Magic Johnson and his wife Cookie revealed their feelings about their son EJ’s sexuality and finding out Magic was HIV-positive on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.
The couple appeared to promote Cookie’s memoir “Believing in Magic: My Story of Love, Overcoming Adversity, and Keeping the Faith,” a personal look at their marriage, motherhood and how they dealt with Magic’s HIV status.
Speaking about their son EJ, who came out in 2013 and stars on “The Rich Kids of Beverly Hills,” they both said the situation took time to process. Magic admits at first he “didn’t want” his son to be gay.
“I had to come to realize that this is who he is, and he’s going to be happy,” Magic says. “And so why am I judging him? I’m his father, so I got to be the first one to say, ‘It’s OK and I love you. Now, how can I help you?'”
“Ultimately you want your child to be happy,” Cookie added. “But I also knew that [Magic] didn’t understand. And I was still trying to figure it out. I’m not going to sit here and say that I understood that he was gay at that time, because I didn’t. I just knew that this is what made him happy. And as time went on, it never changed. You gotta love your child. Love wins.”
Cookie also recalled when she learned Magic was HIV-positive.
“It scared me to death. I mean, I fell to my knees. We both fell on our knees and we started crying,” Cookie says.
Although Magic said he “wouldn’t blame her” for wanting to leave after the diagnosis, Cookie says it wasn’t an option for her.
“I didn’t have time to get mad about whatever happened, you know, or start asking questions. [My mind] went to ’He is possibly going to die,’” Cookie says.
Watch the full interview below.