What a mess.
While Mindy McCready's ongoing custody and court order-violating continues—all, she says, in the name of her son's safety—her ex, and the father of the boy in question, is taking time out to speak out and is claiming that while the boy is currently doing "OK," he is growing increasingly concerned about his care in Mindy's hands.
Sitting down with the Today show this morning, Billy McKnight—himself no stranger to falling afoul of the law—seemed somewhat supportive of his ex, albeit not exactly confident in her abilities as a mother.
Not that anyone could blame him there.
Last night was the deadline for a judge's return to custody order, which required that McCready return her 5-year-old son, Zander, to the Florida home of her mother, who was given custody of the child. Unsurprisingly, the deadline came and went without any action taken by the Nashville-based country singer, though no arrest warrants have so far been issued. (McCready is currently in her second trimester of pregnancy with twins and has said she is unable to fly or travel.)
McKnight told Today that he has been in contact with both Mindy and his son in the past day.
"She sounded OK, she sounded upset with the situation, my son sounded really well," he said.
When pushed by Matt Lauer on whether or not he thought the boy had been affected by the drama encircling him and his mother, McKnight said, "I don't know about that. I know that he sounded OK, I think he misses me. I haven't seen him in a couple weeks now. He sounded healthy and OK, he wasn't crying or scared."
As for Mindy, he said she doesn't seem to realize what a mess she's gotten herself into. Yet again.
"I don't think so, I think she believes that she has a case and doesn't realize that she's pushing her luck on this one.
"I can only be accountable for the fact that we have gone through this in the past and there's people out there who can help you and if you take that help, you can get back on track, and I've been through it," he said, referencing his own troubles and artfully dodging the question when asked if he thought Mindy was a fit mother.
"I got it back on track and my life is in order, she has that same opportunity, and instead of taking it, she chooses to abut it, and I wish she would do what's right, especially for our son."
A nice sentiment, but not the answer to the question Lauer asked. So he asked it again.
When pushed, McKnight acknowledged, "No," McCready was not a fit mother. At least, not until "she completes the case plan."
As for whether or not her or Zander's physical safety is a concern, McKnight said it definitely was.
"She has in the past [hurt herself], I pray to God that she doesn't, it does give me concern, I don't want her to hurt herself and I certainly don't want my son to live a life without his mother."
Meanwhile, McCready's justification for this latest dramatic turn was her belief, after a Thanksgiving visit to her son and mother, that her son was possibly being abused or otherwise mistreated.
"I do not agree with that at all," McKnight said. "He's a very healthy kid, a very happy kid, I have a great relationship with her mother, it's unfortunate they don't between themselves. I've never seen anything that would lead me to believe that at all."
Billy went on to say that he hoped his own story would inspire Mindy to make the changes she needed. In 2005, McKnight was involved in an assault case brought by McCready, but since then has turned his life around and, unlike his ex, has been granted unsupervised visits with his son.
"There's help," he said. "I went ahead and reevaluated my life and did what was right and listened to people that can get you through programs and get you back on track. She can do the same, it's right there for her if she admits to it."