KOBE BRYANT’S WIFE VANESSA ‘CAN HARDLY KEEP IT TOGETHER’ AFTER HIS DEATH

A source close to Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa Bryant says that she is trying to hold it together for her daughters following the death of Kobe and Gianna. A family friend told People, "It's an extremely difficult and devastating time for Vanessa and the whole family. She can hardly keep it together. She can't finish a sentence without crying. But she is working very hard to pull it together for the other girls. She now has to be the strong one."

The source continued, "Of course, you can never be prepared for this. Despite their ups and downs, were soulmates. She thought of him as her partner for life." The source added that Vanessa "is surrounded by people who love her and love Kobe. She has a good support system. She is relying on her faith. She is not alone. But she will be grieving this for a very long time."

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL REMEMBERS KOBE

Meanwhile, Shaquille O' Neal got emotional as he spoke on the loss of Kobe. As a part of TNT's tribute to Bryant, he said, "I haven't felt the pain that sharp in a while. . . . Our names will be attached together for what we did. . . .You know it just makes me think that in life instead of holding back certain things, we should just do it."

During his podcast, The Big Podcast with Shaq, he said that he hasn't eaten or slept since the death of Kobe. He said, "I'm not doing well. I'm sick. I'm just getting over the death of my sister. You guys told me the other day when I came in, I looked like I needed some rest. And I haven't been sleeping after Ayesha's death. It's just not thinking about the good times but just the times when I could've said something or could've did something different, or could've loved her more or could've showed her more support. And the same thing hit when I found out this news."

He added, "I haven't eaten, I haven't slept. I'm looking at all the tapes. I'm sick right now. And I know some idiot's gonna bring up the relationship me and Kobe had. Our relationship was that of brothers. We're brothers on this podcast, John, we argue all the time. But in real life, when I see you and your lovely wife, it's all about respect."

TMZ HARVEY LEVIN CLAIMS 'KOBE'S PEOPLE' GAVE APPROVAL TO PUBLISH STORY

In other news, TMZ's head Harvey Levin claimed that "Kobe's people" gave the site the go ahead to publish the crash story. The site has been criticized for reporting the story before Kobe's family knew that he and his 13-year-old daughter died. Levin said in a Los Angeles radio interview, "We dealt with Kobe's people… and we were told very clearly that she had been notified." When asked about the families of the other victims being notified, Levin said, "that is a fair point."

Levin said that he got the tips for a longtime law enforcement source and then called Kobe's reps. He said, "We were dealing with them for an hour before we published the story and they said ‘go for it.'"

Meanwhile, TMZ has reported that Kobe's public memorial will probably be held at LA's Coliseum because the Staples Center is not big enough.

AUDIO: SHAQUILLE O NEAL ON KOBE BRYANT