Julius “Dr. J” Erving says he didn’t mean any harm in writing his new autobiography. The NBA living legend known as much for his towering Afro as his towering talent, says his new book “Dr. J: The Autobiography” was an attempt to tell the truth without glossing over the facts of his life. Revelations included in the book are a tumultuous relationship with his longtime wife, Turquoise Erving, the death of their son, Cory, and some truly no-holds-barred information about the birth of his out of wedlock daughter, tennis player Alexandra Stevenson.
He says that she was conceived only because her mother, then freelance writer Samantha Stevenson had gotten orthodontia and couldn’t perform oral sex, so they had intercourse instead. Stevenson and her mother have remained quiet on this cringe-worthy admission, but Erving says his idea was to tell the truth and nothing but the truth in the story of his life.
“How could I write an autobiography and leave out things that are fact-based, things that really happened? If you’re going to write an autobiography, your life’s gotta be an open book, then I think you gotta be candid. I think I’d have less respect coming my way if I didn’t write the facts. If it was completely ignored, like it never happened then that would be a bigger problem than dealing with potential hurt feelings or someone disagreeing with what my recollection was.”
Erving, who reconnected with his daughter as an adult after years of financial support in exchange for keeping the secret that he had fathered a child outside his marriage, says that he didn’t necessarily consider who would be hurt by his revelations. He says he hasn’t talked to his daughter, but has talked to her mother since the book was released a week ago. Erving, now remarried and living in Atlanta, says that after many of the books written about him by others, he wanted to set the record straight on his own.
“I don’t think that there was any doubt that everything needed to be included for an honest biography. And I can’t not write a book because I’m going to hurt anybody. My commitment is to the project. I’ve been hurt by people and I’ve hurt people and when you read cover to cover, you see. Who has had a lifetime where people haven’t been hurt?”