NBA player Dwight Howard is finally speaking out about those gay rumors instigated by a man who claimed to be his ex-lover along with explosive allegations of an alleged affair filled with violence, threats and receipts in the form of texts.
The new aquistion to the Memphis Grizzlies spoke with FS1’s Fair Game with Kristine Leahy to address those rumors of a relationship between him and a man identified as Masin Elijé that surfaced back in November when he played for the Washington Wizards, saying flatly, “I’m not gay,” The Daily Mail reports.
“It upset me because I didn’t even know who the person was,” he said. “Why would somebody who I’ve never met, never had any contact with make up a whole story about me?”
He said he faced vicious criticism after the rumor got started, but also said dealing with it “liberated me” because he learned of the fear people have.
“I saw how a lot of people would feel, whether they’re gay or they’re straight, or whether they have issues, people are afraid to be who they are,” he continued. “They’re afraid to just step out and be, like you said, because they’re afraid of what other people might say or think about them. And so that situation made me realize, you not like this, but just be you, be free.”
“I’m not gay… It hurt at first to go through it. I sat at home and I was like ‘I never want to come outside again.'” @DwightHoward spoke on the allegations that he was gay.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) July 16, 2019
In a tweet thread that has gone viral, the accuser who is also an author, claims Howard threatened him for not signing a non-disclosure agreement after their relationship started.
There isn’t any confirmed evidence of the relationship but the accuser posted screenshots of texts and exchanges he said were from Howard.
Many parts of the internet reacted with transphobia, homophobia and plain confusion ―assuming the accuser was a transgender woman when he actually identifies as a gay man.
Howard took a lot of heat online with the allegations sparking trans and homophobic reactions. Howard said he took the reactions in stride.
“It’s a lot of people who are and they have to hide, and there’s people who have mental issues and they have to hide. There’s people who have different problems in life and they have to hide. They have to put on the mask every day, and it’s like, I don’t wanna wear no mask, I just wanna be,” said Howard, 33.
Elije however, seems to have fired back at Howard’s interview on Tuesday.
“None of this will matter in court,” said a Twitter post on an account that hasn’t been verified. “He can continue his rants to protect his image but he knows, like I know, like our lawyers know I HAVE PROOF he harassed & threatened me AND threatened my lawyers! I said what I said, I stand by what I said.”
Elije filed a lawsuit against Howard in March and the NBA baller countersued in April.