July 12, 2010
Fame and Filiation
CNN reports the story of a man claiming to be the father of recent Miami signee Lebron James:
A Washington lawyer has filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming he is the father of basketball star LeBron James.
Leicester Stovell alleges that the athlete and his family have been involved in a cover-up to deny paternity by committing fraud and misrepresentation. He told HLN's "Prime News" on Thursday that he wants "a carefully structured and secure DNA test" to prove he's the NBA all-star's father.
Stovell says he has been trying for three years to establish paternity and is seeking $4 million in damages. An earlier test ruled out the possibility, but he said the test could have been tampered with -- "and there are indications that there was a motivation."
Stovell said he had sex with James' mother, Gloria James, after meeting at a Washington bar while she was visiting from Ohio in 1984. A few months later, she told him she was pregnant, but did not say whether he was the father.
Stovell said his only request was that the child, if a boy, play basketball. He said his memory of the encounter resurfaced more than 20 years later, "after being asked whether I had a son, and I then systematically explored all of my past for that possibility."
"I came across this set of recollections and in focusing on them, they amplified," he said.
In the complaint, filed June 23, Stovell says, "I recently have concluded that a comprehensive, sophisticated and well-funded effort might well have been underway for quite some time, perhaps beginning in its present form as early as when defendant LeBron James was in high school, to frustrate identification of his real father, and that there is a likelihood that the father in question is me."
He denied the timing had anything to do with the current LeBron mania.
James is scheduled to announce Thursday evening the team he has chosen to play for next season, a deal worth perhaps tens of millions of dollars or more. He currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Read the full story here.
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