After Ludacris gained full custody of their baby girl last year, Tamika Fuller is now speaking out in her own defense.
In an essay published on Madame Noire, Tamika explains her side of the story and what she feels is the reason her daughter was taken from her.
Check out a few excerpts:
On finding out she was pregnant & telling Ludacris:
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 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.
On Ludacris’ pressuring her to have an abortion:
The psychological manipulation began immediately. He broke down in 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 forced 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. 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.
On why she feels she lost custody of her baby girl:
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.”
In her book, Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody, Chesler found that 70 percent of fathers who fight for custody win, regardless of the father’s character or even if he’s an active part of the child’s life. The perception of mothers who retain custody of their children is flawed. They don’t all have their children because the courts decided that they were the better parent, but rather, the fathers didn’t fight for custody. So when a father does fight for custody, male patriarchal privilege rears its ugly head. He’s rewarded for being the rare unicorn that wants to raise his child so much that he goes to court.
Now, place those statistics and that history and situate them in Hip-Hop loving Atlanta where Chris is a favorite son. Throw in my less than ideal financial state and accusations that I had abandoned my first child, and I never stood a chance.
Our heart goes out to her. To read Tamika’s full essay and to find out more on her plans to start an organization to help moms in her same situation, click here.