Mindy McCready Claims She Took Son To Save Him From Abusive Guardian
First Published: December 10, 2011 4:01 PM EST Credit: Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Following the recent dramatic turn of events for Mindy McCready, the country singer has spoken out about what she claims really happened last week when authorities reported the singer and her 5-year-old son, Zander were missing.
“I’m not a kidnapper, I’m not an unfit mother, I’m not a drug addict, I’m not an alcoholic – I’m none of these things that have been said about me,” McCready told Andrea Canning in an interview on Friday’s “20/20.”
The singer also claimed she and the boy were “sitting on a couch” when U.S. Marshals entered the Arkansas home of her boyfriend and not in a closet as initially reported by law enforcement.
“[Zander] was screaming, ‘Please don’t touch me, please don’t touch me, please don’t touch my mommy. Leave me alone. I wanna be with my mommy,’” she said.
McCready claimed officers entered the home in “SWAT fashion,” wearing riot gear.
“Were guns drawn?” Canning asked.
“Yes, assault rifles,” McCready answered. “Zander saw all of it.”
As for what drove the embattled star – currently six months pregnant with twins – to take her son from her mother Gayle Inge’s custody, McCready said she was fed up with the court system and was willing to risk her freedom for the sake of her son.
“I have tried to comply, I have tried to follow the rules of the court, I have tried to be heard through the system. I did what the system told me to do in overabundance. I did it for four years,” she said. “And after four years do you know what I got? Nothing. I didn’t even get unsupervised visitation.
“I would risk anything – my life, my freedom — I would risk for my child,” she added.
When asked if she “knowingly” broke the law, McCready replied, “No, I do not at this moment — and will not ever — think that me taking my own child that I carried for nine months, that I gave birth to in the hospital by myself would ever be breaking the law and what I did was to protect my child. And there’s not a person in the world that’s ever gonna tell me that that is wrong.”
The singer went on to claim that Zander is miserable in the care of her mother, who has legal custody of the boy.
“He says that nana – that’s what he calls my mom — is so mean, that her heart is black,” McCready said, beginning to cry. “And that she’s so mean, she doesn’t know how to be nice anymore.”
And she’s not alone in her fears.
In a signed affidavit obtained by “20/20,” Inge’s mother (McCready’s grandmother) reportedly swore she had witnessed Zander being subjected to “harsh discipline” at the hand of Inge and that she “feared that Zander would be physically harmed permanently.”
“There are scars on Zander’s back,” McCready alleged. “There are scars on his bottom and his legs from [a wooden] spoon.”
Inge denied the allegations, telling “20/20,” “I have been Zander’s guardian for four-and-a-half years. There has been all kinds of scrutiny. He has never been abused in our care.”
The singer said that despite the drama of the last few weeks, she recently received good news regarding Zander’s future.
“Oh gosh, I wish I could tell you, but everything is sealed,” she told Canning, when asked what went down in a recent hearing before an Arkansas judge. “I’ll put it this way: Zander is in Arkansas and that’s where he’s going to stay for the time being.”
“You’ve had a rocky road to get to this point where you are right now. How can anyone trust you that you will continue to be a good mother and stay on this path that you are on?” Canning asked.
“I have vigorously gone out and tried to learn from my mistakes and tried to better myself in every way possible,” McCready said. “There’s nobody that wants to be better at being me than me.”
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