Speaking to the public for the first time, Maralee Nichols, a 31-year-old fitness model, came forward about her secret relationship with NBA star Tristan Thompson.
After a Texas judge threw out a paternity case filed against her over their child, born earlier this month, Maralee’s potential gag order was dismissed, meaning that she could finally speak about the craziness that has been going on behind the scenes.
“Over the past couple of weeks, many inaccurate and false stories have been circulated about me,” Maralee Nichols told E! News. “I have not at any point released — nor have I directed anyone else to release — any information regarding Tristan Thompson or any litigation involving him.”
“I am providing this statement because I feel I must defend my character,” she continued.
Clarifying that she was not a personal trainer, as many outlets described, Maralee stated that she was a fitness model, and was never employed by Tristan.
Starting a relationship with Tristan Thompson in Boston, where he plays professional basketball for the Celtics, she said she became pregnant and told him weeks before she was meant to see him again in April. Tristan then filed for paternity action, which was dismissed earlier this week.
The legal documents from the dismissed case are still sealed, but fans were now finally free to hear Maralee’s side of the story. She said she never filed for child support before Tristan’s paternity case, but claims that the basketball player will not accept responsibility for the child.
The paternity location is important to the case, as it will determine how much he may have to pay in child support based on state laws. In Texas, where he wanted the case filed, he would have had to pay Maralee less.
“I am choosing to embrace being a mother and doing the best I can for my son,” Maralee said. “I do not want any further media attention, nor do I want a romantic relationship with Tristan. My goal is to raise our son in a safe, healthy, loving and private environment.”
Tristan, who has two other children – Prince, 5, a son with ex Jordan Craig, and True, 3, a daughter with ex Khloe Kardashian – previously downplayed his relationship with Maralee Nichols in court, and also asked for a paternity test to prove that he was the father.
Though they are no longer together, Tristan and Maralee’s relationship would have allegedly occurred when he was with Khloe Kardashian. Khloe previously stated the two broke up amid cheating allegations, and that “the relationship could not be repaired.”
“The only time that I had sexual intercourse with her in 2021 was in March 2021 in Houston, Texas,” Thompson testified in court. “I specifically remember having sexual intercourse in March because it was my birthday. Maralee and I attended a party together at a hotel in Houston. Maralee had called me and wanted to be with me on my birthday.”
“Contrary to [Nichols’] many inferences in her declaration, we did not have a serious ongoing relationship,” he told The Daily Mail. “We might see each other on a sporadic basis for consensual casual sex only… [Nichols] constantly used the term ‘hook up’ to describe our relationship which was the reality.”
Tristan allegedly cheated on Khloe multiple times during their relationship, once while she was pregnant with True in 2018, and another time in 2019 with Kylie Jenner’s friend Jordyn Woods. Tristan was also accused of sleeping with model Sydney Chase.
He said that he only spoke to Maralee through Snapchat and that his username was allegedly “blkjesus00.”
“He told me he was single and co-parenting,” Maralee Nichols told E! News. “I would never have gotten involved with Tristan if I thought he was in a relationship.”