Paternity loves company

Paternity loves company

STAMFORD, Conn. - Mr. McMahon's paternity suit continues to unfold like a rowdy episode of Maury. But as he searches for the true identity of his illegitimate child among the WWE Superstars, decided to give a glimpse at other powerful luminaries and sports figures who've found themselves embroiled in equally vexing paternity controversies.

Like Mr. McMahon, Albert II, Prince of Monaco fancies himself a powerful ruler and patriarch of a family that has been targeted over the years. And like the Chairman, he also is apparently a ladies' man who has succumbed to his desires more than once. His Highness has been named in no fewer than three paternity cases brought forth by three different women. Albert, a bachelor, was found to be the father of the child in question in two of the cases. The third suit, which was pursued by a German topless model, was dropped after a judge refused to hear the case.

One case that did get a hearing was that of another ultra-rich personality who says exactly what's on his mind: Eddie Murphy. The actor-comedian joins Mr. McMahon in having paid a price for his carnal indiscretions. The Daddy Day Care star began dating Melanie Brown, aka "Scary Spice," after he divorced his wife of 12 years, Nicole. When Brown got pregnant, Murphy initially challenged his paternity. However, a DNA test proved that he was the father of Angel Iris Murphy Brown. 

Murphy is now a seven-time father, but he isn't the only one pressed for time on Father's Day. Former NBA phenom Shawn Kemp takes the cake with a slew of paternity suits, having fathered seven out-of-wedlock children with six different women. His former NBA colleague Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz was also shocked to learn that he had sired twins out of wedlock in 1981. One of Malone's offspring, Cheryl Ford, even followed in her father's considerable footsteps and now drives to the hoop as a player for the WNBA's Detroit Shock. Add Arizona Diamondbacks' pitcher Randy Johnson to the list of athletes with love children. After the Big Unit underwent DNA testing in 1998 it was proven that the 6' 10" hurler is the father of a now-17-year-old, 6' 1" daughter with a former girlfriend.

Not that the guys have a monopoly on bedroom improprieties. With an alleged sexual appetite that rivals Mr. McMahon's, the late Anna Nicole Smith had various paramours battling to establish themselves as the father of her 11-month-old daughter Dannielynn after the Playboy Playmate's tragic death last February. Tests proved former boyfriend, photographer Larry Birkhead, to be the sire, but not before challenges from three other men, including Smith's longtime lawyer Howard K. Stern and, almost inconceivably, 90-year-old Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt.

As long as powerful men continue to live their lives in the company of beautiful and enthralled women, paternity suits are not going away. Perhaps, though, Mr. McMahon will take cold comfort in knowing that he's hardly alone.

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