Lauryn Hill, Dan Marino, Jesse Jackson, Rielle Hunter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and countless other men and women without famous names, produced children as part of extramarital affairs. Now, new claims by Pamela Smith allege that basketball superstar Michael Jordan has as well.
The adults made their decisions to enter into these sordid relationships, but what about the children? According to TMZ Taj Reynolds begged his mother to file a paternity suit against Michael Jordan. Although Reynolds had no say in the conditions of his alleged conception, people have a lot to say negatively about him and his mother.
From comments on Reynolds's YouTube video:
Like his sl** mom didn't know MJ was a married man, please. That's what all of those wh***s who date/screw the dumb uneducated basketball players want--to have a kid with one of them and be set for life. If this kid wants him in his life, this wasn't a good way to go about it. His mom is a WH*** and the kid is a lame a** tool.
Reynolds is just one example of the people dealing with the effects of being a so called "secret love child". Watch the clip from Dr. Phil's Oct/Dec 2012 show, which tackles the issue of children of affairs,. In the video a woman named Krista describes her torment after discovering at age 11, that she was the child of an affair.
Ellen O'Neill became an expert on the subject after discovering the truth of her own paternity. She lived for thirty-one years thinking that her mother's husband was her father. He was not. Growing up in dysfunction led her down a path to substance abuse.
O'Neill relives the pain of her dejected childhood in the book, "Ellen Who? Story of a Secret Love Child." O'Neill spoke with Dr. Drew Pinsky about growing up seeing the difference in how she connected with her parents as opposed to both of their other children, and how feelings of rejection led to her addiction. You can read the transcript of their under transcripts on CNN.com.
Children of affairs can find themselves feeling abandoned, rejected, shamed, and guilty. Some fall into depression and find themselves feeling unloved and worthless. It is up to the adults in the affair to make things better for the innocent parties.
No one knows whether or not Michael Jordan's children with ex-wife Juanita Vanoy were aware of a potential sibling. If it is proven that Taj Reynolds is their brother through Jordan, how will they cope? They have already had to deal with their parents divorcing after seventeen years of marriage, and Jordan's impending marriage to his fiancee.
If true that Jordan fathered Reynolds, will they accept Reynolds as a sibling, or live on as though he does not exist? Alex Wright, the former mistress of Beyonce's father Mathew Knowles and mother of his son, told Star Magazine some time ago that Beyonce refuses to acknowledge her younger half sibling. Is it wrong of a person to refuse to have a relationship with siblings born of affairs?
Extramarital children always suffer, and it's such a shame that their relationships with their family members suffer...especially brothers and sisters...because their existence in this world is not their doing--B. Blount
It's just a personal choice. Seems like that is denying your own father. Seems a little unhealthy. They have the same father. How does this play out should the father take ill or die. A little petty.--S. Williams
Nope. I honestly don't want to meet any mistress's kids. If they were here before we got together and you're not hiding them or me, we're good. But if you hide your kids and then have more with me I'm good. They can meet their siblings but leave me out of it.--D. Penman
How might families survive the dysfunction created by affairs that birthed children?
- Seek professional help. A relationship crisis coach like Dr. Darshana Hawks of Charlotte can assist couples in healing from the damage caused by dysfunction. Individual therapy can help with any feelings of depression, lack of self worth, and low self-esteem.
- End the deceit. If healing is going to begin, you must start telling the truth and correcting the behavior that led to the dysfunction.
- Acknowledge the child. Although the presence of another child may bring about pain for the married parent's family, part of healing is acknowledging the existence of the other child.
- Forgive. The innocent parties have to forgive in order to heal. Being innocent does not protect you from the negative effects of affairs. So in order to regain some peace in your life, forgiveness is necessary. It won't be easy, but it is part of the process.
- Work through it. As the child of an affair, you have to face some facts that may not be pleasant. Your married parent's other children and spouse may not accept you. It is their choice to make. You have to figure out a way to work through it. Remember they were innocent too. Their acceptance or rejection has nothing to do with your value as a person.
How can families survive affairs that create children? Leave your comments below.