When producer Stevie J first landed on our television screens during the initial season of “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta,” many were shocked when he revealed that he had five different baby mommas. Because we saw how he treated his daughter Eva, the child he shares with MiMi Faust, many expected Stevie to be a creep when it came to women, but a doting father when it came to his children. All of that was discovered to be nothing but smoke and mirrors when former record executive Carol Antoinette Bennett came forward and told the world Stevie owed more than a million dollars in back child support for the two children he shares with her.
In an effort to tell her truth, Bennett held a press conference on October 31, 2013 to share her story of struggling to collect what rightfully belongs to her children. Recently, RadarOnline posted a story stating right before the press conference, Stevie J, real name Steven A. Jordan, left a voicemail on Bennett’s phone saying, “What’s going on, uh I see all this press it’s going crazy and then I see something ’bout a press conference on October 31. I would ask you not to do a press conference…so let’s try to figure out what we doing, what’s goin’ on aight?”
That voicemail did little to deter Bennett from speaking out. In fact, Bennett, with her legal team present, spoke to The Urban Daily about how she and Stevie J first started dating, how his children reacted to seeing their father’s antics on television, and what she expects to come out of her speaking up about the whole child support matter.
TUD: Why choose to speak about Stevie J’s child support case now?
CAB: Well, it didn’t just happen now. This has been an ongoing situation. We’ve actually been to court twice. The thing is I haven’t been the one pushing to go to court. He’s tried to go to court to not pay anything and has been denied twice. So basically, I’ve just been feeling that the system has been failing me and there’s not much I can do. My kids are in high school. My daughter just started high school so we’re preparing for college. It’s time for saving. We have to make sure that they’re not just prepared academically. We have to make sure they’re prepared financially as well. We had an agreement in the child support order that he would provide insurance. But nothing [has] been covered by Stevie for the last twelve or thirteen years.
When you two first got together was he anything like what we see in television?
When we first met he was a good guy. We had a lot in common. We were both seriously connected in the business. He comes from a nice, big family. I don’t come from a big family, but we bonded over our love for family. He had a daughter and was very good with children. We were engaged for about two and a half years. We had known each other quite a while before then because I worked with Uptown Records and Motown Records. He was working with Jodeci at the time and he used to always tell me, “You’re gonna be my wife.” I told him, “No. No. No. I won’t mess with any artists!” He said, “Well, I’m not an artist.” So that’s how the whole thing kinda started. Then we had my son. Then we had my daughter and in between that he got a publishing deal.
What do you say to those people who believe you’re only doing this because he’s on TV and making money?
That’s the misconception. My kids are 14 and 16. He has not made a voluntary payment in years. There’s a court order in place to pay x amount per month. If you don’t pay that, even if you can come close, it technically didn’t occur. He’s missed 168 payments. The reason why, this (is) my own speculation, because he’s been able to get away with it, why not keep doing it? Where’s the enforcement at? Okay, he doesn’t have a passport. He still can live, he’s just not going out of the country. It’s just being negligent and not taking on responsibility for your kids, but he doesn’t mind doing it for any other women.
In the initial press release we got from you, you referenced the 1992 Child Support Recovery Act, which says it’s a crime to leave a state owing more than $10,000 in back child support if the child support case has been outstanding for two or more years. When he was getting ready to leave New York, why didn’t you say something to him then about the child support?
First of all, I am extremely independent. And with or without him, I’m going to take care of my kids. It’s been done already. They made it to their teens. Honestly, I thought the system was there to protect me and my children. The problem is because it’s New York state, when you go from state to state, the state isn’t able to go beyond state lines. The case would have to become federal for New York state to enforce the child support law.
Another thing is that a lot of his monies were being kept in businesses. When you change the name, it’s hard to continue to track those businesses. He changes the business name every two years. Also, he moves money and puts it in other peoples’ names. That’s what I think is happening. That’s what I’ve come up with because he does have companies.
The few payments that have been garnished from him–I should say seized rather than garnished because garnished means it came from a paycheck and seized means they had to go and get it. So whether it’s a publishing check, you know publishing checks come like four times a year, there may be something to come out of it. There may not. It’s the luck of the draw sometimes. One time I received a check for $35. I’m not sure where it came from.
The thing I need you to understand is I’m not looking to throw him under the bus. I can say that literally and figuratively. I’m not looking to have him locked up or go to jail. I just want him to be responsible. If you live in another state and you’re not able to see your kids or physically be there for them, you now have an obligation to make a payment. He has just decided he isn’t going to do it and there’s no enforcement. Because there’s no enforcement, he feels like he can get away with it. That’s inappropriate because when my kids need shoes, they’re looking at me. My son is going to be getting his license soon and he’s going to want a car. Guess who he’s going to be looking at for that car. He’s going to be looking at me.