*When Tyrese Gibson signed on to play a divorced father who finds himself in the middle of a custody battle in his latest movie “Legion,” little did he know that the storyline would mirror his own life only months later.
“It’s almost like this film predicted that I was gonna go through that. I actually went through it in the movie before I went through it in real life,” he tells Celebrity Baby Blog while attending the film’s premiere in Hollywood. [Watch trailer below.]
Hesitant to divulge details surrounding his relationship with ex-wife Norma Gibson — with whom the actor welcomed daughter Shayla Somer, 2 ½ — Tyrese is far less guarded when it comes to insisting fathers step up to the plate.
“At the end of the day, this is what I would say to all fathers: Don’t allow the conflicts between [you and] the mother of your child … to get in the way of your responsibility as a father.”
Tyrese filed for divorce from Norma in January 2009, citing irreconcilable differences following 10 months of marriage. Norma challenged the petition and accused him of being a bad father to their two year old daughter Shayla.
She also requested a judge grant her some financial compensation, even though the union was so brief, because “(Gibson) earned roughly $800,000 during the 10 months of marriage.”
Tyrese was ordered to give a $65,000 divorce payout – even though Norma signed a pre-nuptial agreement to walk away without a settlement if they ever split. A judge approved all terms of the divorce on Aug 20, 2009. The former couple was ordered to share custody of Shayla, with the “Legion” star paying $6,230 a month in child support.
Gibson will get to keep the Californian home he bought before he married Norma, while their other assets and cars have been divided.
Urging fellow dads to “be a man” and “be a father,” the 31-year-old says there are no regrets when it comes to his relationship with Norma.
“Your responsibility when you coexist and create a child is to be a father — period — because that child is affected by your irresponsibilities if you decide to be irresponsible,” he explains.
Adding that he adores Shayla, Tyrese admits his feelings for Norma run much deeper as a result.
“I still love the mother of my child and that will never change.”