One of the biggest questions surrounding this Sunday's Super Bowl suddenly has nothing to do with the teams on the field. The football gossip-mongers are now wondering how Hall of Fame quarterback — and CBS pre-game/halftime analyst — Dan Marino is going to handle a report that he paid millions of dollars to keep an illegitimate seven-year-old daughter secret. The New York Post cracked this story wide open in today's paper:
The ex-Miami Dolphin QB — who has long had an image as one of pro sports’ most squeaky-clean guys — knocked up Donna Savattere, a then-35-year-old production assistant at CBS Sports’ Manhattan studio.
She gave birth to their daughter, Chloe, in June 2005.
Because this is the Post there are awful puns ("scoring off the field"), but the takeaway is that Marino allegedly promised to pay Savattere millions to keep quiet and move to Texas:
Marino agreed to pay Savattere millions to care for Chloe, sources say, and she moved to Texas as part of the deal. It’s not clear exactly how much Marino paid. But after getting the dough, Savattere apparently started living large.
And Marino, in a statement to the Post, admitted to having the affair — without actually calling it an affair:
"This is a personal and private matter. I take full responsibility both personally and financially for my actions now as I did then ...We mutually agreed to keep our arrangement private to protect all parties involved. My wife and I have been married for almost 30 years and have six children together ... And we continue to be a strong and loving family."
Marino is still scheduled to sit behind the desk on the field in New Orleans for CBS's four-and-a-half-hour pre-game coverage on Sunday, beginning at 2 p.m. — for once making the endless run-up to the actual game almost as nail-biting as the actual game (and commercials).