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'Winning Time' Episode 8: Did Magic Johnson really get Cookie's friend Rhonda pregnant?

Rhonda could be one of the many women Magic had sexual relationships with, but there's no actual proof
UPDATED APR 25, 2022
Chelsea M Davis as Rhonda in 'Winning Time' (HBO)
Chelsea M Davis as Rhonda in 'Winning Time' (HBO)

'Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynatsy' Episode 8 battles different themes in Episode 8 — Spencer Haywood vs Pat Riley, the All-Star Game, Jerry Buss' playboy persona even as he battles family issues, Magic Johnson vs Dr J, and a spat with Cookie. It's all happening as the HBO drama that's been in the spotlight for the good and bad press inches toward the end of its first season.

One of the talking points is Magic (Quincy Isiah) and Cookie's Tamera Tomakili) relationship. It's all hunky-dory when she decided would make the big move to L.A. with him, only to call that off when she realizes that Magic had hooked up with one of her friends, Rhonda (Chelsea M Davis) and that she was now pregnant. The rookie Lakers star defends that move, but the damage was done and Cookie is shown to leave.


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Did Magic Johnson really get Cookie's friend Rhonda pregnant?

For starters, Rhonda could be one of the many women Magic had sexual relationships with. He does admit sleeping with her, but 'Winning Time' does deviate and dramatize the original source material and that would mean there's no telling if there was indeed a Rhonda in real. Of course, Cookie Johnson did have a friend who introduced her to Magic, but again, there is that possibility that she could just be one of those women he had a fling with. And while the book doesn't say anything about a Rhonda either, there does seem a familiar person in Cookie's life, the name changed perhaps. The character could even be based on Melissa Mitchell, one of Johnson's girlfriends.

An excerpt from Cookie’s memoir, 'Believing in Magic', also sounds similar to Magic and Rhonda’s apparent one-night stand in Episode 7 (though, it happened in college, not during his NBA career). Cookie wrote (via Daily Mail) she once found a woman in Magic’s dorm three months into dating — wearing a robe and “standing there like she paid rent like that was her place and she was his girl.” Magic, at that time, reportedly told his future wife she was “just a friend.”

The Lakers legend only has three confirmed children. Two of them were with Cookie after they are married and one was with Mitchell, who Magic dated. There have been other claims that he fathered children from secret romantic relationships, but none have been actually proven.

'Winning Time' airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on HBO.