In the months leading up to the birth of his special-needs daughter, ex-NFL linebacker Clint Session lost interest in his relationship with the mother. He also, according to court documents obtained by the New Times Broward-Palm Beach, started stashing his money.
The child’s mother, Davia Bradshaw, says had no idea this was happening until she took Session to court because of his unreliable payments to help care for the child, who requires thousands of dollars in care a month. Ashton has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, encephalopathy, and a brain defect (agenesis of the corpus callosum), the New Times reported, and the 3-year-old is “unable to walk, nearly blind, and unable to eat normal food.”
According to the judgment, between April 2012 and December 2014, Session paid Bradshaw $75,100 for care. The payments, however, came in erratic bundles (and one check even bounced, court paperwork says). When Bradshaw took her ex to court to establish a routine pay schedule, Session represented himself, claiming he had no income, not even enough money to hire an attorney.
What was really happening was some financial sleight of hand. Bradshaw’s legal team subpoenaed Session’s bank records and hired a forensic accountant, which revealed that between October 2011 and November 2012, before Ashton’s birth and the developmental issues came to light, Session had handed over $5.1 million to his parents—“an attempt,” in the words of Judge Arthur Birken, “to circumvent and specifically intended to avoid paying his proper child support obligation.”
But that didn’t mean Session didn’t have access to funds. In April 2014, the former NFLer dropped $850,000 on a home in Indianapolis, forked over $34,820 for a Mercedes for his new girlfriend, gave $20,000 to a church, and spent $17,521 on a Sub-Zero refrigerator, apparently for the smoothie business, Raw Juice, that Session owns and runs in Indianapolis. “At no time did the Respondent/Father explain where, for what and whom these monies came,” the judge wrote.
In February, Birken ruled that Session must pay $6,900 a month as well as $2,000 a month to make up for back child support. But the legal battle continues. Bradshaw has filed a motion for contempt against Session (she says he’s only paid $1,000 a month this year); Session has asked to have the original judgement tossed, and the judge recused himself after a hearing in the courtroom devolved into a shouting match.
“The conduct,” the judge wrote, “has in the Court’s mind, made it impossible to maintain neutrality.” Birkin also wrote that he was walking “with great reluctance.”
“The mother and child appear to reside in a room while the father lives in an $800,000 house that is paid in full,” the judge wrote. “The father does not appear to understand the magnitude of the child’s need.”
The New Times did reach out to Session. He declined to comment.
Session spent four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, followed by the Jaguars. The Jags waived him in late 2012 following a series of concussions. That was nine months after Ashton was born.
Image via Associated Press