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Yesterday was a difficult day for a great many Kobe and Gianna Bryant‘s loved ones, but no one could have been feeling it more than Vanessa Bryant.

Kobe’s widow stood tall inside Staples Center facing well over 20,000 attendees and spoke her final goodbyes to her husband and her little girl.

During her speech, Vanessa told the story of when Kobe sought and bought the dress from the legendary love flick The Notebook. Vanessa had previously revealed that she owned the dress via an Instagram post in 2013, but this was the first time she had talked about it publicly.

“He was truly the romantic one in our relationship. He planned special anniversary trips and a special traditional gift every year of our marriage. He gifted me the actual notebook and the blue dress Rachel McAdams wore in The Notebook movie.”

Unbeknownst to Vanessa, the woman who designed the dress, Karyn Wagner, had no idea that she even owned it now. The folks at The Hollywood Reporter caught up with her and got her reaction to Vanessa’s comments:

After watching the livestream, Karyn Wagner told The Hollywood Reporter that she never knew the Bryants were in possession of the dress, a custom creation made specifically for the Nick Cassavetes film. “I had zero idea. When I was finished with the movie, I put the dress in a box and it went into storage,” she explained, adding that maybe he bought it through a connection at the studio or with the filmmakers. (THR reached out to a rep for Cassavetes but has yet to hear back.) Wagner was touched nonetheless. “I started bawling. I’m still drying the tears off my face. What a beautiful eulogy. I’m so honored that I was able to contribute in some small way to the history of this amazing man.”

We still don’t know how Vanessa Bryant mustered the strength to speak like she did yesterday. She didn’t owe us a thing.



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