Ariel Sosna and Sarah Van, Voorhis Van Voorhis & Sosna
American rapper/actor/reality star/ entrepreneur Master P is finding there is “No Limit” to how long or how expensive his legal battle with ex-wife Sonya Miller will be. His three youngest children, Hercy, Mercy and Itali just wrote emotional letters to the judge in the case, requesting to live full time with their dad. Master P and Miller were married for over 24 years and had nine children together. They started their music empire in Richmond, California, by founding a small label with $10,000 Master P inherited after the death of his grandfather. In 2013, Forbes named Master P the third-richest figure in Hip Hop at the time, with an estimated net worth of $350 million. Now Master P claims he has $432 in the bank.
TMZ reports that earlier this year, the judge ordered Master P to hand over his season-two check from Master P’s Family Empire to Miller — more than $825,000 in order to pay spousal support and child support arrearages.
Now, Master P is trying to slash his support payments and gain primary custody of his three minor children. Seventeen-year old Itali made a persuasive case, writing “Although I love being with my mom I was unable to keep my grades up. Unfortunately, my mom was dealing with addiction issues that affected my older sister, who hasn’t even had the opportunity to graduate high school . . . even though she’s 19.”
The California court is required to “consider, and give due weight to, the wishes of” children who are of “sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation” pursuant to California Family Code §3042. Specifically, if a child is over 14 years old, as Itali is, the court must allow the child to address the court as to his or her wishes unless the court determines it is not in the child’s best interests to do so. (Id.) The court is also required to “control the examination of the child witness so as to protect the best interests of the child.” For example, in Winternitz, the court declined to have the child testify because both parents agreed as to the contents of the testimony and the court found that having the child testify would be harmful to the child. Winternitz v. Winternitz (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 644. The court could also find that Master P had other motives in encouraging teenage children to write to the judge, thus affecting impact the evidence will have on the court’s decision.
What weight the judge decides to give to these letters remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, the family empire is crumbling and Miller is certainly making Master P say “uhh!”