A big win. Amanza Smith was awarded sole custody of her two kids, whom she shares with missing ex-husband Ralph Brown, during a hearing on Wednesday, September 29.
According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly on Thursday, September 30, the Selling Sunset star, 43, achieved “sole legal and physical custody” of daughter Noah and son Braker after taking legal action earlier this year.
The paperwork also stated that Brown, 42, has “no visitation” until he provides the proper information, including an updated contact address, after not being involved in the case for the past two years.
“I’m relieved that this long process is over. It’s been incredibly hard on me and especially the children,” Smith exclusively told Us in a statement following the legal decision. “We will never be ‘over’ the absence of their father, but hopefully we can move forward in a more positive way now that we are unhindered by the legal obstacles that prevented me from making the decisions that are best for us as a family of three.”
Ahead of the hearing, Smith revealed that she hasn’t been in contact with her ex-husband since September 2019. The estranged pair were married for two years before calling it quits in 2012.
“My ex-husband and I have been divorced since my kids were 1 and 2,” the reality star explained on Selling Sunset season 2, which aired in 2020. “So, for the past seven years, they have spent a week with Daddy and a week with Mommy. And Daddy’s a great dad, he’s very present, but over the past couple of months stuff has really hit the fan and he’s basically just off the grid. And we don’t really know what’s going on. I just don’t have answers for them.”
Earlier this year, Smith detailed the legal complications that emerged after Brown left, such as not being able to make decisions about her children’s future.
“I have a therapist, and then I get information from her to help them,” she exclusively told Us in February. “A licensed therapist cannot legally help them without [their dad’s] signature. So I talk to someone and then she gives me tips and pointers.”
Although their children “were very sad, very heartbroken” with Brown’s absence, the Netflix personality noted how grateful she was that their behavior didn’t push them to make bad decisions as a result.
“They’re the most well-behaved, well-mannered [kids],” she added. “They’re so compassionate and so kind. They’re thriving in school and they’re social, but as a mother and an adult, I see what the effects are.”
Following the hearing, a rep for Smith told Us that “this incredibly difficult process was sadly necessary to allow Amanza to make decisions for the welfare of the children that joint custody has prevented, such as getting them in therapy to help them deal with the loss of their father.”
Brown, for his part, has not publicly commented on the legal battle or Smith’s statements about him. The former athlete’s last comments on the situation appeared in a court declaration from November 2019.
“In 2010, my NFL career ended and my mental and physical pain from playing football for 21 years of my life was already causing me great pain,” he stated at the time. “While I was married to Ms. Smith, I had multiple physical and mental breakdowns in tears of pain and anguish in front of Ms. Smith, stating that I did not know what was wrong with me because I felt my physical extremities, body and cognitive abilities were seeming to atrophy extensively.”
He added, “I didn’t understand at the time what was happening and I was very scared because of the multiple breakdowns, intense physical pain and mental struggles that numerous retired NFL players experience and I had seen on TV and read multiple articles.”
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With reporting by Diana Cooper
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