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Kobe Bryant and his daughter laid to rest

It's been confirmed Kobe Bryant and Gianna were laid to rest in a private funeral held in Corona Del Mar, California, on Friday.

Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Picture: Instagram/vanessabryant

LOS ANGELES - Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna have been laid to rest in a private funeral, ahead of his public memorial on 24 February.

The 41-year-old basketball legend and his 13-year-old daughter died on 26 January when Kobe's private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, killing a total of nine people.

And it has now been confirmed Kobe and Gianna were laid to rest in a private funeral held in Corona Del Mar, California, on Friday.

An insider told Entertainment Tonight: "Vanessa and the family wanted a private service to mourn their loss. The ceremony was extremely hard for everyone as it's still hard for them to grasp they lost two beautiful souls."

The funeral comes as a public memorial is set to be held on 24 February at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, where Kobe played professional basketball with the LA Lakers for the entirety of his career.

The memorial will be held on the 24th, as 24 is the number on the jersey Kobe had worn with the Lakers since the 2006-07 season.

Meanwhile, Kobe's wife Vanessa - with whom he had Gianna, as well as 17-year-old Natalia, three-year-old Bianka, and seven-month-old Capri - recently said the tragic passing of her husband and daughter still don't feel real to her.

She wrote: "I've been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can't process both at the same time. It's like I'm trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. (sic)"

The 37-year-old went on to say she feels "mad" that Gianna was taken from her at such a young age, but knows she "needs to be strong" for the sake of her other children.

She continued: "Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn't being able to have that opportunity?! I'm so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I'm not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I'm here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri. I know what I'm feeling is normal. It's part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there's anyone out there that's experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all. (sic)"

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