Washington, D.C. lawyer Leicester Bryce Stovell says he is LeBron James’s biological father, claims that James and his mother have conspired to cover it up, and has filed a $4 million paternity and fathers’ rights lawsuit to prove it.
According to 55-year-old Stovell, he met James’s mother Gloria James at a D.C. nightclub in 1984, when she was visiting from Akron, Ohio. Believing she was in her 20s, (she was 15) he had a one-night stand with her. Months later, she sought him out and told him she was pregnant and planned to name the child LeBron. Later that year, LeBron James was born in Ohio.
“This suit is really about whether he’s my son and I’m his father,” Stovell told the writers of the Washington Post blog “The Reliable Source” after filing the lawsuit. “This is not one of those popping out of woodwork to exploit a celebrity’s fame and fortune.”
As the years passed and James became a nationally known figure, Stovell began to wonder if he might be the basketball star’s father. He contacted James’s attorneys about the paternity question in 2007. Gloria James denied ever having met Stovell, but LeBron James agreed to a paternity test. The results were negative.
Despite Negative Paternity Test, Stovell Persists in Fathers’ Rights Claim
Stovell, a Princeton graduate who long worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission, now operates his own law firm. He is representing himself in the paternity and fathers’ rights case.
Despite the negative paternity test, Stovell claims there is evidence that he is LeBron James’s father. For example, the 6′ 8″ attorney is convinced that James bears a strong resemblance to him — both in height and in facial features. He has posted comparative photos on his Facebook page.
LeBron James has repeatedly said that he was abandoned by his father, whom he says is an ex-con. Through his attorney, he flatly denied Stovell’s claim of paternity.
“There is a DNA test that came back with the results 99.9 percent conclusive excluding paternity by Mr. Stovell,” James’s attorney told The Reliable Source. “Mr. Stovell has issues, but they are not ours.”
“D.C. lawyer claims he’s LeBron James’s father” (Washington Post blog “The Reliable Source,” July 12, 2010)