Ronnie Coleman, 47, had been paying child support since 2008 because the mother, identified as Jo D in court documents, said Coleman wasn't simply a donor and the two had dated and planned to marry, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Monday.
Coleman said the two had dated intermittently after they met in 1991, and when the woman moved to California 2001, they remained friends. He said Jo D told him in 2006 she planned to be artificially inseminated so she could have children, but he offered to donate sperm at a bank provided he would not be considered the father.
"I was totally blown away. I was already married and had moved on with my life," Coleman told the newspaper about his reaction to the 2008 paternity lawsuit.
This month, an appellate court overturned the ruling that Coleman owes Jo D money for the two children -- a third died several months after birth, the Star-Telegram reported.
"The appeals court essentially recognized the statute in California that allows women to receive sperm from a medical facility ... and not have to worry about the specter of the donor coming back and filing a paternity action," said Peter Lauzon, the Los Angeles lawyer representing Coleman.