Lisa Wu Hartwell sues Keith Sweat for full custody of her kids
By Rodney Ho | Monday, February 23, 2009, 11:38 AM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“The best interest of the minor children will be served by modifying the current custody and visitation provisions to make Mother the primary physical condition of the minor children,” according to the court papers filed with the Superior Court of Fulton County. “Since the time of the Divorce Decree, Mother has remarried, owns a successful business and will provide a stable, loving, and nurturing environment in which she can raise the minor children.”
She is seeking “primary physical custody and joint legal custody with final decision-making on all issues regarding the minor children.” She will “reasonably engage Father in good faith discussions before any final decisions are made concerning the children’s welfare.” The two children are Jordan Sweat, age 14 and Justin Sweat, age 11.
If she does get custody, she requests child support as well.
In 2003, Sweat received primary custody of the children. According to the final divorce decree at the time written by Fulton Superior Court judge Cynthia D. Wright, Sweat and Wu Hartwell married in 1992 and had the judge termed at the time an “extremely tumultuous relationship.” Wright wrote that “there is evidence that Father has been violent towards Mother, but no evidence he has ever been violent with any of his children.”
The judge felt the children at the time “lacked structure in their lives, due in substantial part to Mother’s numerous business ventures and frequent trips out of town… Mother has a history of spending money on herself excessively rather than providing for the children… There was some evidence at trial that Mother implicitly participated in robbing Father in the presence of the children. She also took money from Father prior to the initiation of this matter. This behavior causes the Court to question Mother’s maturity and judgment.”
Although Sweat, too, travels frequently, the decree said Sweat’s mom helped care for the children. “Father is capable of providing a stable, secure home environment for the boys where their care is not delegated to random third parties,” the judge wrote.
Wu Hartwell has had visitation rights and has said in past interviews she sees her sons frequently. Neither boy was shown on camera or even talked about on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” because Sweat would not give her legal permission to do so. Sweat is never mentioned by name on the show.
Wu Hartwell is currently married to former NFL player Ed Hartwell. They have a child, who we saw on the TV show, which begins taping its second season today.
Carlos Scott, her publicist, said Wu Hartwell cannot speak on the subject while it’s in the court system. Wu Hartwell said nothing about the custody case Saturday at her South DeKalb Mall appearance though she did note that her ex-husband didn’t clear her sons to be on the show.
We are currently seeking comment from Sweat, who happens to be promoting his new Peachtree TV special airing this week reuniting the group Dru Hill. Sweat made no mention of the custody case this morning in an interview with Frank & Wanda on V-103.
The complaint does not state how the children are doing currently or provide any overt evidence of problems while the boys are under Sweat’s custody.