Kid Rock's Kid Fight

Michigan Judge orders investigation of custody battle between Kid Rock and ex-girlfriend

By Emily Farache Feb 09, 2000 8:35 PMTags
The so-called Devil Without a Cause suddenly has one: Kid Rock is in a full-blown court fight over his kid.

The multiplatinum-selling Detroit-area rapper, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, was in a Michigan court this week wrangling with Kelly South, his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his son.

Currently, Kid Rock, 28, has custody of 6-year-old Robert Ritchie Jr., and South, a 29-year-old autoworker, is allowed to visit the boy three times a month.

But she contends that Kid Rock's increasing fame and tour schedule keep him away from the tyke, and she is demanding full custody. "We'd like to see the child stay with mom rather than with a nanny or Mr. Ritchie's relatives when he's away," South's lawyer, Kathy Vogt, told Macomb County Circuit Judge Donald Miller during a Monday hearing.

Kid Rock's counsel denied Junior has been left behind. "His child has always come first to him," lawyer Lori Finazzo said. "If his traveling should ever interfere with the care of his child, then he won't travel."

South also says Kid Rock has sometimes rejected her attempts to see the boy. Finazzo explained that Robert Jr. didn't want to see his mother on those weekends, and that the former couple had agreed to let the boy make up his own mind about such matters.

But Judge Miller suggested that, seeing how the kid was so young, maybe he shouldn't be in charge.

Miller also appointed an investigator to look into the custody situation--a process that could take several months.

The battle over Kid Rock Jr. spilled out of the courtroom. After the hearing, Finazzo said that, except for a trip to the Grammys (where Kid Rock is up for Best New Artist), the musician has no plans to travel. She also said, "Miss South is looking for money." That earned an angry denial from Vogt: "This is not about money," she retorted.