Is he or isn't he? Rapper Nas' Paternity Challenged

After rapper Nas' widely publicized divorce from singer Kelis in 2009, the pair's relationship is once again in the media spotlight after rumours surfaced this week that the Grammy-nominated rapper is not, in fact, the father of the couple's three-year old son, Knight.

In May 2009, a seven month pregnant Kelis filed for divorce from her husband, citing irreconcilable differences in papers filed with the Los Angeles family court. In July 2009, Nas was reportedly ordered to pay $40,000 per month in child support, reduced to $25,000 per month in 2011.

The pair met in 2002 and wed in 2005. However, sources claim that Kelis was seeing football player Adewale Ogunyele during her marriage to the rap mogul, and that he is actually the father of her child.

In Ontario, the Children's Law Reform Act governs questions surrounding paternity in the province. Interestingly, according to section 8(1) of the Act, there is a presumption of paternity where any of the following circumstances exist:

  1. The person is married to the mother of the child at the time of the birth of the child.
  2. The person was married to the mother of the child and the marriage was terminated by death, annulment or divorce within 300 days before the birth of the child.
  3. The person marries the mother of the child after the birth of the child and acknowledges that he is the natural father.
  4. The person was cohabiting with the mother of the child in a relationship of some permanence at the time of the birth of the child or the child is born within 300 days after they ceased to cohabit.
  5. The person has certified the child's birth as the child's father under the Vital Statistics Act or similar legislation in another Canadian jurisdiction.
  6. The person has been found or recognized in his lifetime by a court of competent jurisdiction in Canada to be the father of the child.

Where parentage is at issue in a case, either party to a proceeding can apply to the court for leave to apply for a blood test to determine the paternity of the child. According to section 10(4) of the Act, in the event that a person who is alleged to be the father of a child is unwilling to submit to a blood test, the court may draw an adverse inference against that person as it sees fit. As such, should a male refuse to submit to a court ordered blood test, the court may in certain circumstances find that this refusal militates in favour of a finding that the male is, in fact, the child's father.

Given their four year marriage, there is a strong presumption under the Children's Law Reform Act that Nas is indeed the father of young Knight.

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