Allen Iverson denied an accusation by his ex-wife that he has abducted their five children and is holding them in an Atlanta hotel room.
Later Monday, Iverson denied Tawanna Iverson’s accusation, which was filed in court Monday, when when an Atlanta TV reporter found him at the hotel mentioned in the filing. Iverson, 38, and his children were walking to his Maybach when the reporter approached them. (The children are deliberately not shown.)
“They say I stole my kids? That’s what they say?” Iverson told Jeff Hullinger, who offered to show him the court papers. “…If that’s what you believe and people think I’m crazy enough to do, then so be it.”
On Tuesday morning, TMZ, which first had the story, reported that Iverson has returned the children to his ex. It also reported that he had appeared in court last week to tell the judge that his ex-wife had access to the children at the hotel. TMZ reports that Tawanna Iverson testified that she didn’t pick up the children because they were a 45-minute drive away.
Tawanna Iverson, who has sole custody of the five children, alleged in Monday’s filing in Superior Court of Fulton County that the former Philadelphia 76ers star was taking the children on a mini-vacation to North Carolina and that he was expected to return with them May 26. She said she attempted to set up an exchange June 4, but her ex-husband did’t arrive with the children, who range in age from 3 to 16.
The Iversons, whose divorce came through in January, had been together since they were 16 and they’ve frequently battled in court against the backdrop of Iverson’s struggle to find a post-basketball life. The Post’s Kent Babb wrote this spring:
“I love u,” Iverson wrote to her in a text message submitted in the divorce filing. “I miss your pretty face & I’m sorry! Ppl make mistakes!”
He kept making them. When he met with an investigator to discuss custody of his five children, he “smelled remarkably of alcohol,” according to the investigator’s testimony. Months later, during a scheduled alcohol evaluation, he again arrived with alcohol on his breath.
Iverson didn’t take the witness stand during the divorce hearing or publicly dispute his wife’s claims, and his deposition testimony was sealed. The judge awarded Tawanna sole legal custody, calling Iverson a “hindrance” to his children. He appealed, but it was dismissed last month.
In a statement, released through Moore’s office after the custody ruling, Iverson said the court was biased and its ruling “one-sided.”
A person close to Iverson, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that half of the Reebok trust, established as Iverson’s rainy-day fund, was transferred to Tawanna as part of their divorce settlement. Tawanna’s attorney, John Mayoue, would not comment, and attempts to reach Tawanna for additional comment were unsuccessful.
After everything, Moore said, Iverson loves his children “more than life” and still has feelings for Tawanna.
Iverson had one last comment for Hullinger on Monday. “I ain’t never treated fairly. Don’t expect to be.”
And with that he drove away.