Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kobe Bryant: Another Poster Boy For the Marriage Strike

None of us really know what was going on in the marriage of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant. Let's get that out of the way up front. However, we can make some educated guesses and note some realities that we're sure about:

1. They got married young.

2. NBA basketball players, especially superstars, have women constantly offering them sex; that is only part of the hero worship and butt-kissing they get. They are on the road a lot of their careers.

3. Kobe Bryant admitted to infidelity; at least one woman accused him of assault/rape.

4. Everyone knew Kobe Bryant was going to make hundreds of millions of dollars between his pay for the NBA and endorsements.

5. There was no prenup. In California, generally... ten years of marriage or more generally means lifetime alimony and everything acquired during the marriage is "community property" and split 50/50.

6. They have kids, and I expect Kobe will have to pay "child support" on top of everything else he will be paying. I put child support in quotes because it will be many times the amount it takes to actually support a child.

7. Kobe Bryant fulfilled the "traditional" role of bring home income... very, very well.

8. Vanessa Bryant probably didn't have to do much cooking, cleaning, laundry, or many of the other things homemakers have traditionally done. Did they children ever not have a nanny around?

An elite few men will ever make anything like the money Kobe does, or be the best in their field. But as extreme of an example as it is, this situation is still an example of why some guys do, or should, avoid marriage, or at least have a prenup.

This is what Janis Carr and Sean Emery reported in the Orange County Register...
According to Orange County Superior Court records, a petition to dissolve the couple’s marriage was filed by Vanessa Bryant and response was filed by Kobe Bryant on the same day.

As is the case with the majority of divorce, she's the one who filed.
A report on TMZ.com said the Lakers guard, who was accused of sexually assaulting a Colorado woman in 2003, was unfaithful again.

It is a rare man who can resist the temptation thrown at an NBA superstar.
The Bryants have been married for 10 1/2 years, having wed April 18, 2001 in a small ceremony in Corona del Mar. They have two daughters, Natalia Diamante, 8, and Gianna Maria, 5.

The couple reportedly does not have a prenuptial agreement, which means Vanessa could be entitled to half of Bryant’s net worth, estimated at $360 million. He signed a three-year contract extension in last year worth nearly $90 million that will keep him with the Lakers through the 2013-14 season and he has endorsements with Nike, Turkish Airlines, Nubeo watches and Vitamin Water brand of drinks.

Call me cynical, but I'm highly suspicious of the timing. Why not a year ago? Could it be because if they split after nine and a half years, she would have stopped getting alimony less than five years down the line?

Whatever you think of professional basketball, it involves a lot of hard work and is high-pressure. This isn't a matter of a couple of people looking at a middle-class life in which the wife could have had a career that paid as much or more as the husband's, and they jointly agree that she would take care of the kids and he would take care of her. Vanessa not only wasn't out there sprinting back and forth all night, jumping, throwing, etc... and appearing in ads... but she couldn't possibly have done it. And yet she's going to get half... more than half, really... of what he was paid.

And before anyone comes back with "but he cheated - he deserves to pay"... How do we know she didn't cheat? How do we know what kind of wife she was? She may or may not have broken other vows. But none of it matters because California is a no-fault divorce state. It doesn't matter if Kobe was cheating with Shaq, or if he had been the perfect husband. His mistake was either getting married or not getting a prenup. Because if she truly is leaving him over infidelity, rather than the lure of autonomy over hundreds of millions of dollars, the odds were overwhelming that he was going to cheat. He should not have married, or he should have married someone who didn't expect monogamy.

Hopefully, for the kids, they will reconcile. If not, may they both focus on raising those kids instead of being tabloid fodder running around with different lovers. Kobe: stay away from the Kardashians.

Most people should get prenups, because even if you marry someone who is loyal, dedicated, and against divorce, everything can change with a brain injury (accident, tumor, some disease) that changes their personality. The laws of the state and the judges sitting in the courtrooms already have a prenup for all of us. Why let strangers decide?

4 comments:

  1. He paid her millions years ago to "stand by her man" when he was accused of rape. She knew what he was and she stayed, probably for the money. What other reason would there be to stay with a man like him? I think this divorce was a long time in coming and shouldn't surprise anyone. He was stupid and now he pays. If she cheated, we aren't hearing about it, which means she either didn't or was smart enough not to get caught. No sympathy for Kobe or any amount he will have to pay. He can afford it. As for her, no sympathy there either. She wanted the money and she got it.

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  3. He was foolish to look into her eyes and promise her fidelity (unless he was going to have bodyguards 24/7 he instructed to keep him from cheating). He was foolish not to get a prenup. I generally think cheaters are foolish, too, but this is an unusual circumstances. I don't excuse cheating, but the level of temptation had to be higher than most men will ever face. There are so many scummy women out there who literally throw themselves as these guys.

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  4. I hear what you are saying Ken. All I can say to that is .... Gross. I have more respect for myself than that and I think other women should too. Kobe's a loser no matter how much money he has.

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