Michael Thompson/GQPro footballer Terrell Owens has probably made more headlines over the years for his personal antics than for his multiple seasons playing for five (count 'em five) NFL teams. There were his critical comments regarding the Philadelphia Eagles (while he was a member of the Eagles), his suspensions, his public arguments, a spitting incident, an apparent overdose, and, well, that cocky attitude he flaunted week after week on national television.
Now, without an NFL team to call his own, Owens opens up to GQ magazine -- in which he proves via photos that he hasn't given up on that athletic physique -- about how life off the field is riddled with more troubles than ever.
First thing's first: Money.
According to Owens, his financial advisers steered him wrong … and into multiple investments including an Alabama entertainment complex that turned out to be illegal because it featured gambling. And he didn't figure it all out until it was too late.
"I hate myself for letting this happen," he says in the magazine's February issue. "I believed that they had my back when they said, 'You take care of the football, and we'll do the rest.' And in the end, they just basically stole from me."
Owens recently learned a friend had actually stolen $270,000 from him. He eventually recouped the money, but the situation "pretty much destroyed whatever trust in people I had left." Not that Owens ever had all that many confidantes, he admits. "I don't have no friends. I don't want no friends. That's how I feel."
And then there's the fact that the 38-year-old pays nearly $45,000 a month in child support for the four children -- ranging in age from 5 to 12 -- that he fathered with four different women he never actually dated. One woman was a one-night stand, while the others he refers to as "repeat offenders." While he sees the three eldest kids sometimes, his relationship with the mother of the youngest is so acrimonious, he's never met the child. These days, thanks to his financial troubles, he began paying out less in monthly support, prompting three of the four mothers to immediately sue him. When Owens didn't show up for one particular court date regarding support for his 12-year-old, and instead participated in an NFL team tryout, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
"She'd pressed me in a deposition about if I intended to try to get on another team," he says of the mother of his eldest child, "but then when I do the workout, do what I can to get work, this is what she does."
Though Owens confesses he's "not a very good judge of character," he "never suspected they were the types to do what they done in the past year."
In the interview, he insists he tries to follow the advice of his grandmother to "never have any regrets," but it sure sounds like he can't help but have a few these days. "If there's anything I'm sorry about, it's getting involved with all that," he says referring to his children's multiple mothers.
Though Owens moved to L.A. a year ago in part to focus on acting, owns a barber shop in Miami, and was looking into starting his own home-décor line (yes, really) at one point, there's one job it seems he'd prefer over all of them. "I will be here next year," he says. "I'll be fit and healthy and ready to play."
T.O. is ready to play all right, but not exactly the game he might have had in mind. After the GQ story went to press, Owens made an announcement. He'll be joining a team called the
Allen Wranglers, part of the Indoor Football League, both as a co-owner and as a player. "That's right, IFL, here I come. Allen, Texas, here I come," he announced via a video he posted on Twitter a few weeks ago. "I'm going to be me."
No doubt he is.
The February issue is on newsstands now.