Cape Town - The mother of Herschelle Gibbs’s new baby has had to drag him to court to compel him to fork over sufficient maintenance for their eight-month-old son.
The 45-year-old former Proteas cricket star appeared in the maintenance court this week where the mother’s lawyer Juan Smuts applied for R17 000 a month maintenance and R84 000 in pre-birth expenses.
“Herschelle did not make eye contact with me nor did he greet me,” said the baby’s mother Anna, whose name has been changed to protect the identity of her son. “Worse was he did not look at his son once. I don’t know how a person can do that. It’s beyond me.”
Gibbs’s alleged attitude pains Anna because it is robbing their baby of a father. And the cricket ace is losing out in the process. “Our baby is a gorgeous, easy-going child who loves everyone who connects with him. He’s my everything and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. I couldn’t be happier. Herschelle doesn’t know what he is missing out on.”
DNA results proving Gibbs’s paternity accompanied Anna’s application for maintenance handed in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. Birth certificates, detailed expenses and other documentation were also presented.
Gibbs was served with an interim maintenance order to pay R4 500 maintenance on June 1 and thereafter the same amount at the end of every month. He was instructed to appear again on August 1 when the court will hear Anna’s application for R17 000 maintenance and birth costs.
Anna met Gibbs about a decade ago when he lived in a Camps Bay property that she was managing. “He pursued me but I was involved so I wasn’t interested.” But they connected again in 2017 after Anna separated from her husband. “We spent a lot of time together and got on very well. We shared a lot and there was an emotional connection.”
But their relationship was interrupted by Anna’s post-divorce plan to begin a new life in the US. While in Texas though, on February 16 last year, she discovered she was pregnant.
“Initially it was a shock. Pregnancy wasn’t in my plans. But soon I was crying with happiness. I realised what a gift I had been given. That my baby was a miracle. I felt blessed.”
Although Anna had remained in contact with Gibbs during her US round of job interviews she waited until she returned to South Africa for a scan on February 23 before breaking he news.
“Herschelle was in Kuwait at the time and I didn’t want to tell him over the phone. So I wrote a letter and asked a friend there to deliver it. I told him I was expecting his child in September and I hoped he would be as happy as I was. But his response was very negative. He turned ugly on me, telling me that I got pregnant on purpose.”
Anna suggested that they talk about it as adults once Gibbs calmed down. But when she heard nothing from him for months she reached out, not to rekindle their relationship but to involve him as her baby’s father. “His response,” she alleges, was “are you seriously going through with it?”
Despite the rebuff, Anna continued to keep Gibbs in the loop sending him invitations to be present at her scans.
“But he remained aloof,” she alleged. “When I told him he was the father of a boy he snapped in a text, ‘why are you contacting me’?”
But Anna remained unfazed by Gibbs’s alleged rebuffs, inviting him to their son’s Caesarean birth on September 16. Gibbs was allegedly also a no-show when Anna was rushed back to hospital a few days with a septicaemia infection in her womb that nearly killed her. Then last October Gibbs did show up in Anna’s life - at the hospital after insisting on a paternity scan which proved positive. Again, she alleged it was a negative experience. “He didn’t even look at me or greet me. He did the blood test and left. And got his lawyer to send me a letter that he accepted that he was the biological father.”
Gibbs, whose cellphone was on voicemail on Friday, declined to respond to the allegations which will be heard at his next appearance. “My client is unwilling to make any comments,” said his lawyer Mandy Simpson.