Scroll To Top
Women

WATCH: Magic Johnson's Wife Discusses the Moment He Told Her He Was HIV-Positive

Cookie Johnson On 25 Years of Marriage To Magic Johnson, Hardships, and More | The View

Magic Johnson's wife has a new book out that shares intimate details about her husband's journey with HIV. 

When Earvin “Magic” Johnson came out as HIV positive in 1991, the Los Angeles Lakers point guard altered the nation’s perception of what HIV looks like. A newlywed at the time with an unborn child, his wife Cookie was his rock behind the media circus. Now it’s her turn to tell the story.

In Cookie’s new book Believing in Magic she chronicles 25 years of marriage to the NBA superstar, which she recently shared with the ladies of ABC’s The View.

“I was in shock, it was devastating,” Cookie recounts, “I was at home about to watch [Magic] on the game when he called me. I’m sitting there waiting to see him walk out, but he’s on the phone going ‘I’m on my way home, I need to tell you something.’ I knew then it had to be something very important if he wasn’t on that basketball court. So when he got in, he didn’t beat around the bush. He just told me. I was scared to death in the meantime waiting to find out what it was because he didn’t say what it was (on the phone).”

At the time, Cookie was pregnant with Earvin Johnson III , the openly gay reality star of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and an entrepreneur in his own right. It took two weeks to find out if the fetus was going to be HIV positive.

“Back then the test took that amount of time,” she reminded The View. “Nowadays you get a quick response, which is wonderful. It was so hard. I couldn’t fall a part because I had to be strong for him.”

Cookie also discusses the moment when Magic had to let other women know about his status. As she waited behind the door, she heard him disclosing a decade worth of her new husband’s ex-sexual partners.

“When you get HIV it can be in your body for ten years and you wouldn’t know it, so you have to be responsible,” she said. “So he had to shut himself in a room and call people over a ten-year period. That was not a good feeling, I didn’t like it, but when you think about what was going on and what you were facing at the time, at that time I felt I was facing two things: you either stay here and help him live, or leave and let him die. And I chose to help him live.”

For two decades, the Johnsons have been incredible advocates for LGBT causes. In the last twenty years the Magic Johnson Foundation has provided direct services to 250,000 students in 16 urban areas, awarded over $3 million in grants, and provided free HIV testing to nearly 38,000 Americans in 16 cities while educating 300,000 people about HIV.

As Plus reported, at the time Magic came out HIV positive, AIDS was the number one killer of men between the ages of 25 and 44. At 57-years old, the NBA legend has shown the world that people living with the virus live a long and prosperous life.

When his son E.J. came out, Magic spoke about it saying he and his wife (both practicing Christians) were in the minority for accepting their son for who he was: “In the black community, young gay men and young ladies who are lesbians, they’re afraid to tell their parents,” he said to Anderson Cooper.

Watch Cookie's interview on The View below: 

 

Advocate Channel - HuluOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

David Artavia

Editor