CHICAGO (CBS) — Walter Payton’s widow is reacting to the new tell-all book about the Bears legend, including a story about how she and Payton’s extramarital girlfriend were both at his Hall of Fame induction.

Connie Payton tells Chicago Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster she and “Sweetness” were separated for eight years, and were separated at the time of his 1993 Hall of Fame induction.

She says it was “stressful” to know that Payton’s girlfriend was at the ceremony, but contrary to the claims in Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton, she never met the mistress.

“I want to be clear about that… I never met her,” Connie Payton tells Foster.

She adds that although she was separated from her husband, he “never disrespected me or put other women in my face.” She adds that when Payton became sick with liver cancer, he came home, and told her that of everyone he knew, “I know you have my back and I can trust you, and I know you would never betray me.”

Connie Payton tells Foster that her own life story will be recounted in a book she is currently working on.

The controversial book about Walter Payton, which hits the stores on Tuesday, was penned by Sports Illustrated columnist Jeff Pearlman.

The columnist also says in his book that:

-Payton abused a cocktail of Vicodin and Tylenol after his playing days,
-ate painkillers like they were a snack,
-and because of painkiller abuse, Payton had erratic behavior and threatened to commit suicide.

When the book hit the headlines, Payton’s family con ceded that he “wasn’t perfect,” and characterized the disclosures as “some true, some untrue.” The statement added that the family was “saddened that anyone would attempt to profit from these stories, many told by people with little credibility.”

But in an interview with TMZ, longtime Payton agent Bud Holmes said he was misquoted about saying “Walter was pounding his body with medication,” and threatened legal action.

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