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Kobe Bryant has died at age 41, officials confirmed to Variety. The former NBA star was travelling in his private helicopter with eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, when it went down in Calabasas, CA, on Sunday. The aircraft reportedly crashed "amid foggy conditions into a hillside near an intersection in area north of Malibu State Park" before a small brush fire erupted. There were no survivors.
Kobe won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and was an 18-time NBA All-Star. In 2003, Kobe was charged with sexual assault after a hotel employee accused him of rape, though he later claimed the interaction was consensual. Charges in the case, which made national news, were eventually dropped the following year and Kobe settled a civil suit with his accuser. Following his retirement from the NBA in 2016, Kobe put his focus on his production company, Granity Studios. In 2018, he took home best animated short film at the Oscars for writing and narrating Dear Basketball, which was based on the letter he wrote to The Players' Tribune announcing his retirement from basketball.
Kobe is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and their three other daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, who was born in June 2019.