Kobe Bryant s Wife Files for Divorce

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant, it seems, is soon to be a free agent.

The Los Angeles Lakers star”s wife of 10 years, Vanessa, filed for divorce Friday in Orange County, Calif., a source confirms to us.

Bryant, 33, and his soon-to-be ex-wife, 29, married in April 2001, when Bryant was just 22 and she 18. They have two daughters, Natalia Diamante Bryant, 8, and Gianna Maria-Onore, 5.

The couple released a statement to The Insider“s Kevin Frazier saying, “The couple say “We ask that in the interest of our young children and in light of the upcoming holiday season, the public respect our privacy during this most difficult time.”

In 2003, they weathered a public scandal after Bryant was charged with allegedly raping a 19-year-old Colorado resort employee. The charges were eventually dropped after the accuser refused to testify. The case settled out of court.

Just days after Bryant was charged, his wife was seen sporting an 8-carat purple diamond ring worth about $4 million, which many interpreted as a apologetic gesture to her.

“I sit here in front of you guys, furious at myself, disgusted at myself for making the mistake of adultery,” Bryant said in a press conference in July of that year. “And I love my wife with all my heart.”