Briggs in legal battle over child support

Baby’s mother says Bears LB negligent in providing money

By Brian Hamilton
On Sept. 10, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs became a first-time father.

Now that bundle of joy has spiraled into a heap of legal turmoil and untidy he-said, she-said accusations.

The child’s mother, 21-year-old Loyola student Brittini Tribbett, alleged that Briggs inadequately supports his daughter and impregnated two other women while Tribbett was expecting.

Tribbett said she moved out of a three-bedroom Glenview condominium the couple shared after learning of the alleged other pregnancies and said it’s “beyond a struggle” to get Briggs to fund necessities for their baby or to visit the child.

“At this point, I’m not interested in having a relationship,” Tribbett said Monday. “At this point, all I’m interested [in] is him being a present father that’s around. I’m interested in him providing for our daughter and settling this matter so we can both move on with our lives. I really don’t want to be fighting every day.”

Randall Kessler, an Atlanta-based attorney representing Briggs, said his client had “definitely visited regularly” and had provided “two or three thousand dollars” each time Tribbett’s attorney has asked Kessler to ask Briggs for money.

“The anger is not about him providing for the child,” Kessler said Monday. “She bad-mouths his providing, and he’s not missed a chance to provide for the child. He’s done the right thing financially.

“It’s a woman scorned, not a child abandoned.”

Tribbett said she met Briggs a little more than a year ago through a mutual friend. The pair began a relationship, and when Tribbett became pregnant, she said Briggs was “really happy.” She said the two talked about baby names, shopped for baby clothes and settled into the condominium.

Briggs legally acknowledged he is the father when the child was born.

After learning of the two other alleged pregnancies — the first on a page, the second through text messages Briggs received — Tribbett said she moved out. She now lives with her family and said she has borrowed from them for diapers and formula.

Enrico Mirabelli, Tribbett’s attorney, said Briggs had provided about $6,000 of support in the last six months, not counting the condominium or use of a car, among other items. Kessler said the figure is “$15,000 in three months, not counting food, diapers and other things he has bought.”

The dispute focuses on the support package for Tribbett and the child. Kessler said Tribbett initially “asked for well over $100,000 a year.”

“We’re not asking for an outrageous amount of money,” Mirabelli said. “The law is 20 percent of the man’s net income. Twenty percent would be about $75,000 a month. We’re not asking for anywhere near that. We’re in line for what high-income-earning fathers pay.”

Meanwhile, Mirabelli alleges that Briggs, who makes $7.5 million a year from the Bears, first offered “less than 10 percent of what he earns in one game” for a year of support.

“It’s a lot more than 10 percent of one game,” Kessler said. “If 10 percent of what he makes in one game is $40,000, the package he offered her is at least double that.”

Tribbett filed a paternity suit in October asking that Briggs pay child support; pay for outstanding pregnancy-related medical bills; pay for health-care related expenses; pay for a life insurance policy for the child; pay for a “college fund account” and “trust account” for the child and pay for Tribbett’s “temporary and final legal costs and fees.”

Kessler said Briggs would prefer both sides use a mediator, for which he will pay, to settle the dispute.