Kid Rock Ends Custody Battle

After a 10-month custody battle, Kid Rock — real name Robert Ritchie — has decided to let his ex-girlfriend, Kelley South Russell, spend more time with their 7-year-old son, Robert Ritchie Jr. And he's only charging her $25 per week for the privilege. Well, there went your Father's Day present!

As part of a settlement deal reached Tuesday, Russell, who is an autoworker for Ford Motor Co., will pay the multiplatinum "hick-hop" star $25 per week in child support in exchange for being allowed to spend more time with their progeny. That amount is halved to $12.50 if Rob Jr. spends six days or more in a row in his mother's custody.

"He was absolutely, positively insistent that she pay child support," Russell's attorney, Kathy Vogt, told the Detroit Free Press Wednesday. "His position is that she needs to assume responsibility." But that's not how Vogt sees it. "My opinion is this is punishment," she added.

Under the new agreement, Russell will also provide for their son's health insurance. "It's not a matter of he can't afford it — he can — but why pay for something you don't have to?" noted Vogt.

Although Kid Rock has had permanent custody of the child for the past five years, in July, the couple was back in court, after Russell alleged that the star had prevented her from spending summer vacation time with the boy. Rock said he refused Russell's request because it came less than 30 days beforehand, as required by a previous agreement, and their son was already enrolled in summer day camp.

In January, South, claiming that Kid Rock's rising popularity prevented him from spending sufficient time with their son, filed motions to regain custody of the child, even though a 1995 investigation disclosed that she had a drinking problem and had once stabbed the rapper in the leg with a knife. Last month, the Macomb County Friend of the Court recommended that Kid Rock retain full custody of the boy.

Although Russell and the rap star were never married, a 1994 paternity suit revealed that Kid Rock was the youngster's biological father.

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