Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix Suns’ forward Josh Jackson has been accused of smoking marijuana around his five-month-old daughter and getting the baby high.
Jackson, 22, and the infant’s mother, 41-year-old Lorena Villela, have been in and out of family court since the baby was born in January, arguing over paternity and child support, according to the Arizona Republic.
In April, a paternity test administered by LabCorp proved that Jackson was the baby girl’s father.
The professional basketball player subsequently filed for parenting time, the Arizona Republic reported.
Then Villela accused the baby’s father of smoking marijuana after he and his aunt had visit with the baby.
"Father had a heavy odor of and appeared to be under the influence of marijuana," Villela's court filing said.
Villela claimed she also smelled marijuana when she dropped off the baby and her nanny for a visit on May 20, the Arizona Republic reported.
"While sitting in the living room, the child's nanny noticed a large marijuana blunt on the coffee table, in plain sight," Villela’s court filing said.
The baby spent the day with Jackson on May 22 and afterward, the baby’s mother claimed she noticed her daughter was “very lethargic,” according to the Arizona Republic.
Court documents showed the Jackson told Villela that the baby had had a busy day, but the mother contended that she tried to wake the five month old up several times during the night and wasn’t able to.
"Mother believing that the child may have just been kept very active throughout the day, just continued to monitor the child's breathing," the court filing said.
She said she forced the baby awake but that the baby "appeared to be high and could only lift her eyelids to midway point," the Arizona Republic reported.
And yet, despite those concerns, Villela left the baby with Jackson again on June 2.
Court records showed that Jackson had surgery a week prior to that visit and had advised Villela that he was on prescription pain medication.
Villela claimed she smelled marijuana when picking the baby up on that occasion too, the Arizona Republic reported.
"Lol the people in this house will tell you I don't do that when she's around or before I see her so say what you want,” Jackson texted her after she made the accusation.
On June 4, Villela told the court she wanted Jackson to submit to a drug test.
"Father disingenuously attempts to shift blame to mother, claiming that mother's allegations of marijuana use may damage father's public image and his ability to earn an income," Villela’s court filing said.
National Basketball Association (NBA) players are prohibited from using marijuana and the drug remains illegal for recreational use in Arizona, according to the Arizona Republic.
Court records did not indicate whether Jackson had a medical marijuana card.
The ugly court battle has been the subject of numerous media reports.
Both Jackson and Villela have repeatedly tried to seal the case from the public; however, a judge ruled in March that the records would remain public.
Jackson was arrested in May while attending the Rolling Loud music festival in Florida, according to Sports Illustrated.
According to the police report, a police officer was working an off-duty assignment and saw Jackson trying to enter the VIP section of the hip-hop festival, according to the Arizona Republic.
Police told Jackson multiple times that he couldn’t enter without proper credentials, told him to leave, and eventually tried to physically escort him out.
Jackson pulled his arm away, and that’s when the officer put him in handcuffs.
He sat Jackson down on a golf cart and left him briefly unattended and the basketball player fled.
Other officers later found Jackson, still in handcuffs, according to the Arizona Republic.
Villela pointed to Jackson’s May arrest as proof he had an issue with drugs, but she has had her own problems in the past which make the legal battle over the baby messier.
Maricopa County Superior Court records showed that Villela was convicted of child abuse and domestic violence charges after she beat her little boy with a belt in 2007, the Arizona Republic reported.
Jackson was chosen fourth in the NBA draft in 2017 and signed a three-year, $18.2 million contract with the Phoenix Suns, according to Sports Illustrated.
He is expected to earn $7.1 million in the upcoming 2019-20 season.