Reported by Liku Zelleke
No one can say Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still is not a great father to his daughter, Leah. Even Channing Smythe, his ex-girlfriend and the mother of the child, bears witness to that fact. Yet, the couple seems to be in the news more often than they would probably like to be, because of financial issues stemming from unpaid child support.
Leah, 4, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma last summer and needs special medical care. Smythe through her lawyer, Gloria Allred, made it known that she had been forced to get on food stamps for months and had almost become homeless because Still hadn’t paid child support since August.
“I don’t consider him a deadbeat dad. I know he loves and cares for his daughter and he is there for her. I just need him to help me financially,” Smythe said in an interview.
Still, through a statement released by the Bengals, responded to her claims by saying they were at present in the process of sorting their support issues through the courts.
Anyone who had hoped this would be the end of the affair was disappointed when Smythe decided to come out again and talk to the media about how their payment arrangement, which she admitted was “voluntary”, fell apart in August after they argued over Still’s plan to bring Leah over to Cincinnati so that she would be closer to him.
“I don’t feel that it was right for me to move her…. [Delaware] is where all her friends and family are and this is where we have been building our life. He was very upset about that and that’s when he stopped giving me money,” she said.
Smythe made it clear that Still hadn’t stopped paying for their daughter’s expenses including clothes and medical bills but that she needed more money to care for Leah. She said she had quit her job to care for her fulltime and was finding it difficult to stay afloat.