Vanessa was born in Pomona, California. Sophie(Vanessa`s older sister) and Vanessa`s parents divorced when Vanessa was just a baby, after which her father moved to Baja, Mexico.Sofia raised her daughters alone until 1990, when she married Stephen Laine. In high school Vanessa legally changed her family name to Laine even though Stephen never adopted Vanessa.
The Laines lived in Anaheim and Temecula before moving to Garden Grove, where they bought a four-bedroom house. Vanessa graduated from St. Boniface parochial school in 1996, and Laine used his father`s Huntington Beach address to get Vanessa into his alma mater, Marina High School. Vanessa wanted to attend Marina High to be with her stepfather`s nieces, because she was very close to them
Vanessa met Kobe Bryant in November 1999, when she was 18, while she was working as a background dancer in the video G`d Up from the rap group Tha Eastsidaz. Bryant was in the building working on his album, which was never released.
The two began dating and soon their relationship started getting attention from the media. The media attention proved too much for the school and it banned Bryant from the campus. Bryant was also banned from attending Vanessa`s prom and her graduation