Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino is largely portrayed as a model family man and a loving husband and father. He’s been married to his wife, Claire, for 35 years, and the two have six children together. The Marinos seemed like a perfect, happy family until the Hall of Famer dropped a bombshell that changed his reputation forever.
Marino revealed in 2013 that he had an affair with a CBS employee, and the relationship resulted in a love child in 2005. Fifteen years later, though, Marino is still married to Claire, and the couple just celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.
Dan Marino has six children with his longtime wife, Claire
Dan Marino got married to his wife, Claire, in 1985. He had been playing in the NFL for two full seasons at the time. Marino went on to father six children with Claire: Daniel, Michael, Joseph, Alexandra, Lia, and Niki Lin. The first four children were born naturally, but Lia and Niki Lin were adopted.
Marino has kept his family life a secret for the most part. After all, why would you want your wife and children in the national spotlight created by one of the most famous athletes of all time?
His immediate family isn’t the only part of Marino’s personal life that he kept a secret, though.
Marino fathered an illegitimate child with a CBS employee in 2005
After Marino retired from football, he joined the broadcast booth as a football analyst for CBS in 2003. While with the network, he struck up a secret relationship with a woman named Donna Savattere. Savattere was a production assistant for CBS at the time, and two had a secret love child in 2005. They named her Chloe.
Marino told his wife about the affair and the child, but the rest of the world didn’t find out until eight years later. In 2013, The New York Post broke the story that ruined his pristine reputation. Marino later admitted to his infidelity.
“This is a personal and private matter. I take full responsibility both personally and financially for my actions now as I did then,” Marino told The Post in 2013. “We mutually agreed to keep our arrangement private to protect all parties involved.”
Marino and his wife, Claire, were married for 20 years at the time of Chloe’s birth.
Marino paid Savattere millions of dollars to keep their child a secret
Somehow, Marino fathering an illegitimate child with a CBS employee wasn’t the wildest part of this story. Sources close to the relationship told The Post that Marino paid Savattere “millions” to care for their child. The exact amount isn’t known to this day.
Savattere even moved to Texas as part of the arrangement. Marino would see Chloe sparingly when Savattere came back to New York, but Savattere later married and legally changed her daughter’s last name.
Marino and Savattere have since moved on to focus on their own families. It’s unknown whether or not Marino and his daughter have a current relationship, but Marino remains a loving father to his six legitimate children. He and Claire are still married today, but they sure had some roadblocks along the way.