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- Canadian professional basketball player
Tristan Thompson is publicly acknowledging that he's the father of Maralee Nichols's son — and apologizing to on-again/off-again girlfriend Khloé Kardashian for the "heartache and humiliation" he's caused.
"Today, paternity test results reveal that I fathered a child with Maralee Nichols," the NBA player, 30, wrote in his Instagram Stories. "I take full responsibility for my actions. Now that paternity has been established, I look forward to amicably raising our son."
He added, "I sincerely apologize to everyone I've hurt or disappointed throughout this ordeal both publicly and privately."
A second post was directed to the 37-year-old Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, who he was in a relationship with when Nichols became pregnant. They are parents to 3-year-old True Thompson. (Thompson also has a 5-year-old son, Prince Thompson, with ex Jordan Craig.)
"Khloé, you don't deserve this," he wrote. "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. 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."
On Tuesday, Nichols's rep said in a statement to People, "There was never any doubt that Tristan Thompson was the father of Maralee Nichols's baby. 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."
Thompson and Kardashian met on a blind date in 2016. They announced she was pregnant in 2017 and True arrived the following year. Just days before True's birth, however, images and videos showed Thompson kissing or touching three different women. Thompson and Kardashian didn't break up until the next year — after he kissed her sister Kylie Jenner's best friend Jordyn Woods at a party. However, by the end of 2019 they were back together. The pandemic saw them quarantining together with True which brought them closer — and there was even talk that they were trying to have another child. Then in June 2021, they abruptly split.
Behind the scenes, Nichols was pregnant — and reached out to Thompson, who reportedly offered her $75,000 to have "no involvement" in the child's life. Nichols gave birth to the baby boy in early December. In a paternity suit filed against Thompson, seeking pregnancy-related fees and child support, it came to light the basketball player had been seeing Nichols, who owns a real estate and design firm, for several months after meeting in November/December 2020. They spent his birthday together in March. She said she became pregnant in April. In court papers, Thompson called it a "consensual casual" sexual relationship. Nichols — who is also seeking full legal and physical custody of her son — told E! News that Thompson said he was "single and co-parenting" with Kardashian.
Among those to react to Thompson's apology is Kardashian's first husband, Lamar Odom. The former NBA player, who also cheated on Kardashian and overdosed in a brothel during their four-year marriage, wrote: "I truly wish nothing but the best for her and I'm hoping we can reconnect and talk one day as friends she is a good person and deserves the world."