A 2020 court-issued gag order was not enough to prevent Asafa Powell from sharing his truth surrounding online claims that he’s a deadbeat dad.
The former 100m world record holder used his YouTube platform today to address the rumours which started last year when Amita Persaud-Webb, mother of his firstborn, took him to court for an increase in child support.
The case saw Persaud-Webb asking for $40,000 monthly as opposed to the $25,000 which Powell had been paying. The latter responded with a request for paternity and the Kingston and St Andrew Family Court instituted a gag order to prevent either party from speaking about the matter publicly.
That hasn’t stopped folks from chatting about it online which inspired Powell’s 15-minute video.
He first established that Persaud-Webb was never his girlfriend and their daughter was as a result of a casual sexual relationship in 2012. He added that it was around four months after their encounter that he found out she was pregnant via radio. After confirming that it was his child, he went into support mode.
“I told her to find an apartment and she found an apartment,” he said. “I was going to Europe (so) I gave her money to pay for her apartment, pay for everything, doctor fee. I asked my friend to drive her around with my car, drive her anywhere she want to go because I was excited, this was my first child.”
He also claimed to have purchased her a car after arranging driving lessons for her.
“Bought her a car, pay all bills every month…mi pay car insurance, buy gas put inna car, everything. She want to go back to college, I pay for her to go back to college… Whatever she need I give it to her.”
He said his daughter was usually at his house and he covered her expenses.
“This been going on for years and during this time there was just a lot of verbal abuse like random messages to my phone, calling me all sorts of names. I ignore it.”
Powell said he wanted to take the matter to family court but was discouraged to do so by his mother.
“I continue to support my daughter and my daughter’s mother for years… Like I said, we were never together, she was not my girlfriend. I was just doing this out of the love for my daughter and the appreciation I had for her for having my daughter.”
But this approach changed in 2017 when he said the alleged verbal abuse escalated to threats.
“(She) threaten for me not to see my daughter again, that I act like a father and I’m not a father. She threaten to change my daughter last name and telling me that I’ve never done anything for my child and I’m like what? I’ve never done anything for my child? That don’t make sense.”
From then on he decided to “cut back on everything” but declined to explain what “everything” constituted. Powell said they agreed that he’d pay $25,000 per month and half of the child’s school fee as part of their new arrangement. He added that his daughter still lived predominantly at his house and his parents’ house.
The court case
According to the Olympian, Persaud-Webb left his daughter at his parents’ house for two months in the early stages of the pandemic. He said she ultimately left the child at his home where she stayed during the week for online school.
“Then she asked me for child support so I said, ‘Why do you need child support?… My daughter was at my house and my parents’ house… That’s when everything start.”
The usually private Powell shared that the case has caused those around him to be sceptical of his efforts.
“Even my friends questioning this situation and they’ve been around and they know the situation and it kinda cut me deep when I hear people who around me questioning this situation. I mean, yeah, it don’t look good but you know what I’ve been doing and you know everything and you shouldn’t question me.”
As for the general public, “If you guys believe I’m a deadbeat dad then continue to believe that. All the loyal people who know facts and know the truth, hats off to you but I just wanted to shed some light on this situation because it’s been going on for too long.”
Powell also has three sons: the eldest lives with his parents while he shares one with his wife, Alyshia, who is currently expecting another.