She Said/She Said – Kobe vs. Vanessa

So Kobe Bryant got a divorce. I won’t go into the details because you can Google that. But what is more notable than the fact that Kobe is single again, is that his ex-wife Vanessa received half of the couple’s net worth plus 2 mansions for herself and one for her mother (reportedly). Opinions are greatly divided.

“Was she out shooting hoops with him? No! So why does she deserve $75 million!” #teamkobe

“He cheated on her! You lie with hoes, you better pay for those hoes one way or the other!” #teamvanessa

I invited a guy to debate the issue. Which is “do the spouses of high-profile celebs deserve a large percentage of that celeb’s earnings when they divorce?” None did. It caused a bit of a twitter debate, but I wanted something meatier. Mid twitter debate I realized that it would be more interesting if I debated the issue with a woman; one who feels that Vanessa got way too much.

@mee_shel of Ramblings of Mee stepped up to defend Team Kobe. I took the Team Vanessa position.

Let’s go…

For Team Vanessa – HLBB

Of course Vanessa deserves every penny and then some! So girlfriend wasn’t out on the courts shooting hoops with him, but as a celebrity and as a sports figure with endorsements. Many endorsement deals come with a morality clause. The sponsor is buying the whole package: a happily married man with kids.  The kind who picks up Sprite and Nutella at the grocery store; treats his kids to McDonalds; plays games on his Nintendo and of course walks his daughters to school wearing his Nikes.

(see what I did there?)

How could he present that image without an adoring wife by his side? Pfft. Go back and look at that video of him at the press conference, with his crying ass holding Vanessa’s hand…tell me how many women do that in regular life? How many women are going to hold their cheating man’s hand while he admits to screwing some other woman – one he was accused of raping?

*Announcer’s Voice* Vanessa Bryant on defense!

Defense wins championships. Never mind the giant ring he got her, what about his rings? Oh he earned those on his own? Let me ask you this: how many sports teams need to present themselves as “family entertainment”? If Vanessa walked out on him after that trial, you think he would’ve been allowed to stay a Laker? It’s because she stayed by his side, trotted out those children of his during that finals MVP presentation. All of that is work, people. In their personal life, Vanessa is the MVP.

Now, let’s talk personal risk and on that subject I have two words for you: Cookie Johnson. Who knows what Kobe (might’ve) brought into their bed?

In terms of earning potential, what is she going to do? She’ll forever be known as Kobe’s wife… the woman who stood beside him when he cried at that damn press conference.  She could open a chain of bakeries and people will say she’s Kobe’s ex wife. What man would be looking to marry Kobe’s sloppy seconds if there was no money/lifestyle to go with it?

People! He married her right out of high school!

“Well, what did she do to better herself HLBB?”

Really? If your 17-year old ass had been promised the world without having to work for, you would’ve refused it? Really? Yeah. That’s what I thought. Like a class-action lawsuit, Vanessa got her settlement. Deal with it.

For Team Kobe – @mee_shel

One of the major points in Canadian law when it comes to divorce is that the parties leave the marriage on fairly equal terms which will usually result in one party paying the other what’s called an “equalizing payment” (EP). A lot of conditions are taken into account when determining an EP: length of marriage, means of the parties, accumulation of assets/liabilities since date of marriage, assets/liabilities on the date of marriage.

One of the major issues stay-at-home parents (I use parents because father’s staying home is more common now than it used to be and sometimes men find themselves seeking EPs and spousal support from their wives) have is proving how vital they were to their spouse’s success. This is where Vanessa comes in. Kobe would have been successful with or without her. Yes, she raised his children (with the help of a nanny or two I’m sure) but Kobe didn’t rely on her to “take care of house and home” in the traditional sense. I’m sure he had staff that could cater to their needs as a family.

Yes, she’s accustomed to a certain lifestyle and that also should be taken into consideration; however, that lifestyle could have been maintained to a degree with regular spousal support payments. She basically won the lottery in her divorce and that’s what is unfair with family laws. Divorcing spouses seem to fail to realize that it’s easier to support a single household and when it’s split into two, both spouses need to adjust (ex. downsizing homes). This may not necessarily be an issue in the case at hand, but it seems like the “poorer” spouse feels like they have a sense of entitlement.

Kobe was the successful one and now he’s being penalized for that success. Now, I’m sure Vanessa put up with plenty. She stood by him when he had that scandal a while back…no one knows what she truly went through. This is where compensatory spousal support comes in. She should be compensated for all the bull shit Kobe put her through…but the “windfall” she received for being married to an NBA superstar just seems to be a little on the overboard side.

So who’s it gonna be kids? Team Vanessa or Team Kobe. Cast your vote in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “She Said/She Said – Kobe vs. Vanessa

  1. I hate to say it as a guy- but if he plays he pays, my opinion – I would note that if this was a reversed situation and she had been the cheating star and him the good husband – I think he would walk away with nothing and not by choice- just my opinion its just the way society is

  2. Kinda disagree with both sides. Correct me if I’m wrong but the wife didn’t get alot of money because he cheated. She got half because they divorced.

    Not all states do it, but California I think is simple, half of everything earned during a marriage goes to each party. Kobe married her in his third/fourth season (checks wikipedia) so 11 seasons after where he actually became a star is alot of money to divide. It didn’t matter if he cheated or not. He didn’t sign a pre-nuptial agreement, she gets half.

    Now if we’re discussing morality of dividing half, I come from a culture where whatever a man or woman has is theirs individually and there is no splitting (alimony or assistance to the divorced spouse is fair game but half of all is not). But if people are going to change that, the rule would have to change for everyone, not just for celebrities and not just because a person cheated. If people wanted it to change they can get their politicians to change the books.

    If I ever marry, I’d sure as hell sign a pre-nup even if all I have at the time is an empty wallet. But Kobe would’ve/should’ve known pre-nup was an option prior to marrying. If he didn’t sign then, then this is the result of his decision. In fact, someone was quoted back then that Kobe “loved her too much” to ask for a prenup.

    Obviously Vanessa Bryant is entitled to half then. Kobe coulda been the most faithful husband alive and it wouldn’t change that.

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