On Thursday, San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman announced on Twitter that he’s going to be a father.
“Wanted to wait until after the season to share some exciting news,” Merriman tweeted. “I’m going to be Dad. I’m so excited.”
But in speaking to the San Diego Union-Tribune on Thursday, Merriman’s excitement turned to “shock”: That’s the word Merriman used to describe how he felt when he learned that the mother, Tiffany Horne, filed a paternity case against him in San Diego Superior Court.
“She’s a great friend of mine and has been for almost six years now,” Merriman said. “There’s no denying of any kind of paternity. For this to be even taking place is a shock.”
The case is under seal, and there are conflicting comments from lawyers for Horne and Merriman about what kind of case it is. Horne’s attorney said, “It’s not a paternity suit,” while Merriman’s attorney called it a “standard paternity case.”
Merriman says he thinks the lawsuit stems from a breakdown in communication.