Vanessa Bryant, who filed for divorce last week from Lakers star Kobe Bryant, is expected to get millions in the couple's settlement, all because the basketball player failed to sign a prenup.
Vanessa Bryant's mother, Sofia Urbieta Laine, told reporters back in 2005 that the couple had failed to get a prenuptial agreement before their marriage in 2001, meaning Vanessa could end up getting around $75 million or more.
According to TMZ, Vanessa has already laid claim to the couple's Newport Coast mansion in Orange County, Calif. and is said to be keeping the $4 million purple diamond apology ring Kobe gave her after his 2003 sexual assault scandal. The pair are seeking joint custody of daughters Natalia, 8, and Giana, 5.
'More than enough for many lifetimes.'
Though Kobe Bryant and future ex Vanessa haven't said whether Laine's comment about the prenup is true, Vanessa Bryant's mother has reporters and legal analysts convinced enough to speculate on how much Vanessa stands to gain from her husband's cheating ways.
At the time news of his divorce broke, Kobe Bryant had an estimated net worth of at least $150 million, with some estimates going as high as $300 million. Without a prenup, according to Attorney Dmitry Gorin, Vanessa Bryant is entitled to roughly half that amount: $75 million in the settlement.
That amount of money is more than enough for many lifetimes, Gorin told The LA Times, and doesn't include the ongoing chld support she could land if she gets joint custody of her two daughters.
Because their marriage lasted over ten years, California state law is also on Vanessa Bryant's side. She will be allowed to maintain her standard of living, almost certainly have permanent spousal support and may even be part of Kobe Bryant's retirement plans.
'It could have saved half his fortune.'
Vanessa Bryant, 29, is likely to end up with half her ex-husband's fortune and a lifestyle more legally assured than she might even have had as his wife. Not bad for a woman who had to go through not one but two very public cheating scandals, and who had considered divorcing the Lakers player for his cheating four years ago.
But Vanessa Bryant's impressive divorce settlement would never have been possible with a prenuptial agreement. Kobe Bryant's neglecting to sign one, especially since the couple's irreconcilable differences likely stem from his serial cheating, is a move that strikes many legal advisers as unusual, to say the least.
It could have saved half his fortune, said Christopher C. Melcher, a Woodland Hills-based family law attorney. A prenup between Vanessa and Kobe Bryant would have limited the basketball wife's rights for spousal support and would have cut down her property rights.
Instead, Vanessa Bryant looks to make many millions off of Kobe's fortune, not only in their immediate divorce settlement but through the years to come.
Last season, as the highest-paid player in the NBA, Kobe Bryant, now 33, earned $24.8 million, and the contract extension he signed in 2010 netted him $83.5 million. That's not even factoring in endorsement deals from companies like Turkish Airlines and Mercedes-Benz.
RaderOnline.com reported that Vanessa Bryant held off divorcing Kobe in 2007 to stay together for the children. Now that the couple are divorcing, perhaps Vanessa Bryant can take some comfort in the fact that her daughters will be financially taken care of for the rest of their lives.