Updated 3:20 p.m.
The Washington lawyer who claims he is the biological father of basketball star LeBron James is delusional and only seeking fame, James's lawyers said today in court papers urging a federal judge to dismiss the suit.
Leicester Bryce Stovell said in the complaint, filed in June in Washington federal district court, that he has been trying to determine paternity since 2007. DNA test results were falsified, according to Stovell, a solo practitioner who is pro se in the case. The suit was filed against James and his mother, Gloria James, who had LeBron when she was 16.
James’s lawyers, including John Burlingame, Washington managing partner of Squires, Sanders & Dempsey, said today in court papers that Stovell’s suit “comes nowhere close to articulating any facts that, if true, would show how the test was falsified, who falsified it, or that Gloria or LeBron James had anything to do with the alleged falsification.”
Attorneys for James say Stovell’s “fanciful hope for celebrity cannot be brought to life through a court of law.” Click here for a copy of the motion to dismiss and here for earlier coverage of the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Burlingame writes in court papers: “Stovell’s claims for millions of dollars from his putative son and Gloria James are based upon rank speculation—that a man who claims that as a twenty-nine year old lawyer he got a 15-year old girl pregnant during a one-night stand and who never contributed a penny in child support would earn millions in commercial endorsements by crawling out of the wood-work after the child he never gave a thought to became an NBA star.”
Stovell, in an e-mail, declined to comment on the defense motion to dismiss.
Stovell said in the suit, pending before Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, that a "comprehensive, sophisticated and well-funded effort” has been ongoing for some time “to frustrate identification of his real father, and that there is a likelihood that the father in question is me.”
James's lawyers said that “Stovell may truly believe that he is the father of LeBron James, even though a DNA test has told him otherwise. But his delusions do not give rise to a cause of action against either Gloria or LeBron James.”