NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s wife Cookie is revealing private details about their marriage – including his HIV diagnosis. The couple wed in 1991 and Cookie’s new memoir explains their ups and downs throughout the last 25 years.
The Daily Mail reported several excerpts from the book, “Believing in Magic: My Story of Love, Overcoming Adversity, and Keeping the Faith.”
Cookie wrote she learned about her husband’s status six weeks after their wedding. Additionally, she was pregnant with their first child, son EJ.
“I’m coming home early because I have to tell you something,” Magic told his wife, according to the memoir. “I have to talk to you, but I’m on my way to the doctor’s office right now. I’ll tell you what’s going on when I get home, Cookie. I can’t tell you over the phone.”
Ironically, Cookie responded by asking her husband, “What’s wrong, do you have AIDS or something?”
He did not respond until he arrived home an hour later looking “small, blank, broken.”
The news would cause the Los Angeles Lakers player to give his wife the option to leave.
But Cookie refused.
“We’re going to beat this together,” she told him.
That did not mean it would be easy, however. Cookie described the then 12-day waiting period to learn her standing as a “personal hell” of “silence and darkness, numbness.”
“In just one moment our world, this perfect union we’d fought so hard and so long to have was obliterated,” she wrote.
After informing his wife, Magic later “locked himself in a room and called the long list of women with whom he’d been intimate.”
He could not remember how many women he slept with. But he tracked down as many as he could, explaining he tested positive for HIV.
The diagnosis led Magic to retire from the NBA at the age of 32. However, it was not the only issue the spouses faced.
Cookie revealed they called off their wedding three times and that his unwillingness to give up his player lifestyle made their 12-year courtship rocky.