A South African girl called Ntombi has lived with comedian Chris Rock and his family since 2008 and is now part of a controversy. Rumors have been rife in the tabloid media about the child.
Chris Rock filed for divorce from his wife, Malaak Compton-Rock, late last year and has been keeping up his relationship with his two biological daughters, Lola, 12, and 10-year-old Zahra. However, Rock reportedly hasn’t seen 7-year-old Ntombi for over a year.
Ntombi is the biological daughter of Crispen Khanyile and his girlfriend, Precious Ndebele, who reportedly were unemployed at the time of her birth and living in squalid conditions on the outskirts of Johannesburg in South Africa. The couple had two other children and could not afford to raise Ntombi.
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When Crispen was asked by TMZ about the arrangement with the adoptive parents, he merely told them they should speak with Malaak.
Chris Rock and Malaak have been caring for Ntombi since 2008, and according to media reports, the girl was in the U.S. on a visitor visa, a requirement of which was that she return to South Africa once a year. The couple hadn’t, apparently, officially adopted the girl.
While Rock hasn’t seen Ntombi since he split with his wife, Malaak, he reportedly believes she did something “shady” to get the girl into the U.S. but says he feels very close to his biological children.
According to Channel 24, Chris Rock said being a father was a responsibility he relished, saying, “When I hear people talk about juggling, or the sacrifices they make for their children, I look at them like they’re crazy.”
“Because ‘sacrifice’ infers that there was something better to do than being with your children. And I’ve never been with my kids and gone, ‘Man, I wish I was on my stage right now.'”
Rock went on to say he wishes he could spend more time with his children, but this appeared to refer only to his two biological daughters.
David Aronson, the lawyer acting on behalf of Malaak, said that Ntombi is a part of the family and is cherished by them, but that even though Chris Rock himself is a celebrity, Malaak and the couple’s children are not.
Reportedly, Malaak is upset and saddened by the recent tabloid media reports relating to the family and Ntombi, which she says are full of “erroneous speculation and inaccuracies that are hurtful to three innocent young girls.”
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Aronson said the adoption of Ntombi by Malaak is actively in process, but things are complicated, due to the rigorous guidelines and safeguards of international adoption policy. He did state that while the media reports say Ntombi is only in the U.S. on a visitor visa, she is in the country lawfully with the written consent of her birth parents. Aronson didn’t mention why it took so long for Malaak to get around to the legal adoption of the girl.
Malaak herself says that Ntombi has been raised as a member of the family and has been solely supported by them. She further says she continues to be the girl’s primary caregiver.
In relation to the divorce of Chris Rock and Malaak, the duo reportedly appeared in a New Jersey court on November 16 over a dispute relating to child support, alimony, and other matters. A tentative trial date has been set for next year.
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