Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is back in the news. With the age-old feud between Michael Jordan and Thomas popping up due to ESPN’s 2020 documentary, The Last Dance, the former Detroit Pistons player has been pushed back into the spotlight.
Thomas has experienced plenty of ups and downs in his lifetime. One of the highs was when he married his college sweetheart, Lynn Kendall, in 1985. According to the New York Post, Kendall is the daughter of a Secret Service agent and a nurse. She met Thomas while they both attended Indiana University, and they stayed together when he signed with the Pistons in 1981.
In 1984, just three years into his contract, the Pistons reportedly upgraded Thomas to a 10-year, $12 million contract. Later that year, Thomas proposed to Kendall on the steps of the campus of Indiana University, the spot where the couple met for its first date, reported Sports Illustrated. Before popping the question, the NBA star reportedly asked Kendall’s father for his blessing, then drove her to the school to surprise her with his proposal.
They have two children together, a son named Joshua, born in 1988, and a daughter named Lauren, born in 1991. Though the couple is still going strong today, their union has endured its fair share of controversy, including an unexpected love child.
Isiah Thomas and his unexpected love child
Not long after Isiah Thomas and Lynn Kendall wed in 1985, the couple was thrust into the spotlight over a shocking paternity suit involving a love child. According to the New York Post, a Michigan woman named Jenni Dones claimed that after an “intimate, exclusive, ongoing relationship,” she and the basketball star conceived a child on May 26, 1985. That date is just two months before Thomas married Kendall. Dones gave birth to a son, Marc Edward Thomas Dones, in February 1986.
Jenni and Thomas reportedly reached a settlement in 1987, with the NBA star agreeing to pay about $50,000 and provide $2,764 per month until Marc turned 18. At that point, Marc would receive one lump-sum payment of $100,000. According to the New York Post, Dones filed another suit in 1992, claiming the original settlement wasn’t sufficient to provide support and education for Marc. “Dones was able to get an undisclosed amount of additional support for her son,” the New York Post reported.
Marc spoke about his father briefly to the New York Post in 2006. “I don’t care about what’s going on with him now -– that’s his concern,” Marc said. “Our lives are separate. He lives his and I live mine. He hasn’t been a good dad to me. He’s never returned my calls — that’s just him.”
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