Country singer Mindy McCready has released a statement in response to news reports that she and her five-year-old son Zander have gone missing.
“McCready and son are safe, healthy and comfortable,” her spokeswoman Kat Atwood said in a statement to ABC News.
“No Amber Alert has been issued; this is not a missing child case. Ms. McCready has not been charged with illegal wrongdoings. Ms. McCready’s number one priority has always been, and continues to be, the safety of her son,” Atwood said in a statement. “The 5-year old boy has been with his mother for more than 30 days; law enforcement officials spoke with the child and saw Zander via skype yesterday.”
Atwood said McCready took the boy from her mother Gayle Inge’s Cape Coral, Fla., home out of concern for his safety.
“Since, at least January, 2011, Ms. McCready has been desperately advising the court, and others involved in the Ft. Myers, Florida proceedings, that Zander is in danger, both physically and emotionally, at Inge’s home. As a direct result of being a mother (not an actress, not a singer), Ms. McCready took action to ensure her son’s safety,” the singer’s spokeswoman said.
McCready’s mother told local news station WINK that the troubled singer took the boy from their Cape Coral, Fla., home several days ago and has not returned. Inge has custody of Zander after a years-long court battle between McCready and her mother.
In an emergency hearing called by the Department of Children and Families Tuesday afternoon, a family court judge gave McCready until 5 p.m. Thursday to appear in court with the boy or she’ll be subject to arrest, a spokesman for the Cape Coral Police Department told ABCNews.com.
“If she doesn’t come back by Thursday at 5, she will be in violation of his order,” he said.
Police are assisting the court in enforcing the order but do not consider the case an abduction at this point, the spokesman said. He said McCready’s parents have been in contact with the singer.
McCready’s spokeswoman said the singer has been awaiting a court order to determine whether Zander would be returned to her.
Atwood also said McCready is suing her mother over “false statements” she said Inge made to a tabloid.
McCready scored a number-one Billboard country hit in 1996 with “Guys Do It All the Time.”
But in recent years, the country crooner has received more media attention for her troubled personal life than her music.
She has been arrested multiple times on drug charges and probation violations and has been hospitalized for overdoses several times, including most recently in 2010, when she was found unconscious at her mother’s home after taking a painkiller and muscle relaxant.
Terri McCready was appointed to be the boy’s legal guardian in 2007 after Mindy was arrested for violating probation on a drug-related charge.
The boy’s father is McCready’s ex-boyfriend Billy McKnight.
Following a custody hearing last May, McCready released a statement, saying, “We have progressed in a positive manner to reunite me and my son, Zander. I feel very optimistic this will happen in the near future.”
McCready’s struggle with substance abuse was broadcast last year on the third season of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”
McCready also claimed to have carried on a decade-long affair with baseball star Roger Clemens that began was she was 15 years old and he was 28. Clemens, a former Boston Red Sox pitcher known as “the Rocket,” denied that the relationship was sexual in nature.
“You know what, I don’t think I’m ever going to be one of those people that has a normal, quiet existence,” McCready told ABC Radio last year. “I’ve been chosen for some reason to be bigger and larger than life in every way. Negative and positive.”