NBA superstar LeBron James has continued to dominate sports headlines, despite his Cleveland Cavaliers being eliminated from the playoffs. But he certainly wasn't expecting his name to be attached to these swirling reports.
Just days after Cleveland was knocked out of the Eastern Conference semifinals last week, several internet blog rumors began to surface that James' subpar play in the series was caused by him learning that his mom, Gloria James, was having sex with Cavs teammate, Delonte West, a Washington, D.C. native.
According to the rumor, James was so upset with the news that it destroyed the Cavs' team chemistry, causing them to lose three straight games and ultimately the semifinals to the Boston Celtics.
Initially, James nor his mom responded to the rumor, but according to TMZ.com, when TerezOwens.com, a gossip entertainment website, reported the allegations as true, Gloria James's attorney then issued a cease-and-desist letter to the website's publisher.
"Mr. Owens, I am the attorney of Gloria and LeBron James. I am writing to demand that you cease and desist in repeating the lies that you have been instrumental in spreading regarding Gloria James. They are categorically false, and per se defamatory. If you do not understand the legal significance of those facts, I strongly urge you to consult your legal counsel," as stated by Nance Frederick, James' attorney, according to TMZ.
"At first blush, your irresponsible speculation about what might have contributed to the Cavaliers performance in the Boston series was so idiotic and 'off the wall' that we did not think that it even warranted a denial. No thinking person could possibly believe such rubbish. But you have persisted in repeating this nonsense, attributing to an unidentified source all for your own personal gain. We demand that you immediately stop publishing or in any way repeating these false, despicable and per se defamatory statements."
But gossip websites aren't the only media representatives claiming the allegations are true.
According to reports, NBA Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy went on record May 19, saying the rumor is true. "It ain't no rumor," Murphy told an ESPN affiliated radio station in Houston. The radio interview has been posted on youtube.com "[It's] absolutely true" and "absolutely horrifying.
"Unfortunately, my sources in the NBA tell me that it's absolutely true. My sources, and they're legit, tell me that the only people that didn't know it was happening was LeBron and me."
Murphy, 62, was acquitted in 2004 of charges of sexually abusing five of his daughters, according to the Associated Press. Reports also say he has 14 children by nine different mothers. Murphy was hired by KFNC 97.5 FM, an ESPN affiliate in Houston, in 2007 to host the "Calvin Murphy Show," but the show was canceled in January 2010, the Houston Chronicle reported.