A former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission attorney who claims to be the biological father of LeBron James filed a lawsuit seeking at least $4 million from the basketball superstar and his mother for denying paternity.
Leicester Bryce Stovell, who left the SEC in 2002 after resolving a legal complaint against the agency, filed the suit against James and his mother, Gloria, in federal court in Washington June 23. Stovell accuses her of “maliciously” denying that they met at a bar in 1984 and had a “one-night, unprotected sexual relationship.”
“It is overwhelmingly likely that he is the son of me and defendant Gloria James,” Stovell wrote in the 22-page complaint. “He also likely is aware that I am his father.”
According to Stovell’s complaint, LeBron James “has come to direct and control, conspire in, or knowingly or recklessly aid and abet his mother’s unjustifiable attempts to prevent acknowledgement that I am his father” because of his “anger at perceived abandonment and conflict arising from his image as a successful fatherless child from the projects.”
The complaint, first reported on the Web site TMZ.com, comes as James plans to announce where he will play next season. The National Basketball Association’s reigning Most Valuable Player will reveal tonight in a live television special whether he’ll remain with the Cleveland Cavaliers or join the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, or another suitor.
Stovell, of Washington, is representing himself in the legal action. He didn’t answer a phone call seeking comment and his voice-mail box was full. James’ attorney, John Burlingame, didn’t immediately return a phone call and an e-mail seeking comment.
Stovell’s lawsuit says the basketball player agreed to join him in taking DNA tests in Ohio in 2007. While Stovell was told the results revealed a “0 percent probability of paternity,” he says he believes someone may have tampered with the test.
Stovell wrote in the complaint that he decided in 1984 to forget his encounter with Gloria James after learning from a bartender that she was 15 years old when they had sex. He was 29 at the time.
Gloria James told ESPN the Magazine in 2002 that her son’s father is a man named Anthony McClelland.
Stovell agreed to resign from the SEC in 2002 after the agency said it would pay him $230,000 to drop a complaint against the agency, legal records show. Stovell had joined the SEC in 1983 and was earning $134,539 a year at the time of his resignation, according to the settlement.