Tamika Fuller Speaks Up About Public Custody Battle With Ludacris In Personal Essay
Tamika Fuller has decided that it’s time for her voice and the voice of other women that find themselves in similar situations to be heard. After a judge awarded her friend turned lover, turned child’s father Ludacris full custody of their daughter Cai Bella.
In her essay written for MadameNoire.com, she gives her account of why Luda wanted full custody of their daughter (to spite her because she didn’t have an abortion and to avoid paying child support). She also shares how “Chris” took the news of her pregnancy and she wanted it to be clear that she didn’t see her pregnancy as a meal ticket, as they had been friends before their relationship turned sexual.
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.
She also defended herself against accusations that she abandoned her eldest daughter and how the system based on her research, is actually prejudice towards mothers and “patriarchal privilege” allows for these situations where a father that actually wants to be active in their child’s life is given a golden ticket.
I walked into that courtroom believing that no one would take a child from a good mother; I walked out knowing that, in some cases, money is greater than motherhood and being good isn’t always good enough. It wasn’t until I began to do the research that I realized that the stigma attached to a mother losing custody of her child, the stigma I attached to myself, is not based in fact. According to author and researcher Phyllis Chesler, “For more than 5,000 years, men (fathers) were legally entitled to sole custody of their children. Women (mothers) were obliged to bear, to rear, and economically support children. Mothers were never legally entitled to custody of their own children.”
You can read the full letter HERE