Vanessa Bryant breaks down on stage during Kobe Bryant tribute in first public appearance since his death

Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna Bryant (Picture: Getty)

Vanessa Bryant struggled to get through her speech in tribute to husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna.

Kobe, 41, and Gianna, 13, were both tragically killed in a helicopter crash last month along with seven others.

After being introduced by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Vanessa remembered her husband and daughter in an incredibly emotional speech.

As she began to speak about her ‘sunshine’ Gianna, Vanessa broke down in tears. The audience broke into applause to encourage her to continue.

Talking about Gigi, she said: ‘She was always thoughtful, always kissed me good night and good morning.

‘She knew how much her kisses meant to me and she was so thoughtful. She was Daddy’s girl but I know she loved her Momma. She was one of my very best friends.

Vanessa took to the stage at the memorial at the Staples Centre (Picture: Getty)
Vanessa struggled to get through her speech (Picture: AP)
Beyonce performed two songs to open the memorial (Picture: YouTube)
Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner were also in the audience (Picture: YouTube)
Jimmy Kimmel broke down in tears speaking about his friend (Picture: LA Lakers/YouTube )

‘Her smile was like sunshine. It took up her entire face like mine. Kobe always said she was me, she had my fire and personality, she was tender and loving on the inside. She had the best laugh. It was infectious, it was pure and genuine.

‘She brightened up my day every day. I miss looking at her beautiful face. She was always so good, I knew I could always count on her to do the right thing.’

Vanessa continued: ‘I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day. I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance, dance on the dance floor with me or have babies of her own.’

Speaking about her ‘soul mate’ she remembered the last text message she had from him.

Kobe and daughter Gianna were killed in the helicopter crash (Picture: Getty)
Vanessa described them as ‘perfectly imperfect people’ (Picture: Getty)

‘He was loving, adoring and romantic, he was truly the romantic one in our relationship,’ she said.

‘We were two perfectly imperfect people making a family and raising our sweet and amazing girls.

‘Before he passed he mentioned that he wanted us to spend more time together.

‘We never got the chance to do it. We were busy doing our everyday responsibilities, but I’m thankful I have that recent text. It means so much to me.’

Ending her speech, Vanessa said: ‘God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together’

‘May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you forever and always; Mommy.’

The memorial, which took place at the Staples Centre, also saw Beyonce perform two songs – Halo and XO, one of Kobe’s favourite songs.

Kimmel acted as host for the event which was attended by the likes of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade.

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