Herenton fires back in child support dispute; child's mother speaks out - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Herenton fires back in child support dispute; child's mother speaks out

Willie Herenton Willie Herenton

By Janice Broach - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton fought back Tuesday against claims he is not paying his child support.

Claudine Marsh, the mother of Herenton's five-year-old son, claimed last month that the former mayor is not providing proper financial support for his son. But in a filing Tuesday at Juvenile Court, Herenton's attorneys accused Marsh of harassing and demeaning Herenton by bringing the allegations.

Attorneys for Herenton said Marsh's attorneys called a news conference without contacting Herenton or his attorneys, where they claimed Herenton was not visiting his child, didn't have health insurance for his son, and did not provide for his future.

Marsh wants Herenton to put up half of his $500,000 pension. But in response, Herenton's attorneys provided evidence he does have health insurance on his son, and names his son as beneficiary of a retirement account.

It has been reported that Claudine Marsh's attorneys are trying to work out a settlement with Herenton.

In an interview Tuesday with Action News 5, Marsh said the only thing the former mayor helped her do is get out of town.

"He never helped me find a baby sitter," she said. "He certainly helped me move out of Memphis quickly."

Marsh said Herenton was with her when she left town, and even paid for a U-haul truck so she could move to Atlanta with her son.

Marsh, speaking for the first time since she filed a complaint against Herenton, said young Michael knows who his father is.

"Yes, he knows that Willie is his father," she said. "He sees his father on TV all the time."

But Marsh says Herenton never spent much time with Michael, and she is no longer in love with the former mayor.

"I know he is a fake," she said. "I can't trust him."

"Willie Herenton thinks only about Willie Herenton."

Marsh claims Herenton never visited his son, including when the child had his tonsils removed and tubes put in his ears. She says he never helped find a school for Michael.

"He always told me he would take care of me and I had nothing to worry about," she said.

Marsh, a security guard, says she made less money after Michael was born because she couldn't work overnight when the pay was more.  Herenton pays her $2,100 per month.

But Marsh wants more. She also wants half of Herenton's $500,000 pension for Michael's future and health insurance.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled Wednesday at Juvenile Court.

Willie Herenton declined a request to be interviewed for this story.

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