Professional basketball player Eddy Curry, who played in the NBA from 2001 to 2012, shared some insight this week into some struggles he’s dealt with off the court over the years. In a piece he wrote for The Players’ Tribune, the 37-year-old opened up about the murder of his mistress and his daughter in 2009, and it was both a harrowing and enthralling story.
He recounted that on January 24, 2009, in the middle of a game in Philly while he was on the Knicks, he was told by his assistant that his lover, a woman named Nova Henry, had been murdered. A 10-month-old daughter named Ava they shared had been killed too, and the couple’s then 3-year-old son, Noah, had possibly witnessed the whole thing. All three of these people were a secret in his life, but in case this all sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a story that has been told on Black Ink Crew: Chicago by Henry’s brother, popular tattoo artist Ryan Henry.
“A lot of people don’t know about Nova,” he wrote. “I saw her on and off for a few years while I was with the Knicks. We had two kids together. On the day Nova was murdered — shot down in cold blood back home in Chicago — one of the many people who didn’t know about her was my wife, Patrice.”
“Patrice also didn’t know about the children I’d had with Nova — my 10-month-old daughter, Ava, and her three-year-old brother, Noah,” he added. “I kept it a secret. All of it. For years.”
According to Curry, he felt a multitude of grief that was hard to come to terms with.
“So as I’m on the phone learning that my infant daughter and her mother had just been murdered … I’m also coming to grips with the fact that my marriage of nearly four years would almost certainly be over,” he said. “There would be no more covering anything up. All I really felt like I could do at that point was cry. I just stood there bawling my eyes out about … everything.”
He would soon find out that Nova and Ava were murdered by her attorrney, Frederick Goings, who was allegedly engaging in a romantic relationship with the deceased mother. She warned Curry that the man was “dangerous” and that he’d “actually brought a gun to her baby shower for Ava because he thought I might be there.”
While Goings would be found guilty for all the charges against him in 2013, the loss was still tough for Curry and traumatizing for their son to have seen at the time.
“I found out that my son Noah was right there when his mother and sister were shot. But he was so little that he didn’t really understand what had happened,” he wrote. “He’d tried to wake up his mom after the shooting, so when the officers went in and found him there, he had blood all over him. He actually laid down next to her and had fallen asleep. Noah hadn’t been able to wake up his mom or his sister, and probably thought they were sleeping, so he went to sleep, too.”
As for how his wife Patrice, his second wife by the way, reacted to the news, he said she took it in a way that was hard to describe.
“She was basically exactly like what you’d think a good woman would be like when she’s just found out that her husband has been lying to her for years,” he said. “And, I mean, I don’t blame her — I had been a terrible husband for a long time by that point.”
She temporarily kicked him out, and Curry said he found himself in state of “darkness.” He blamed himself for the entire situation, feeling that if he hadn’t kept his daughter and her mother a secret, Nova wouldn’t have met her killer in the first place. He also found himself struggling professionally, on the bench in New York. He was going through a financial spiral as well, requiring him to even sue his agent and watch a home in Chicago be foreclosed on. People he was close to were using deceptive means to get their hands on his money, he had been giving away a lot of the rest of it to people who claimed they needed his help, and he was sued for sexual harassment by a former driver, and friend, who alleged he was gay to get a large settlement from him.
In the end, he said he had to “figure out how to keep on living somehow,” and despite Patrice being livid with him, she stayed by his side and helped him get through everything. She also embraced the son, Noah, he shared with Nova, caring for him along with their four other children and another son from his first marriage, saying, “He calls her Mom. Not because we told him to, or because we made him. He does that because he wants to — because he loves her just as much as she loves him.”
She shared her part of the story in a separate audio statement.
“I never imagined I would have to suffer through this much to just break the chains that bound my family and his. Through it all, I’m hoping and praying I’m doing whatever I can to try and keep them together as one unit. I’m praying that they become something great in this world, and it’s because I fought through it,” she said. After I got through my initial ‘F–k all of y’all I’m not doing this sh-t,’ I felt guilty for wanting to leave. These things that he’s done are a part of this cycle of what he grew up witnessing in his life. Now he’s at the stage where he’s coming around, figuring things out, looking back on it like, ‘Wow. I did that?'”
Curry is forever grateful for her support and decision to make his family her own.
“If there’s a hero character in the crazy story of my life, that hero is most definitely Patrice,” he said. “In the 15 years we’ve been married, she’s been through what amounts to about 15 lifetimes’ worth of drama — infidelity, unspeakable tragedy, multiple lawsuits, home foreclosures, several dozen financial scams, and on and on. She could’ve left me thousands of times. And I really couldn’t have faulted her. But you know what? She’s still right here. She never turned her back on me.”
“Patrice actually ended up coming back to Chicago with me when I went to the funeral home to pay my respects to the woman I was cheating on her with and the little girl she didn’t know her husband had fathered. I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been,” he added. “And right now, as I write this thing out, she’s in the other room helping our kids with their homework. She is the best person I’ve ever known.”