Kobe Bryant: Despite kiss, Vanessa's divorce case continues
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
Despite a much-discussed photo of Kobe Bryant and his estranged wife, Vanessa, kissing at Staples Center on Valentine's Day, there appears to be no change in the couple's divorce case.
Records at the Orange County family court show that no new filings in their divorce.
The records show they are dividing their assets, with Vanessa receiving an estimated $18.8 million in property from Kobe.
The couple, who were married for about 10 years before announcing their separation in December, did not have a prenuptial agreement, Vanessa Bryant's mother has told The Times. If true, Vanessa would be entitled to half of their community property.
Some estimates put Kobe Bryant's net worth at $150 million. Legal experts said Vanessa Bryant will probably receive at least $75 million, in addition to spousal and child support.
There has been much speculation about whether the couple was getting back together after photos showed them kissing near the Lakers' locker room at Staples Center after a game Tuesday night. Representatives for the couple have not commented.
Chris Melcher, a noted divorce attorney not involved in the case, said it was not uncommon for couples to try to reconcile while divorce proceeding were in progress. That's especially true when children are involved, he said.
Vanessa Bryant filed a divorce petition in Orange County Superior Court in December, citing "irreconcilable differences." The couple released a joint statement then saying that they had "resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately."
According to property records review by The Times, three mansions in Newport Beach's upscale Newport Coast community have recently been placed in Vanessa Bryant's name. They are:
--An estate in the Resort at Pelican Hill that was recently under construction. Property records peg its worth at $11.2 million. Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, was the listed owner until he signed transfer papers Dec. 15.
--A home worth $2.9 million owned jointly by the couple since 2003. Vanessa Bryant signed documents to transfer it into her name Dec. 14.
--A home valued at $4.7 million that was transferred to Vanessa on Dec. 30 from the Kobe Bryant trust.
[For the Record, 11:01 a.m. Feb. 16: An earlier version of this post stated that attorney Chris Melcher said it was uncommon for divorcing couples to try to reconcile. Melcher actually said it was not uncommon for couples to attempt a reconciliation.]
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Kobe and Vanessa Bryant in February 2010. Credit: LM Otero / Associated Press