Retired NBA player Karl Malone isn’t up to discussing his troubling past, making it clear to reporters at Sunday’s 2023 NBA All-Star Game.
According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Malone was asked about his controversial past — impregnating a 13-year-old girl as a 20-year-old LSU student — surfacing on the internet. The 59-year-old affirmed he wasn’t going to talk about it.
“I’m not discussing any of that backlash. I don’t care,” Malone said. “That’s my life, it’s my personal life, and I’ll deal with that like I’ve had to deal with everything. So, whatever.”
Per a News Onyx report, Malone attended the NBA All-Star Game, where he judged the Dunk Contest, which many weren’t happy about considering his past. While Malone is aware of the negative attention surrounding him, he refuses to entertain it.
“Whatever, I’m human,” he said.
According to a 1998 Associated Press report, the 13-year-old was Gloria Bell, who gave birth to now 38-year-old Demetress Bell, an offensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills. She and Malone had a two-month relationship.
The report read that Malone refused to publicly claim his three children (Cheryl and Daryl Ford, he had at 17) at the time because, according to his lawyer, he felt they weren’t his. The paternity suits filed against him would settle before DNA could prove they were his children.
Gloria’s family decided against pressing statutory rape charges against the former Utah Jazz player but went through with a paternity suit. DNA results showed a 99.3% chance that Malone was the father of Demetress.
However, the NFL player told ESPN in 2008 that he didn’t see Malone as a father but more as a sperm donor.
“I treat it as if my mother went to a sperm bank,” he said. “I don’t hate him for [not being in my life]. It made me a better person.”
Gloria told AP News that Demetress downplayed his admiration for basketball as a child because of his father. Still, due to his physique and speed, it was discovered he’d make a better football player than a baller. The Buffalo Bills drafted him in 2008.