By JANE RIDLEY
When Saturday Night Live star Chris Farley died in 1997 at age 33, he left a legacy reaching far beyond his hit movies and hilarious acts on the NBC comedy show… a son he never got to meet, The National Enquirer can now reveal.
Sterling Doyle, eight, was the unexpected result of a one-night stand between Chris and friend Josette Doyle a year before he died.
“He is always pulling silly faces, just like Chris,” says Josette, 39, talking for the first time in an exclusive interview. “When I look at him, it’s like I see his dad.”
Josette has kept Sterling’s identity secret but is now speaking out so the youngster can be open about his parentage. Despite a modest existence in Georgia, the striking former model insists she does not want a dime from Chris’s estate. But she would be delighted if his family wanted to meet his long-lost child.
“They are more than welcome,” she says. “Sterling has started asking a lot of questions about Chris. It would be nice for him to learn more.”
Josette met Chris in the mid-1990s when they frequented the same Hollywood clubs. At the time, Chris was commanding $6 million fees for comedies such as Beverly Hills Ninja and Tommy Boy. Like Saturday Night Live legend John Belushi, Chris was a notorious party animal addicted to drugs, alcohol and food. He was in and out of rehab, and Josette feared he was on a downward spiral. “He would be surrounded by people who drank and ate on his money and did his drugs,” she says. “They weren’t real friends.”
Having lost a pal to drugs, Josette dared him to stay sober. “But he didn’t listen. I don’t think he wanted to be helped,” she says.
The couple slept together just once, after a chance meeting outside a nightclub in December 1996.
“We had both had a really bad day,” says Josette. “I said, ‘I hope your night gets better,’ and he said, ‘Well, why don’t you come help me make it better?'”
After a stroll along the beach in Malibu, Calif., they took a taxi back to Josette’s apartment, where they had sex… and Sterling was conceived.
At first, Chris took the news well and said it was “a wonderful thing,” says Josette, who had been told she’d never have kids because of medical problems. But they didn’t speak again until two months before Sterling was born.
“This time, Chris’s tone was very different,” she says. “He said, ‘I need time to wrap my head around this.'”
Sterling was born at Cedar Sinai Hospital on September 5, 1997, but Chris stayed away. “It didn’t matter because it was the best day of my life,” says Josette.
She moved to her sleepy hometown in Georgia to be close to her family. But three months later on December 18, Josette learned from TV news that Chris had died. The 280lb funnyman was found dead in his Chicago apartment, having overdosed on cocaine and morphine.
Over the years, Sterling has developed into a lively, bright boy and keeps a scrapbook about his dad.
Meanwhile Josette hopes Farley’s mother and his three brothers and sister will be thrilled to hear about Sterling.
“He’s brought so much joy to my life,” she adds. “It’s time that Chris’s family got their share too.”