William Jonathan Drayton Jr. aka Flava Flav may think the emergency hotline "911 is a Joke," but apparently he also thinks child support is a joke. The rapper and reality television star now faces a 180-day jail sentence for failing to pay more than $110,000 in child support.
Drayton, who most recently starred in a stream of unmemorable VH1 reality shows, including Strange Love depicting his relationship with Brigitte Nielson, is probably most famous for the influential 80s/90s hip hop group, Public Enemy. The rapper, famous for making headlines for his politically charged lyrics and over-the-top lifestyle, is now making headlines for a new reason.
Daily News reported this week that Drayton owes support to Angie Parker, the mother of three of his seven children. After failing to show up for a hearing last week, an Albany County magistrate recommended the jail sentence, in addition to the revocation of his driver's licence and passport.
The magistrate called his failure to pay child support a "willful violation." Drayton must now appear at Albany Family Court on June 19.
According to a support agreement between Drayton and Parker, Drayton is required to pay $837.72/week (or $3350.88/month) in child support for the former couple's three children.
As the Daily News notes, this is far from the first time that Drayton has been in trouble for failing to pay child support. Just two years ago, Parker brought Drayton to court to enforce a support order for $63,458. And in 2009, Karen Ross-Fortunate, another woman with whom Drayton fathered children, accused him publicly of failing to support his kids.
The aging rapper has also battled a drug addiction over the years, having admitted to, at times, spending up to $2,600 per day on crack cocaine.
Enforcing orders: revoking driver's licence, passport, and even jail
In Ontario, the courts use similar tactics to enforce support orders. The Family Responsibility and Support Arrears and Enforcement Act allows the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) to suspend the driver's licence, vehicle permits or a licences under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of a support payor who has defaulted on support payments.
In that instance, the FRO will send a notice to the payor spouse indicating their intention to suspend a licence. The payor spouse must then either pay the arrears (money that is owed and should have been paid earlier) or go to court and get a refraining order (an order refraining the FRO from suspending the payor's licence). In order for a court to grant a refraining order, the payor must enter into a repayment plan with the FRO.
Other FRO enforcement mechanisms include: revocation of the payor's passport, seizing certain assets and finally, in extreme cases, a jail sentence. Where the court is not satisfied that the payor is unable, for valid reasons, to pay the arrears, the court may imprison the payor continuously or intermittently for up to 180 days or until the arrears are paid. The maximum sentence will only be imposed for the most seriously contemptuous behaviour.
If you're wondering what constitutes "seriously contemptuous behaviour," think repeatedly refusing to acknowledge your support obligation, failure to show up to court, and over $100,000 in support arrears. It's no wonder Drayton is facing the trouble he is. Hopefully, he'll get his act together and start paying support for his children. After all, it is the children that suffer when a payor parent shirks their support obligation.