal charge against

Kobe Bryant because the woman did not want to go ahead with a


Last year, Kobe and Vanessa Bryant settled litigation with a

former maid who accused the NBA star’s wife of harassment. The

Bryants countersued Maria Jimenez for violating a confidentiality

agreement by talking to reporters about the family.