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Mindy McCready’s Ex Awarded Custody of Their Son

Billy McKnight and Zander
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Mindy McCready‘s ex, Billy McKnight, has been awarded custody of their son. In a posting to his Facebook page on Friday (July 12), McKnight announced that seven-year-old Zander would be coming to live with him and his new wife at their home in Florida.

“Praise God today along with a lot of support and love from family and friends I am finally bringing my son home for good this Sunday,” McKnight wrote. “I want to thank all of you for the prayers that’s been sent to me. I cannot express with words the weight that has been lifted off my shoulders. To my beautiful wife Corey Rena-Mcknight it’s a boy!”

McCready and McKnight’s volatile relationship was punctuated by substance abuse and occasional violent outbursts, including one incident in May of 2005 in which he was arrested after allegedly breaking into her home and attempting to strangle her. Both parents eventually lost custody of Zander to McCready’s mother, Gayle Inge, while going through their separate troubles.

McCready had just regained custody of Zander when she took her own life in February with a gunshot wound to the head. McKnight has been involved in a custody dispute ever since.

He acknowledges there’s still a long road before him. Zander has already begun to ask tough questions after seeing so much of his young life played out like a television drama. “He asked, ‘Did you love my mom?’” McKnight tells Taste of Country. “And I said ‘Yeah, you need to know that even though your mom’s in heaven, she loves you very much, she’s looking down on you and you were made from love and you’re here for a reason.’”

McCready’s decade-plus downward spiral included multiple arrests and suicide attempts, a sex tape, a stint on ‘Celebrity Rehab’ and a very public sex scandal involving Roger Clemens. But McKnight insists there was another side to the frequently troubled singer.

“There was a lot of good things to talk about Mindy McCready,” he states. “So I will focus on those and when those negative things come up, I will be the father that he needs me to be and I’ll protect him and stand up for her and let him know how much she cared for him, and that’s the truth.”

He adds, “This is gonna take years to heal from, she’s only been gone for six months. I’ll never be through it. Mindy is not here anymore and that hurts me, especially for my son. She was a special person who wound up getting sick in her life and she couldn’t recover from it. As bad as things have been said about her and me, there was certainly an upside, a good side or it wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did.”

It is unclear who will get custody of McCready’s other son, one-year-old Zayne. His father was David Wilson, a music producer with whom McCready was in a relationship at the end of his life. Wilson died in an apparent suicide in January, touching off the tragic series of events that culminated in McCready’s suicide in February.

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