“There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now,” Bryant wrote alongside a photo of their family. “I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.”
On Thursday, the family would call out the media for the false reports that emerged soon after the news first broke, with the biggest one being ABC News chief national correspondent Matt Gutman who stated the Kobe and all four of his daughters were on that flight. He has since been suspended.
“We are disappointed in some media’s broad use of unnamed sources and blind quotes, and remind everyone that the Bryant family will speak on our own behalf when appropriate,” Kobe Inc. president Molly Carter said in a statement the Los Angeles Times. “To this point, no one has been authorized to speak on behalf of the family regarding any personal details surrounding Sunday’s tragedy, including stories related to the family’s previous air travel decisions. We ask members of the media for respect and responsible judgment during this difficult time. These inaccurate reports only add unnecessary pain to a grieving family.”
“Reporting the facts accurately is a cornerstone of our journalism,” an ABC News spokesperson told CNN. “As he acknowledged on Sunday, Matt Gutman’s initial reporting was not accurate and failed to meet our editorial standards.”
Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy in California on Sunday morning when their helicopter crashed. Gianna was expected to play in the game, part of a tournament in the Mamba Cup Series, with Bryant acting as coach.
Kobe and Gianna are survived by Vanessa, 37, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.
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