Newport's high-profile divorce: Bryant vs. Bryant

Newport Coast's most famous couple is headed for divorce, and the split looks like a potential windfall for the wife of Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.

Vanessa Bryant, who filed for divorce Friday, is likely to receive a windfall in the couple's final settlement, which is expected sometime next year.

Attorney Dmitry Gorin said that generally speaking, Vanessa Bryant would be due half of Kobe Bryant's net worth during their marriage and joint custody of their daughters.

The Bryants are reported to be worth at least $150 million. Without a prenup, Gorin said Vanessa would be due about half that amount.

She will also get considerable spousal support, like "more than enough for many lifetimes" Gorin said.

Though details of the settlement were not in the document, Vanessa Bryant's mother, Sofia Urbieta Laine, previously told a Los Angeles Times reporter that the couple had no prenuptial agreement. She told The Times in 2005 that the couple chose to forgo one after months of negotiations. The court filing Friday indicated that property rights were to be determined.

In the petition filed Friday in Orange County Superior Court, Vanessa Bryant cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the divorce. In what appears to be an effort to keep the details of their split out of the public eye, the couple said in a joint statement late Friday that they had "resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately."

But the final judgment dissolving their marriage will be entered sometime next year, representatives for the couple said.

What about the ring? In 2003, Kobe Bryant notably bought an 8-carat purple diamond ring worth $4 million for Vanessa days after he was accused of sexually assaulting a resort employee, a charge he was later acquitted of.

But there's a chance the ring might not be hers after the divorce.

"It may not be a true gift," said Christopher C. Melcher, a Woodland Hills-based family law attorney.

In California, something so expensive doesn't qualify as a gift unless there's a signed document noting it was, in fact, a gift, Melcher said. So there's a likely possibility that the ring is still considered community property, he said.

This story was reported by staff writers for the Los Angeles Times and Daily Pilot.

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