L.A.’s Staples Center was packed on Monday as basketball and Hollywood royalty joined fans to honor the January passing of 41-year-old Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others who tragically died in a Calabasas helicopter crash.
Kaley had already noted what an impact the NBA star had made on her – keep reading for how the “Big Bang Theory” star initially reacted to the news of Kobe’s death.
Tuesday saw Kaley take a break from promoting her upcoming “The Flight Attendant” series to share a photo of Vanessa giving her speech yesterday.
“Kobe was the MVP of girl dads,” Vanessa told the crowd and cameras.
“He was the most amazing husband – Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words,” she added, continuing:
“He isn’t going to be able to walk our girls down the aisle or spin me around on the dance floor. But I want my daughters to know and remember the amazing person, husband and father he was, the kind of man that wanted to teach the future generations to be better and keep from making his own mistakes.”
Kaley reacted by writing: “What a speech. What a role model. What a woman. What a wife. What a mom. What a queen.”
Kaley was one of the first celebrities to take to Instagram following the news that Kobe, Gianna, and all others aboard the helicopter had been killed.
“Been sitting here for a few hours completely gutted by this news,” she began.
“Kobe – this one is gonna hurt for a long long time . I feel so lucky being able to witness your brilliance court side so many times including your record scoring game. I loved basketball because of you. I compared every athlete to you. You made your mark on this earth and will always be the GOAT. My future children will know it was you!!”
Vanessa also spoke of the daughter she lost.
“Gigi would have most likely become the best player in the WNBA,” she said.
“I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy, dance on the dance floor with me or have babies of her own. Gianna would have been an amazing mommy,” Vanessa added.
The memorial may have moved Vanessa to tears, but she wasn’t alone. Basketball legend Michael Jordan made headlines for his tear-filled, humor-tinged, and emotional speech, with Jennifer Lopez also seen breaking down.
Instagram appeared to go somewhat dark on Monday as both fans and celebrities switched to posting “2/24” messages – the numbers reflected both the date of the memorial and the Jersey numbers of the All-Star player and his daughter Gigi.
The celebrity turnout was nothing short of immense. Basketball faces attending the memorial included Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, James Harden, and Steph Curry, plus Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James.
Beyonce moved Vanessa to tears with her performance, Christina Aguilera also sang, with further celeb faces in attendance including J Lo and Alex Rodriguez, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, plus Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Kimmel as host.
Vanessa is currently suing the Express Helicopters company that carried the now-deceased passengers.