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In previous weeks, the media has seized upon a strange facet of Chris Rock and Malaak Compton-Rock’s impending divorce. You see, the couple — who has been married for 19 years — has been raising a young girl named Ntombi from South Africa since she was just six months old. As the former couple prepare to make their divorce final next year, child support of young Ntombi (as well as her legal status in the country) has become something of a hot-button issue.

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So, here’s the deal. Nearly seven years ago, Malaak Compton-Rock brought a young girl home from South Africa on a one-year visitor visa. The girl’s biological father, Crispen Khanyile, explains that the adoption was necessary, that he and Ntombi’s mother were living in abject poverty and already had two children to care for. So, Malaak brought the girl home and the Rock family cared for her for the next seven years … until Chris Rock and Malaak Compton-Rock separated.

Then, on December 23 of last year, Rock filed divorce papers claiming that he and Malaak have only two children (the passive assumption being that Rock himself would only need to pay child support for his biological daughters). This caused some turmoil among the family as it prompted investigators to start digging into the legality of Ntombi’s adoption.

Apparently, though, everything is fine (but South African adoptions take a long freaking time). According to Malaak’s attorney, David Aronson, “While the adoption by Malaak is not yet finalized, it is actively in process under the rigorous guidelines and safeguards of international adoption policy. The child is in the country lawfully with the written consent of her birth parents, and while here, has been cherished and adored by the entire Rock family.”

With that in mind, speculation that money may have changed hands between the Rocks and Ntombi’s biological parents seems immaterial, honestly. What’s most upsetting about the tale is Chris Rock’s apparent refusal to care for the girl he’s treated as a daughter (theoretically) for her entire life.

What’s your take on this mess?

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