STAYING TOGETHER–Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, attending the skills competition at the NBA basketball All-Star Saturday Night in Dallas on Feb. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
by Greg Beacham
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe and Vanessa Bryant are staying together.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar and his wife both announced they’ve called off their divorce Friday on social media.
Shortly after Vanessa posted the news on Instagram, Kobe confirmed it on Facebook less than an hour before the Lakers hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I am happy to say that Vanessa and I are moving on with our lives together as a family,” Bryant wrote. “When the show ends and the music stops, the journey is made beautiful by having that someone to share it with. Thank you all for your support and prayers!”
Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce in December 2011, seeking to end a marriage that began in April 2001 and survived a sexual assault accusation against the five-time NBA champion guard. The Bryants have two daughters, Natalia and Gianna.
But Kobe and Vanessa haven’t acted much like a divorcing couple in the past year. Vanessa and the Bryant daughters have attended many Lakers home games, waiting for Bryant to emerge from the Lakers’ locker room and leaving Staples Center together.
“We are pleased to announce that we have reconciled,” Vanessa posted on Instagram. “Our divorce action will be dismissed. We are looking forward to our future together.”
Vanessa Bryant stood by her husband when he was charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in Colorado in 2003, saying Kobe Bryant was only guilty of “the mistake of adultery.” A year after the accusation, prosecutors dropped the charges because the woman did not want to go ahead with a trial.
Bryant is the fifth-leading scorer in NBA history in his 17th season with the Lakers, who drafted him in 1996. He is leading the NBA in scoring this season, and is very likely to play in his 15th NBA All-Star game next month in Houston.
Bryant met his wife at a music video shoot in 1999, when Vanessa Laine was 18 years old. They became engaged six months later.