Broncos player ordered to pay child support in Georgia
Travis Henry reportedly fathered nine children in four states
By TY TAGAMI
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/25/07
Travis Henry just got tackled by a $3,000-a-month child support judgment.
Sure, the Denver Broncos running back has a $25 million contract and a base monthly salary approaching $50,000, but that kind of bill can still crimp your style when you're accustomed to expensive cars and fancy jewelry â€” and lots of other child support payments.
Henry, 28, has fathered nine children by nine women in at least four Southern states and has been ordered by various judges to provide child support for seven of them, according to court records involving one child living in DeKalb County.
DeKalb Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger this week ordered Henry to provide $3,000 a month for the Lithonia boy he fathered out of wedlock three years ago with Jameshia Beacham, now 29.
Henry isn't the most thrifty guy, according to court records, so the judge wants to ensure payment by establishing an unusual $250,000 trust that Henry must fund by next spring.
Seeliger wrote that the football player displayed "bad judgment in his spending habits," dropping $100,000 for a car and $146,000 for jewelry. Meanwhile, Henry fell behind on support payments for his child with Beacham that were mandated by a previous order. Threatened with jail, he borrowed $9,800 from his former team, the Tennessee Titans, to pay the bill, according to court records.
The trust ensures Beacham will get timely payment if the pro player falls behind on his installments again. Yet the trust could be a sticking point for Henry, who could appeal.
His lawyer, Shiel Edlin, said that to his knowledge the trust would be without precedent in Georgia. A quarter-million dollars is a lot of money, even for Henry, Edlin said. "He has some concerns and he's weighing his options."
Beacham could not be reached for comment. Her lawyer, Robert Wellon, said he asked that the trust be set up because Henry rarely made the payments mandated by an earlier order, though they were $800 less a month. Wellon said there was testimony establishing that Henry received a $1 million bonus earlier this year but quickly spent most of it, buying, among other things, a Mercedes and gold jewelry.
"My argument was, if he makes wise investments, other than in gold chains, then he should be able to make the payments," Wellon said.
Edlin, though, said Henry collected much less than $1 million after taxes, and he said much of it went to debts. "He doesn't have any money," Edlin said. "The guy has significant financial issues."
Records show that Henry's children are scattered across both the American and National Football Conferences â€” including Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Wellon said Henry talked about gathering them together to watch him at training camp. Indeed, part of the custody arrangement Henry reached with Beacham requires two weekend visits when he is playing pro ball.
Edlin said Henry wants to be a good parent. "I know these are a lot of kids, and there might be some questions about it," he said, "but he's a really committed father."
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