MLB

LeBron James "Love Child" Story Originated on an Online Forum, Plain-Dealer Quickly Regrets Picking it Up

LeBron James might have a love child! blared multiple websites over the last week. This is the internet, folks, where scurrilous rumor becomes fact. A quick synopsis, with a brief reminder: Nothing you’re about to read has been verified in any capacity, so do not accept it as fact.

On June 29th, an online forum, Lipstick Alley, was the first to link LeBron to a former Cleveland TV newswoman, Sharon Reed. A poster on the forum with the handle “incogneato” wrote the following:

Apparently Sharon had been Lebrons top side piece for quite a few years in Cleveland and she knew how to keep her mouth shut because she had a lot to lose too. Lebron took good care of Sharon financially but when he left town he was leaving all that behind but as a last resort she flew to visit him a few times on the road and then popped up single and pregnant while still anchoring the news at WOIO. She got an imaginary fiance but the rumors swirled so much at her job that they fired her while she was on maternity leave. If anyone is wondering why she has not gotten another job yet it’s because she no longer needs to work. She is being paid quite well to lay low.

Allegedly.

And away we go!

The rumors center around Reed leaving TV station WOIO in January. Her departure from the station is a fact! She went on maternity leave in December according to the Plain Dealer. Tough to imagine a TV station firing someone on maternity leave, but stranger things have happened.

On June 30th, something called “Tattle Tailzz” – yes, it really has two z’s – picked up the forum’s “report.” It appears Tattle Tailzz simply culled a bunch of info from the forum’s post (it went over 50 pages). There are no specifics such as dates of Reed’s alleged visits to Miami or any sightings of her in South Beach. (Reed’s twitter description includes Cleveland; nothing about Miami.)

This was some kicker at the bottom, unsourced:

Sharon Reed seems to like and pursue married men, rumored to have dated Robert De Niro, Bill Cosby (yes Bill) and Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Mike Wilbon is photographed here with Reed; it is the only photograph of her on Getty Images (from 2006).

The following day, somebody named Sandra Rose posted essentially the same story as Tattle Tailzz.

It feels like a game of telephone – forum floats lots of crap, another site ties it all together and then buries a source link at the very bottom (the “Love U LSA” hyperlink that 90% of people will miss), then Rose tweaks some of the details to make it look like she’s breaking news or something.

Eventually, the story reached Cleveland on June 5th. The Cleveland Leader had no new information, though. Well, unless you count Reed’s “cease and desist” that her lawyer sent the site. What’s strange is that by this point, stuff from a forum has now become fact – like Reed allegedly being fired for “breaking a morals clause in her contract.” Best I can tell, nobody reached out to Reed or the station.

Amazingly, the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER got into the act – briefly – this week. According to the Cleveland Frowns, the newspaper had something on the “story” but then quickly thought better and scrubbed it from the internet. Fortunately, screen grabs exist.

The internet, ladies and gentlemen.

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