Between reality shows and books, NFL wide-receiver Terrell Owens’ life is an open book. His wallet, however, may be a different story.
Melanie Paige Smith, the mother of Terrell’s 5-year-old daughter, isn’t interested in taking a cut to her monthly payments—even if there was an NFL lockout. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Melanie has petitioned a judge to put T.O. behind bars for failing to make his child support payments on time.
Due the first of every month, Melanie filed a petition for contempt in Fulton Country Superior Court in August, but withdrew it after Terrell paid her $5,000 in full, plus attorney fees. Though ordered in May 2007 to pay child support for the daughter he and Melanie have together, his estimated monthly income according to her suit was then $666,000. Now a free agent, Terrell blames the NFL lockout for only being able to pay half of the established monthly stipend, said Melanie’s attorney, Randy Kessler.
According to Randy, Terrell is two months late on his payments and didn’t pay for June and July until August. In a statement regarding the matter, Terrell’s camp is telling a slightly different story.
“Mr. Owens is not a dead beat dad," one of T.O.’s reps assered. "Up until very recently, Mr. Owens paid every child support in full, never missing a payment, with inflated amounts based on a past income he had not been earning for years. It was not until very recently he requested modification due to his current financial challenges."
Supposedly, Terrell asked for an adjusted payment as he is not signed to a team right now, which means he’s earning less than his 2007 income.
"This is an important matter to Mr. Owens and he hopes to resolve all child support payment modification as soon as possible," his reps stated. " It is unfortunate that because of his profile, Ms. Smith finds the need to share this information with the media. This is a private family matter.”
Yet according to Randy, this is nothing more than Melanie calling the pro athlete’s bluff. “He texted [Melanie]," the attorney claims," and said she could speak to the media, he didn’t care, so she has."