The athlete, 30, was spotted in Los Angeles on Monday, January 3, wearing a black hoodie and sweatpants along with a face mask amid the coronavirus pandemic. The same day, Thompson took to Instagram to confirm the news that he had welcomed a third child.
“Today, paternity test results reveal that I fathered a child with Maralee Nichols. I take full responsibility for my actions. Now that paternity has been established I look forward to amicably raising our son,” the Sacramento Kings center wrote on Monday, before also publicly apologizing to Khloé Kardashian, with whom he shares 3-year-daughter True.
“Khloé, you don’t deserve this. You don’t deserve the heartache and humiliation I have caused you. You don’t deserve the way I have treated you over the years,” he wrote at the time. “My actions certainly have not lined up with the way I view you. I have the utmost respect and love for you. Regardless of what you may think. Again, I am so incredibly sorry.”
The NBA star, who also shares 5-year-old son Prince with ex Jordan Craig, told Nichols he was single and “coparenting” with Kardashian at the time of their 2020 hookup, she previously claimed in a statement. However, Us Weekly confirmed that Nichols and Thompson were still together until calling it quits in June 2021.
On Tuesday, January 4, Nichols released a response to Thompson’s comments via her PR consultant.
“There was never any doubt that Tristan Thompson was the father of Maralee Nichols’ baby,” Harvey Englander told Us. “Tristan made numerous false and defamatory statements and declarations about Maralee over the past few months, and she is taking his contrite statement today in the context of all of those statements.”
In June 2021, the former personal trainer filed a lawsuit against Thompson and claimed they conceived a child in March. In paperwork filed in August 2021, Nichols shared alleged text messages from the basketball player in which he said he would not be “involved at all” with her baby. He also allegedly wrote that he was offering her $75K, telling her that will be more than she would get after he retires from the NBA next year.
“You won’t get nothing near that with having a kid with a father who’s unemplyed [sic],” he allegedly texted. “All you will have is a baby with a father who has zero involvement with the child and a few hundred dollars of child support a month.”
Kardashian, 37, has not yet spoken out following Thompson’s statement, but a source told Us last month it’s a “very sad time” for the Good American cofounder. “She really loves Tristan and still held a candle for him. She thought he might have changed his ways,” the insider said in December. “Khloé now knows that Tristan was unfaithful to her when they were back together.”
The duo have faced many scandals in the past. He was first caught cheating with multiple women days before their daughter arrived in 2018, but they chose to stay together. Kardashian ended the relationship in February 2019 after he was caught kissing Kylie Jenner’s then-best friend Jordyn Woods, but the duo got back together during the COVID-19 pandemic.