Martina Navratilova: ‘Complicated’ adoption likely won’t happen after cancer battle

Reality TV

Martina Navratilova and wife Julia Lemigova likely won’t follow through with their plan to adopt after the tennis legend’s recent cancer battle. 

“I think [adoption] was a nice thought for a while, but I think this has brought it into sharp focus — you know, I’m not really the youngest anymore and I don’t want to be the grandmother on the playground,” Navratilova, 66, said in a forthcoming “Piers Morgan Uncensored” interview. 

“Forget that part, there’s just not enough space I think for this to happen.”

Even though the retired athlete is cancer-free after being diagnosed with stage 1 throat cancer and breast cancer just months ago, she says welcoming a child with Lemigova, 50, would be difficult at this point in time. 

“We were thinking about adopting but that’s definitely put on hold, and I don’t think it’s going to happen,” a visibly emotional Navratilova told host Piers Morgan.

Martina Navratilova sitting down for an interview with  in a forthcoming “Piers Morgan Uncensored”
An emotional Navratilova discussed the matter in a forthcoming “Piers Morgan Uncensored” interview.
TalkTV

“I think it’s just too complicated and the energy — I only have so much right now.”

Her spouse, Lemigova — who stars on Peacock’s “The Real Housewives of Miami” — previously explained during the Season 5 reunion that the adoption stalled due to the health scare. 

“When you’re adopting a child, it has to be about the child,” Lemigova told moderator Andy Cohen.

Martina Navratilova and Piers Morgan posing together outside
The retired athlete, pictured here with host Piers Morgan, is currently cancer-free.
Piers Morgan
Julia Lemigova and Martina Navratilova posing with their dog
Lemigova revealed her plan to adopt a child with Navratilova on “The Real Housewives of Miami” Season 5.
Julia Lemigova / Instagram

“And right now it’s everything about Martina and for her getting [healthy]. We’re putting it on hold.”

Navratilova announced her two cancer diagnoses in January, telling fans that both were detected early on.


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“This double whammy is serious but still fixable, and I’m hoping for a favorable outcome,” the tennis Hall of Famer said in a statement to the Women’s Tennis Association. “It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all I have got.”

Julia Lemigova giving Martina Navratilova a kiss on a tennis court
The couple wed in 2014.
Martina Navratilova / Instagram

She previously had breast cancer in 2010 but beat it after a lumpectomy and six months of radiation.

When asked how far along in the adoption process they were at the reunion — which taped in December 2022 — Lemigova said they were pretty close.

“We were thinking any moment the agency would call and give us the happy news that we were going to have a baby,” the model explained.

Lemigova is the mother of daughters Victoria, 23, and Emma, 16, from previous relationships. She also welcomed a son named Maximilien in 1999, but he tragically died as an infant under suspicious circumstances. 

Lemigova and Navratilova have been a couple since 2006. They got engaged at the US Open in September 2014 and married in New York City that December.

The full interview with Navratilova airs Tuesday on TalkTV.

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