Demetress Bell, former NFL player for the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles, is more renowned for being the estranged son of NBA legend Karl Malone. Demetress was born when Malone was only 20 years old and his mother Gloria Williams was just 13 years old. This startling age difference and the circumstances around his birth led to years of complication in the relationship between Demetress Bell and his parents.
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In this extensive blog post, we will dive into the complex dynamic between Demetress and his mother and father, from his childhood to their reconciliation later in life.
Profile of Demetress Bell
Before we get into his family history, let’s first briefly profile Demetress Bell:
Full name – Demetress Carte Bell
Date of birth – May 3, 1984
Place of birth – Summerfield, Louisiana
Parents – Karl Malone (father), Gloria Williams (mother)
Siblings – Cheryl Ford, Karl Malone Jr, Kayla Malone, Kadee Malone, Kylee Malone, Karlee Malone
Height – 6 feet 5 inches
Weight – 141 kg
Position – Offensive tackle
Drafted – 2008, Buffalo Bills
NFL career – Buffalo Bills (2008 – 2011), Philadelphia Eagles (2012-2013)
Now that we know the key facts about Demetress, let’s delve into the story of his parents.
A Teenage Pregnancy Led to Demetress’ Birth
Demetress Bell was born on May 3, 1984 to Karl Malone and Gloria Williams. At the time, Karl Malone was a 20-year old basketball star at Louisiana Tech University. Meanwhile, Gloria Williams was just 13 years old when she became pregnant with Demetress.
Not many details are publicly known about Karl and Gloria’s relationship or how they met in the first place. However, a 13-year old getting pregnant by a 20-year old college student was viewed as scandalous.
Understandably, Gloria’s parents were unhappy about their young teenage daughter’s pregnancy. On the other hand, Karl Malone initially denied he was the father and did not acknowledge Demetress as his son for years. This led to a painful childhood for Demetress Bell.
Demetress Was Raised Without His Biological Father
With Karl Malone refusing any parenting duties towards Demetress, Gloria Williams raised her son completely on her own. Growing up without a father was undoubtedly challenging for young Demetress.
In later interviews, Demetress shared how he did not know who his real dad was when he was a kid. He was also apparently bullied and teased by other children for not having a father figure in his life.
According to Demetress, he first met briefly with Karl Malone when he was 17. But it took many more years after that before they established an actual relationship.
His Mother Battled for Child Support from Karl Malone
With Karl Malone publicly denying he was Demetress’ father, Gloria Williams filed a paternity lawsuit against him in 1986 seeking child support. At the time, Malone had joined the NBA and was earning big money.
Gloria asked for $200 per week in child support from the multi-millionaire Malone. However, Malone insisted he could not afford to pay that amount.
After a prolonged legal fight, Karl and Gloria eventually settled the paternity lawsuit privately outside of court. The exact details of their settlement remain confidential.
Demetress later shared that his mother struggled financially raising him alone. The child support from Malone would have made a huge difference to their livelihood.
Years of Distance Between Demetress and His Father
The first time Demetress met his father Karl Malone, he was 18 years old. However, Malone denied being his father during this interaction.
This led to many more years of distance between Demetress and Karl. According to Demetress, he harbored anger and resentment towards his father for not being there for him growing up.
It was only after Demetress became a dad himself that he found the motivation to try and reconcile with Karl Malone.
How is Their Relationship Today?
Fast forward to today, and Demetress Bell seems to have made peace with his father Karl Malone.
In 2014, Karl attended an NFL game to watch Demetress play. Since then, they have made several joint public appearances that suggest they are working on their relationship.
Demetress has stated that he has released the frustration he felt towards Karl and that there is no more friction between them now. From Karl Malone’s side too, it appears he has accepted Demetress as his son.
While they cannot make up for the lost years, Demetress and Karl now appear to be in a much better place than before. Their painful history illustrates the toll that teen pregnancies and absentee fathers often have on children.
NFL Career of Demetress Bell
Though Demetress is renowned for his famous dad, he also built his own professional football career:
- Drafted by Buffalo Bills in 2008 NFL draft
- Played as offensive tackle for Bills from 2008 to 2011
- Signed a $35 million 5-year contract with Philadelphia Eagles in 2012
- Struggled with injuries in his stint with the Eagles
- Released by Eagles in 2013 after just one season
- Had brief contracts with Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins but did not play any games
- Officially retired from NFL in 2014
Though short, Demetress displayed his skills on the field for the Bills and Eagles. He achieved success in the NFL through his own hard work, not just his lineage.
In summary, Demetress Bell endured a difficult childhood due to his teenage parents Karl Malone and Gloria Williams. He and Karl were estranged for decades before reconciling later in life. Beyond just being the son of an NBA icon, Demetress was a talented football athlete in his own right. His story offers perspective into the trying relationships children of teen parents often have with their families.