Here's Why the Moment Magic Johnson Painfully Told His Wife About HIV Diagnoses Is News Again

Magic Johnson, Cookie Johnson

Here's Why the Moment Magic Johnson Painfully Told His Wife About HIV Diagnoses Is News Again

The five-time NBA champion locked himself in the bathroom to call former lovers.

Published September 14, 2016

Magic Johnson announcing that he was retiring from the NBA in a November 1991 press conference, after contracting HIV, stopped the sports world in its tracks. 

While the Hall of Famer's HIV diagnosis will forever be remembered as one of the most powerful moments in sports, it's being revisited nearly 25 years later — with some painful details.

In her upcoming memoir, Believing in Magic, Johnson's wife, Cookie, relives the night her husband broke the devastating news to her and the humiliating ordeal she had to watch him go through in its immediate aftermath.

"My husband walked toward me, took my hand into his and slowly marched me back into the den ... the two of us sat at the foot of our huge chaise lounge and I held my breath," Cookie writes in the new book, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Magic revealed his HIV diagnosis as the then-newlyweds collapsed into each other's arms.

Cookie, who was pregnant at the time, vowed to stand by her husband's side.

But then came the humiliating part.

According to her memoir, Cookie watched her husband as he "locked himself in a room [the bathroom] and called the long list of women with whom he'd been intimate" to inform them that he had HIV.

As if that wasn't enough to endure, Cookie's nightmares were just beginning.

"Every morning I would wake up in a panic, worried that I too might be HIV positive and die," she writes in the book, as reported by the Daily Mail. "Or worse, that my baby would be sick and not make it. The stress coursed through my veins like a poison, occupying practically every moment of my day."

Fortunately, the tests came back negative for Cookie and the couple's first baby, EJ.

But can you just imagine going through what Cookie did over that period of time?

Incredible that the couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last week.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)


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