Adrienne Maloof has just scored an important legal victory in her child custody dispute—and if you ask her, it was just in time.
A California judge awarded the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star temporary custody of her three sons—9-year-old Gavin and 6-year-old twins Christian and Collin—after she accused her estranged hubby, Paul Nassif, of physical abuse including an incident in which he allegedly choked one of them last week.
A publicist for Maloof confirmed the ruling to E! News but declined to comment further. Nassif and his legal team have strongly denied the allegations.
In a request for a temporary restraining order against Nassif filed Sept. 19 and obtained by E! News, Adrienne told the court that on Sunday, Sept. 16, Collin had told her that on the previous Thursday their father had "choked him with one hand." She also included a declaration from a doctor named Charles Sophy who has extensive experience with child abuse. In it, the physician stated that Collin told him about the choking incident and also about how Nassif pulled him out of the bathtub and "slapped him on his wet bare bottom."
"I sat down with the children, and I observed no sign of embellishment," Sophy stated. "I found them to be completely credible."
As a result, the judge in the case granted Maloof temporary custody until the next hearing, set for Oct. 9. Additionally, Nassif was ordered to keep 100 yards away from her and the children and move out of the couple's Beverly Hills home.
In a prior court declaration filed on Sept. 7, Adrienne had already expressed concern for the safety of their kids in Paul's care, saying he carries a gun in the outside pocket of his briefcase, "lacks sound judgment, has a violent temper and regularly behaves in an irresponsible manner."
The reality star also related the abuse she claims to have suffered at the hands of the plastic surgeon, asserting he "often shoved me to the ground, pulled my hair, and yelled at me." He also, she said, "threatened that he would 'ruin' me and 'take the children away' from me."
The 51-year-old Maloof added that during an incident in July "he shoved me to the ground with enough force that I hit my head on the floor when I fell."
Maloof went on to allege in the Sept. 7 document that Nassif "violently yanks" their children's arms, hits the children on the head, and spanks them for using the wrong utensil or playing with their dog for too long.
As for the gun in the briefcase, Maloof said she photographed it where Nassif had left it in the bathroom, where the children could have accessed it, and wanted it handed over to police.
Aside from those allegations, Adrienne stated that Nassif failed to engage in good faith discussions to resolve their custody battle out of court. She also objected to Paul's petition to share joint custody, in which he also asked that Gavin undergo a psychiatrist evaluation.
For his part, in court papers the doctor admitted he and Maloof have a "very volatile relationship," but alleged she not only denigrated him in front of the kids but also physically attacked him on several occasions, such as on a trip to Las Vegas in July. As for the gun, Nassif also stated that he keeps the gun and ammunition separate as a "safety precaution" and he has since turned in all of his firearms to Beverly Hills PD.
Nassif's legal team was "blindsided by the allegations," which he denies, People reported. Nassif's attorney, Lisa Meyer, referred to the accusations as "gamesmanship" and stated that Maloof was not present during either the alleged choking or bathtime incident.
Nassif filed for legal separation in July, citing irreconcilable differences, before calling it quits for good and filing for divorce on Aug. 28. The pair have been married 10 years.