T.I. cuts $8,000 check, calls late bill oversight
By Errin Haines
ATLANTA – Rapper T.I. came to court on Tuesday and promptly paid an $8,000 overdue attorney bill for the mother of his two sons, telling a judge the debt was an oversight.
Lawyers for LaShon Dixon asked a Fulton County judge to intervene after the 27-year-old rapper, whose real name is Clifford Harris, failed to pay in November. He had agreed to the payment as part of an ongoing child support case between the former couple.
T.I. came to court with a check for the money owed, effectively settling the matter.
During the hearing, which lasted more than four hours, T.I. told the judge the order to pay got lost when he changed assistants.
“It was just a clerical error, totally innocent,” he said. “I will accept full responsibility for that.”
The two-time Grammy winner was ordered in September to pay more than $3,000 a month to Dixon – to whom he had been paying about $2,000 per month – as well as the boys’ private school tuition, uninsured medical bills and expenses related to their extracurricular activities.
“The evidence continues that Mr. Harris is an exemplary parent who has been voluntarily and generously providing for the needs of these children,” T.I.’s attorney, John Mayoue, said after the hearing.
T.I. and Dixon are still negotiating child support and custody of the boys, ages 7 and 8. He also has two sons with his fiancee, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, of the defunct R&B group Xscape. T.I. told the judge Tuesday that if the children don’t have the same standard of living at Dixon’s house, “it is that LaShon has failed to provide that standard of living.”
“I’m not responsible for LaShon’s house,” he said.
Randy Kessler, Dixon’s attorney, argued that the multimillionaire entertainer’s increased largesse entitles his client to more money, so that she has the privilege of providing things that her children want without them always having to ask their father.
“This is the perfect case to determine what to do when a person earns enough to pay whatever the court orders,” Kessler said.
It is unclear when the judge will issue a final decision. T.I. is scheduled to be sentenced on federal weapons charges in March and is expected to serve at least a year in federal prison.