Molly Carter, the former president of Kobe Bryant’s business empire, would have to pay Vanessa Bryant $1.5 million in attorney fees after the deceased basketball legend’s wife won a lawsuit against her.
According to PEOPLE, Vanessa, 41, in the lawsuit accused the former Kobe Inc. president of making negative and racist comments about Kobe, as well as his family. Carter had also claimed that the deceased Los Angeles Lakers superstar had promised to award her a portion of his investment in sports drink company, BodyArmor; however, Vanessa claimed that wasn’t the case.
Vanessa claimed in the lawsuit that Carter “levied false claims against Mr. Bryant, and his company, immediately following his death,” and made other “offensive comments” about her late husband as well as his family and business.
On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, 41, was on board the Sikorsky S-76B with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, alongside seven others, when the helicopter suddenly banked and plunged into the hills in southern California, Face2Face Africa reported at the time; there were no survivors.
In the court filing that was made at the Orange County Superior Court on Monday, Vanessa’s lawyers asked a judge to give the green light for the ruling that an arbitrator made with regard to the money awarded to their client. Carter served as the president of Kobe’s business empire between 2015 and 2020.
The filing states that Kobe and Carter had been in the said dispute for many years and it persisted before he died. As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, Kobe’s estate became one of the biggest beneficiaries of Coca-Cola’s $5.6 billion purchase of BodyArmor. The ex-NBA star, while alive, first invested $6 million in the company in 2014 for a 10% stake, making him the third-largest investor at the time. Following the sale, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Bryant estate was expected to make $400 million.
Carter alleged that six months before Kobe died, he “verbally promised” to give her 2% of his earnings from his BodyArmor investment, per court documents, PEOPLE reported.
“Kobe Bryant never made any such promise,” the lawsuit filed by Vanessa states. “In reality, Carter repeatedly demanded an equity interest in BodyArmor, and Mr. Bryant continuously rejected all of her demands.”
The lawsuit also claims Carter’s request was even “scoffed” by Kobe during a certain instance, adding that the late basketball star was of the view that she did not “deserve” the money.
The lawsuit further claims that Carter failed to abide by her employee contract, as she made “offensive” and racist comments about Kobe and his family. “During his lifetime, Carter continuously complained about Mr. Bryant, and made numerous deeply offensive comments about him,” the filing states.
The filing also claims that Carter even described Kobe as “f—ing insane” and a “douche.” Carter is said to have asked a friend if one of Kobe’s newborn babies had “botox lips.” Besides that, Carter allegedly “complained” about a plane having “a lot of fancy a– black people” on board during a trip to an NBA All-Star game. Carter is also accused of repeatedly denigrating Chinese and Asian people.
The money awarded to Vanessa comes after Los Angeles County agreed to pay the widow $28.85 million to settle a lawsuit over photos that were taken at the scene of the 2020 helicopter crash that took the life of her husband and their daughter.