Devon Still responds to allegations he’s delinquent on child support payments
Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Devon Still issued a statement Wednesday in response to allegations that he is delinquent on child support payments, charges made by ex-girlfriend Channing Smythe and originally reported by the New York Daily News.
Still denied the allegations, arguing that the legal battle ensuing between the parties be held in the courts, not in the media.
“My daughter’s battle with cancer has been inspirational to many all over the world,” Still said in a statement released by the Bengals, per an ESPN.com report. “When she gets older, I want her to be able to look back and read about her positive impact on the world, not about the private issues her parents were going through. I am not going to retaliate against the mother of my daughter, and the untruthful reports in the New York Daily News article, by criticizing her character. I am going to continue to allow the court system to handle this matter, as it has been doing these past couple of months.”
At the center of the battle is of course Leah Still, the parties’ four-year-old daughter who has inspired millions with her bravery and the grace and dignity she has exhibited as she wages a battle against Stage IV neuroblastoma.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Smythe, Still’s ex-girlfriend and mother of Leah, reportedly sent a letter to the NFL in which she requested the league investigate whether Still violated the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy by being delinquent in child support payments.
Smythe, who lives in Delaware, alleges that she has resorted to using food stamps and borrowing cars from friends in order to provide for Leah and get her to and from treatment at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Smythe adds she is unable to work due to Leah’s condition, which requires constant care and attention and that they are unable to take public transportation due to Leah’s compromised immune system.
“I don’t think it is fair that Devon Still, who is Leah’s father, has refused to pay any child support for her for the months of August, September, October and November of this year,” Smythe stated in a declaration that accompanied Allred’s letter to the league.
Smythe adds that she has been nearly left homeless due to Still’s alleged refusal to pay child support.
“I don’t consider him a deadbeat dad,” Smythe told the Daily News on Wednesday. “I know he loves and cares for his daughter and he is there for her. I just need him to help me financially.”
Still is expected to earn approximately $570,000 this season from the Bengals. He has recently become engaged to another woman. He also has been undeniably dedicated to being with Leah as she battles cancer, frequently using social media to keep people aware of Leah’s progress and setbacks, as well as raising awareness for pediatric cancer.
Other than the statement issued by the team, Still’s only comment on the legal matter was a tweet posted early Wednesday morning in reply to a Daily News’ tweet promoting its article.
@NYDNSports "Truth allows you to live with integrity. Everything you do and say shows the world who you really are. Let it be the Truth."
— Devon Still (@Dev_Still71) November 26, 2014
Obviously, Leah’s health and well-being — not to mention the love and support from both her parents — should be paramount to everything above all else. It would be unfortunate to say the least if the parties cannot resolve this matter amicably.