Tiki Says Gal Pal Came After Split With Wife

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Scandal-scarred former sports star Tiki Barber wants to set the record straight about leaving his wife of 11 years while she was pregnant with twins.

    The 23-year-old blonde Tiki now calls 'girlfriend' came after splitting with his wife, Ginny, the once-great footballer told Entertainment Tonight.

    "We were only friends when I was still married.  I was separated, out of my house, so it wasn't until then that we took things to the next level," Barber said.

    Traci Lynn Johnson, who met Barber while an intern at NBC, said, "Tiki and I were romantically involved when he was separated, and plenty of people who are separated have boyfriends and girlfriends."

    Johnson said, "I just feel that right now is the time to make sure that rumors that were said are revealed to be false."

    Johnson said that media reports that she babysat Barber's children and that she was at the hospital with Tiki and his wife were not true.

    Once among the very upper stratum of stars in the New York athletic world, Tiki Barber went from loved to loathed after an awkward television career with NBC. 

    In an early appearances for NBC Sports, Barber, one of the most productive offensive players in New York Giants history,  ridiculed his former teammates and criticized the coach.  That team went on to win the Super Bowl, sans Tiki.  Fans booed Barber when he returned to Giants Stadium.

    News of a tryst with an NBC intern cemented Barber's status as most reviled.  His contract with the Today Show, where Barber was bumped after his failure at sports coverage, was not renewed.

    According to Barber, divorce proceedings will conclude soon.

    These days, the fallen star is hunkered down with the former intern.

    "It was rough.  We had to seclude ourselves for a little bit because of the constant hounding," Johnson told ET.  "But we'll get through it."