Maralee Nichols is breaking her silence after Tristan Thompson's paternity case was dismissed in Texas.
On Thursday, Dec. 16, E! News confirmed that a judge dismissed a paternity lawsuit that Thompson filed against Nichols in a Houston court. It marked a legal win for Nichols, who alleged in another Los Angeles lawsuit that the basketball star fathered her newborn son, whom she welcomed earlier this month.
Her baby is allegedly the third child for Thompson, who shares son Prince, 5, with ex Jordan Craig and daughter True, 3, with ex Khloe Kardashian.
Thompson wanted a Houston court to hear the case, whereas Nichols filed in California. Since a judge ruled to dismiss Thompson's case in Texas, it's likely Nichols' lawsuit will be handled in California.
She now tells E! News exclusively, "Over the past couple of weeks, many inaccurate and false stories have been circulated about me. I have not at any point released—nor have I directed anyone else to release—any information regarding Tristan Thompson or any litigation involving him. I have never spoken to any media outlet, nor have I leaked any information to anyone at any time. I am providing this statement because I feel I must defend my character."
"I have seen fake stories, unflattering photos of me, people using photos that are not even me, stating an incorrect occupation and age," Nichols continues. "There have been multiple fake Instagram posts claiming to be me, making false statements and attaching stock photos of a sonogram and a child (neither mine)."
Nichols goes on to speak her truth. "These are the facts: I have lived in California since 2019. I am not a personal trainer. I have not worked as a personal trainer for four years; I do fitness modeling. I was never a personal trainer for Tristan," she states, adding that she met Thompson at a party at his Encino, Calif., home in 2020. "He told me he was single and co-parenting. I would never have gotten involved with Tristan if I thought he was in a relationship."
"I saw Tristan in March 2021 around his birthday. He told me he had wanted to see me," she tells E! News. "I agreed to meet him in Houston at a private party on March 12. I never drove a Maserati to meet Tristan, as he claimed. He has never even been in my vehicle. I used an Uber or was driven by friends that weekend. Houston was one of many nights we spent together. Soon after his birthday weekend in Houston, Tristan invited me to visit him in Boston."
Nichols tells E! News she learned she was pregnant a few weeks after her trip to Boston to see Thompson. According to her, she told Thompson about her pregnancy in North Carolina after he invited her to see him at the end of April.
E! News has reached out to Thompson's team for a response to Nichols' claims and has not heard back. In court documents previously obtained by E! News, Thompson stated, "The only time that I had sexual intercourse with [Maralee] in 2021 was in March 2021 in Houston, Texas. I specifically remember having sexual intercourse with [her] in March because it was my birthday. [She] and I attended a party together at a hotel in Houston. [She] had called me and wanted to be with me on my birthday."
In her statement to E! News, Nichols states she did "everything possible" not to draw attention to herself throughout her pregnancy. "Tristan filed a paternity action in Texas after I filed my paternity action in Los Angeles," she notes. "I did not file any request for child support before our child was born. The case that Tristan brought against me was dismissed on December 15, 2021."
"I was induced on November 29, 2021 because I had a placenta abnormality," she shares with E! News. "There is no other medical reason why I needed to be induced. I gave birth on December 1, 2021. Instead of focusing on any negativity, I am choosing to embrace being a mother and doing the best I can for my son. I do not want any further media attention, nor do I want a romantic relationship with Tristan. My goal is to raise our son in a safe, healthy, loving and private environment."
Earlier this week, The Daily Mail published court documents from Thompson—a declaration from the NBA star admitting to a past sexual relationship with Nichols.
"Contrary to [Nichols'] many inferences in her declaration, we did not have a serious ongoing relationship," he stated. "We saw each other sporadically between December 2020 and March 13, 2021 and did not have sexual intercourse in California during that time."
He said the pair discussed that "we might see each other on a sporadic basis for consensual casual sex only. From December 2020 through March 2021, we saw each other on such a basis."
"[Nichols] constantly used the term 'hook up' to describe our relationship which was the reality," Thompson wrote. "I am certain that if the child is deemed to be my child that the only date of conception was March 13, 2021, because it was my birthday."
In a previous filing, Nichols said she believes Thompson "thinks forum shopping in Texas will save him money ultimately in child support." On the other hand, Thompson said in his Dec. 16 declaration, "I filed paternity action in Texas because that is the only place where paternity could have taken place."
Nichols and Thompson's attorneys had no immediate comment when reached by E! News about the Texas decision. The legal documents are sealed.