Tamika Fuller Opens Up About Battle Over Daughter, Sets Rumors Straight
We love a strong woman, especially one who isn’t afraid to stand up to a man just because he’s wealthy, famous and powerful… We’ve been waiting for quite some time to hear Tamika Fuller’s “side” of the story when it comes to her relationship and custody battle with Ludacris over their daughter Cai. Well, Fuller has finally broken her silence, speaking out in a poignant essay on our sister site Madame Noire. We’ve excerpted some key points below:
When I found out that I was pregnant two years ago, I immediately told Chris. The world knows him as an internationally famous Hip Hop artist and actor (Ludacris) but, despite the hurtful things that have been said about me, that’s not why I was attracted to him. We had been good friends for many years, and when he told me he was newly single in spring 2013 we became intimate. Things took an ugly turn, however, when I found myself unexpectedly throwing up in his bathroom, and ultimately learning that I was pregnant.
The psychological manipulation began immediately. He broke down into tears when I told him that I wanted to keep our baby and he begged me to abort the child whose heartbeat was developing in rhythm with my own. He told me that it would destroy his career and his image. I contemplated heavily on terminating my pregnancy. I don’t believe in enforced parenthood or trapping anyone into raising an unwanted child. However when I visited the clinic and heard my daughter’s heartbeat on the ultrasound I knew I couldn’t go through with it.
He promised me the world – trips on his private jet and other perks of the rich and famous -if I would just have the abortion. Perhaps, more importantly, he made me feel as if I was ruining us. It was as if he believed that our friendship should take precedence over the life growing inside of me and when he realized that it didn’t, it couldn’t, my real nightmare began.
I am fully aware that people often assume an average woman who gets herself impregnated by a celebrity is a gold-digger looking for a quick and easy payday. However contrary to popular belief, I was fully cognizant that I was going to be a single mother and I knew that he was not going to be involved in that process – I was okay with that. I went through my entire pregnancy alone and working full time with no support from him, most of the people in my circle never even knew he was the father until our trial made headlines. Deep down even though I knew he never wanted the baby, I have to be honest in admitting I was hurt that there was a real possibility my daughter’s father might not be part of her life. I thought that he would accept our daughter’s impending arrival and want to take part in the process, but I know now that thinking was naive.
What do you think you would have done put in her position? Do you feel more empathy for Tamika hearing her tell her side?
Hit the flip for more of her essay.
Photo Credit: Chad Oubre
There’s more though and this is the part that had us scratching our heads following the custody trial. How did Ludacris win custody after not initially wanting Tamika to go through with her pregnancy? Tamika admits a lot of it had to do with what happened with the custody of her first daughter:
I never left my eldest daughter. I got pregnant with her when I was a senior in high school. She was raised by my family for a few years, as is the case in many families who pull together in times of need. In many African-American homes, there is still very much a village mentality when it comes to rearing children. The support system and love my child received is immeasurable. Still, I was placed in the position of having to defend myself when I have been a present, involved, and loving mother for more than a decade. My oldest daughter and I are in a great place, but Chris and his attorneys made it seem as if I dropped her off on someone’s doorstep and never worried about her again.
And it worked. His strategy to malign me in order to gain custody of our child, which was only done to avoid having to report his finances and pay me adequate child support (like he does for all his other children), was malicious and cruel. But it worked. They didn’t focus on my life with my daughter and the round-the-clock care I provided for her. They didn’t focus on the breastfeeding (which had to end because the stress of this situation severely affected my milk supply). They didn’t focus on the love. Instead, they dredged up and manipulated the facts of my past to make me look like a degenerate. The irony here is that he suggested that my older daughter was psychologically damaged because of my absence, but here he is, trying to make me absent in the life of our daughter…
Isht definitely gets ugly in custody battles. It’s one of the saddest things in our society.
Tamika also addresses the factor that Luda’s celebrity played in his custody win:
Unfortunately, my custody situation with my daughter’s wealthy and powerful father, and the court system that loves him is not unique. Tameka Raymond had to go through it with her famous ex-husband and father of two of her children, R&B singer Usher Raymond. Royce Reed had to go through it with her child’s father, NBA player Dwight Howard. Pilar Sanders lost custody of her three children in favor of her ex-husband, NFL legend Deion Sanders.
There is a favoritism shown to wealthy, male celebrities. If they even pretend to act like they care, even if the evidence clearly shows otherwise, they’re rewarded. Their lies are excused, and their past mistakes are viewed as growth while mistakes made by “regular” women many years ago are weapons used against them.
Norma Mitchell, ex-wife of R&B singer Tyrese has been locked in legal disputes with him over the custody arrangement for their daughter. Something she said recently really resonated with me: “A lot of men with money and more power, especially with passive women, are using the legal system to abuse these women. Then they can point the finger and say, ‘Look at her, she’s crazy,’ because one day you just explode and can’t take it anymore.”
I feel that’s exactly what happened to me. He used the legal system as revenge, to spite me. This man never visited our daughter, never called to inquire about her well-being, and never even sent her a gift until the court battle began. You want me to believe that a man who turned down an invitation to witness the birth of our daughter has unexpectedly developed such deep-rooted paternal feelings that he feels compelled to take her out of my arms at night for 20 days out of the month? Even more callous, he knows I cry myself to sleep without her in my bed at night, the pain of her absence overwhelming. I try to call just to hear her voice, but he directs my calls to voicemail. He warned me that he would resent me for not having the abortion, and that’s what I saw in that courtroom. I didn’t see a man who loved his child so much that he wanted custody. I saw a man who hated his child’s mother so much that he would take custody away from her.
Damn… Do you think that Tamika did the right thing opening up about her fight? There’s more to her essay, which you can read in FULL HERE
She has a lot more to say about continuing her fight for custody and helping other women in her position.
So what do you think about her essay? Have you changed your point of view about who should be Cai’s primary caregiver? Were you surprised to hear anything she revealed about Ludacris’ character?
On a more positive note we were able to secure some exclusive photos from Tamika’s photoshoot with Cai. Hit the flip to see them.