The grieving parents and grandparents – Pamela was wearing black – were spotted close to their Las Vegas home having a low key day out accompanied by their eldest daughter, Sharia Washington. They headed for lunch at Café Zupas to get some take out, then former NBA star Joe, known as Jellybean in his playing days,
went to Target to pick up some household goods while Sharia and her mom walked to their local Petland store. They were on their day out not far from a colourful Las Vegas mural memorial to the star created in 41-year-old Kobe’s and 13-year-old Gianna’s honor by fans.
An onlooker who saw the family said: “It was good to see his mom, dad and sister out together one year on from the tragedy. “Joe looks so like his son and Pamela was extremely dignified and elegant in a black dress. “Just getting out with their daughter and doing ‘normal’ things is important, even for a family that was hit by something so terrible, somehow life has to go on.” Joe and Pam had a fractious relationship with Kobe, their youngest child, during his adult life but soon after his death The Sun told how he has trying to bring about a reconciliation and that he had been speaking to his father. The Sun has also told how other members of Kobe’s family stayed busy over the anniversary but that for them “every day is hard” by Jeremy Treatman, Kobe’s assistant coach in high school in Philadelphia.
Tony Altobelli, 50, brother of college baseball coach John Altobelli, 56, who perished in the helicopter crash with his youngest daughter Alyssa, 13, and wife Keri, 46, also told The Sun how his surviving niece Lexi, 17, is coping with her grief through “isolation and time alone”. Kobe fell out with his mom and dad because they did not approve of his relationship with his future wife and mother of his four kids, Vanessa, who was just 18 at the time she married Kobe in 2001.Neither of Kobe’s parents attended the wedding at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Dana Point, California. There was a sign their family relations had improved when Joe and Pamela were seen cheering on their son at the Lakers’ 2010 championship run.
But relations hit a low in 2013 when Kobe’s parents tried to sell some of the Lakers guard’s sports memorabilia to an auction house which prompted him to file a lawsuit. Kobe argued that he had not given his permission for the memorabilia to be sold and he sued the auction house, Goldin, that was involved. He eventually won the case and was also given a public apology from his parents. Part of that apology read: “We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we have caused our son and appreciate the financial support he has provided over the years.” The National Transportation Safety Board has recently announced it will hold a public meeting on February 9 to discuss what caused the Sikorsky S-76B, built in 1991, to crash, killing nine.
Last February, Kobe’s widow filed a lawsuit against the helicopter’s pilot, Ara Zobayan, and his employer, Island Express. Surviving family members of the others who died have also filed similar legal claims. They are arguing the pilot and his employer should not have been flying in cloudy and dangerous conditions. Shortly after the crash, it was also reported that sheriff’s deputies from Los Angeles County had exchanged photos of the crash site which included the remains of the star. Kobe’s widow Vanessa is now suing LA County Sheriff’s Department claiming negligence, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and the violation of her right to privacy.