While Willie Gary is no angel, Diana was a mistress.. a ho.. a jumpoff, why does she think because she slept with a married man she is entitled to his way of life? Gary's only responsibility is to the two kids. And I believe $5,000, tuition and health insurance is more than enough. If he wants his kids to have anything else then he can provide that but the ho should have took the $14,000 offered now she will have to manage with just half that. Diana is a sad example of a strong black mother.
Child support limits face test: Mom asks court for $28K a month
By Beth Warren The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 01/21/07
At last count, Florida attorney Willie Gary raked in roughly $1 million a month. Featured on the TV show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," the 59-year-old lives in a sprawling, $6 million waterfront home in Stuart, Fla. His law firm, which recently employed former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, has three posh offices and owns two jets, including a 32-passenger Boeing 737 outfitted with an 18-karat gold sink and a $1.2 million sound system. But just how much money is too much money to pay in child support?
Atlanta resident Diana Gowins —- the mother of twins fathered by Gary —- could find out soon.
The 36-year-old is seeking to have reinstated a $28,000 a month judgment that was slashed last year to $5,000 by a judge who cited concerns about Gowins' spending habits and lack of a job.
The case, which is headed to the Georgia Court of Appeals for review, could set a precedent in how to deal with child support battles among the small number of Georgians who are so rich that current laws offer no directives. "At this level of income, the guidelines stop providing a lot of guidance. There's not that many people of this wealth," said Marietta family law attorney Stephen Steele, who helped craft state child support guidelines that took effect this month.
Gary, who is married to his childhood sweetheart, and Gowins met in January 2000 at a Florida event honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Gary was the keynote speaker and Gowins, who excelled at track, was seeking sponsorship as an Olympic hopeful. The two agreed to meet for business, but ended up having sex. Gowins, who became pregnant and gave birth to twins who are now 6, says she and Gary have dated on and off for four years. Gary's attorneys say the pair had two rendezvous at a hotel. Gowins has sole custody of the twins.
Gary's attorneys said he was willing to pay $14,000 a month until he found out Gowins had stopped putting money into a college fund for the twins and was instead spending much of the cash on herself. Gowins, who lives in a $600,000 home in south Atlanta, splurged on designer clothes, cruises without the kids and a tummy tuck, Gary's attorneys contend. She also spent thousands of his money on a Steinway piano, as well as private school tuition and diamonds for her oldest child, a teenage daughter from a previous relationship, they said.
Gary's attorneys filed court documents asking the judge to reduce the child support payments.
A judge heard evidence from both sides, then cut the payments to $5,000, not including expenditures for health insurance and school tuition. In taking the action, the judge cited Gowins' spending and her lack of employment. A former nurse, Gowins said the accusations that she's spending fistfuls of money aren't true. She also said she doesn't work because she wants to be a stay-at-home mom who is active in her children's academic and social lives. "I think it's very important my children have me at their side," she said.
As for the judge's ruling, "It's very insulting to me," said Gowins. "I'm not the first and won't be the last to be a stay-at-home mom. I do have a job. I take care of the children, cook and clean."
The state Court of Appeals agreed to review the case and decide whether the judge should have revisited the amount after initially ordering Gary to pay $28,000. The state's current child support law charts out specific amounts Georgians must pay for their offspring, but it tops out at an income of $30,000 a month.
"There's not law that says what's right when you make $1 million a month," said veteran family law attorney Randy Kessler, who represents Gowins. Gary, who teamed with famed boxer Evander Holyfield and others to buy a cable TV network, was one of 11 children. His Web site tells of a rags-to-riches story of first toiling as a migrant worker before heading to law school and ultimately earning national recognition. He boasts of trying cases in 45 states and winning more than 150 cases worth $1 million or more, including a $240 million verdict in 2000 after teaming with the late Johnnie Cochran to sue entertainment giant Disney. His net worth is estimated at $60 million.
Gowins says Gary has called the twins only twice since 2004. His attorneys say he's stayed away to avoid interacting with Gowins. "Her lies and thievery make it difficult for him to trust her," said Tamar Oberman Faulhaber, one of Gary's attorneys.
Gowins dismissed that. "It's very hurtful," she said. "I feel like: 'Why introduce yourself to my children and not carry out your parental role?' "