Story from June 21, 2006

The wife of New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan coyly accused her husband of having an extramarital affair with another man, TV doctor Ian Smith, in their divorce proceedings on Tuesday, the New York Daily News is reporting.

“Michael moved into Ian’s one-bedroom apartment,” Jean Strahan said, according to the Daily News. “And you can say an alternative lifestyle sprouted.” Her lawyer then stopped her before she could elaborate, the Daily News reports.

Both Robert Penza, Michael Strahan’s attorney, and Smith denied a sexual relationship between Smith and Strahan.

After her client made the claim, Ellen Marshall, Jean Strahan’s lawyer, seemingly tried to back away from the suggestion of a homosexual relationship between the two men.

“I don’t think she’s making a definitive allegation,” Marshall, said, according to the Daily News. “Couples have private squabbles. This is one of them.”

On Wednesday, Strahan went on the the Wendy Williams radio show and dismissed the allegations. “If this were true, it would hit the fan from the get go,” he said. “I have plenty of friends that are bi or homosexual. It’s fine with me. This is New York City. If you can’t accept people for being people, then you have no business being here.

“I don’t frown on anybody for that lifestyle, it’s not my lifestyle. And you know, I just laugh. All that matters is that I’m gonna take care of my kids.”

As for staying with Smith, Strahan said: “When I had to stay somewhere, he opened his door. It’s not that I couldn’t stay at any hotel I want.”

The divorce proceedings have been splashed across the front pages of the New York tabloids and has blown into a public spectacle. Both sides have accused the other of going on reckless shopping sprees; and on Monday, Jean Strahan was reported to have broken down during some of her husband’s testimony.

Smith is best-known as a regular contributor on ABC’s “The View” and VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club.” He also writes a medical column for Men’s Health.

On Tuesday, Smith seemed to claim that, because he is a “happily married man,” it was impossible for him to have been in a sexual relationship with Strahan. However, not only are the cases of married men having sex with one another well-documented, but it has become so common among black men that it even has a name – “the down low.”

Books like J.L. King’s On the Down Low: A Journey into the Lives of “Straight” Black Men Who and Keith Boykin’s Beyond the Down Low have debunked the notion that sex between two married black men who consider themselves “straight” is impossible. The “down low” lifestyle is generally faulted for the rise in the HIV-contraction rate within the black community.

Strahan is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and owns the NFL single-season sack record with 22.5.

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