Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens is $20,000 behind on child support payments for one of his children, and the mother, Melanie Paige Smith, filed a contempt of court petition Friday at a Fulton County court in Atlanta, Ga. asking for him to be fined or jailed if he doesn't pay up, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
The petition, the latest of several filed in the past year by Smith, says Owens owes $5,000 for each of the months of December, January, February and March. A Fulton County judge ordered the child support payments in March 2007.
He has not indicated if he ever plans to send another penny for their daughter, said Smith's attorney, Randall Kessler, in a letter to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. We plan to ask the court to send a strong message, given that he has only paid support in the last 10 months after a contempt action has been filed against him.
This is the latest financial woe for Owens.
Two of his homes, a condo and a townhome, in Dallas are in foreclosure with the asking prices totaling over $500,000.
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Last summer, he tried to get a judge to lower his $5,000 monthly child support payments to Smith to $2,500, but his request was refused. Owens blamed the NFL lockout for his inability to pay. Now, according to a January GQ article, the receiver owes nearly $45,000 in child support every month for not only his child with Smith, but also three others. All four range in age from five to 12.
Three out of four mothers have sued Owens, including Smith, who, along with Kessler, is also seeking legal fees from Owens in addition to a fine or jail time.
We remain hopeful that he will choose to resume supporting his daughter, Kessler said. but neither we nor our client have had any indication from him since last year as to when and if he will ever provide another penny in support.
Owens, a six-time NFL Pro Bowler, has played 15 seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. He now plays in the Indoor Football League as wide receiver and 50-percent owner of the Allen Wranglers. Owens' deal with the Wranglers could reportedly compensate him up to $500,000 this season.