Stevie Wonder, who already has nine children, might have a 10th. A Philadelphia woman named Gloria Jean Mathis Greenidge claims that the father of her daughter, Stephanie Mathis, is the Motown music legend and she was even named after him.
Mathis is now 49 and conceived in the late 1960s when Wonder performed in Philadelphia. Here is a look at Mathis and her claims.
1. Mathis Is 49 & Was Conceived When Wonder Was Only 17 Years Old
Mathis is now 49, which means she was born in 1967. Wonder was only 17 years old at the time. In an interview with Philly.com, her mother, Gloria Jean Mathis Greeenidge, says she was 19 at the time she met Wonder. He was performing at the old Uptown Theater in North Philadelphia.
Greeenidge already had three daughters at the time and was a backup dancer in a troupe. A musical director brought Wonder to her dressing room and they had sex, according to Greenidge.
“We fell madly in love with each other,” Greenidge told Philly.com. “Every time he would come to Philly, he would come get me. … It was just wonderful. I got pregnant, and I let him know. He was very excited about the baby. He was only 17, and I was 19. He was very young, and I was young. And he didn’t want me to have an abortion, and I wouldn’t have done it anyway. So we decided to have our baby.”
2. Her Mother Has Lung Cancer & They Want to Meet Wonder Before She Dies
Greenidge, now 69, told Philly.com that she was diagnosed with lung cancer and wants Mathis to meet Wonder while she is still alive.
“I just want to spend time with my dad,” Mathis told Radar Online.
Mathis told Radar Online that she has only spoken with Wonder over the phone in the 1970s when she was just 6 years old. He promised to visit, but he never came. “It was so hard for me. I cried every day and every night,” Mathis said.
3. Wonder Has at Least 9 Children With 5 Different Women
Wonder has at least nine other children from relationships with five different women. His first confirmed child, Aisha, was born in February 1975 and can be heard making noises on “Isn’t She Lovely.” If Mathis really is Wonder’s daughter, she would his oldest child.
In December 2014, Wonder’s then-girlfriend, Tomeeka Robyn Bracy, gave birth to his ninth confirmed child. There were rumors that Bracy was pregnant with triplets, but that was not the case. They named their daughter Nia.
Wonder has been married twice. He was married to Syreeta Wright (1970-1972) and Kai Millard (2001-2009; their divorce was finalized in 2012).
4. Wonder’s Attorney Said They Will Investigate Greenidge’s Claims
Wonder’s attorney, Laura Wasser, sent a statement from Wonder to Philly.com and Radar, which the singer signed Steveland, his given name. In the statement, he requests privacy and says that they will investigate the matter.
Here is the full statement:
I sincerely appreciate the Philadelphia Daily News reaching out to me regarding this matter. Before I decide the course of action, I will investigate the situation further and make the right decision based on what I learn.
As a man who is committed to family, my intention is to do the honorable thing, and I will determine what my actions will be once the whole picture is clearer. In that this is a very personal and sensitive time for both families, I would ask that you of the press respect the privacy of all involved and allow this matter to be resolved with dignity for everyone. – Stevland.
5. Greenidge Says Wonder Told Her to Name their Child After Him
Greenidge told Philly.com that Wonder asked her to name the child Steven if it was a boy and Stephanie if it was a girl. He also told her that he wouldn’t have any personal control over his money until he turned 21 and, at that point, he would start sending them funds.
Greenidge says that she “loved him so much” that she agreed to raise Mathis by herself. “I didn’t want to put his business out. So I said I would take care of our baby until one day he would find me,” she said.
As for proof, Greenidge had no documentation of a relationship with Wonder. She had a picture with him, but she lost it. All she had was a photo of Wonder’s mother, Lula Mar Hardaway, who died in 2006.
Mathis is currently unemployed and has a daughter. She told Philly.com that her mother “never switched up the story” about Wonder being her father. Despite their own financial struggles, they told the site that they aren’t looking for money, just closure.
Celebrity Net Worth estimates that Wonder has a net worth of $110 million.