Former NFL star Terrell Owens’ latest money problems may land him in jail.
The 6-time Pro Bowl receiver, who is currently plays in the Indoor Football League, is $20,000 behind on child support payments for one of his children. The mother of the child filed a petition in Atlanta asking for T.O. to be fined or jailed if he doesn’t pay up.
The lawyer representing Melanie Paige Smith, the mother of one of Owens’ four children, said in a letter to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they have received no indication if Owens will ever pay for his daughter.
An Atlanta-area judge ordered the payments for the support of the couple’s daughter in March 2007
“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,” Smith’s lawyer said.
This is the latest in a string of money troubles for Owens. Two of his homes in Dallas are in foreclosure. He tried to get his child support obligations lowered by a court last summer, blaming the NFL lockout on his inability to pay. The court refused his request. According to a January GQ article, Owens owes nearly $45K in child support every month.
After 15 seasons in the NFL where Owens became known as much for his off-the-field antics as his ability to catch, his contract with the Cincinnati Bengals was not renewed for the 2011 season. He couldn’t find an NFL team to sign him, so he signed with the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League.
He can reportedly make up to $500,000 for the Wranglers, which will not cover one year of child support.
“It’s just a shame that those women don’t want to work and do something to help support my kids,” Owens said.
At least one of those mothers, Smith, is determined to get what a Fulton County judge has ordered Owens to pay.
In addition to legal fees, the contempt petition filed Friday asks the court to impose a fine or jail time.
“We remain hopeful that he will choose to resume supporting his daughter, 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,” Melanie Paige Smith’s attorney said.