Inside Tyrese’s Absolutely Insane Child Custody Case

The actor has been Instagramming and tweeting his way through the controversy. And friends of the ‘Fast & Furious’ star are worried about his mental state.

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Let’s talk about Tyrese. The singer-songwriter turned blockbuster star has been a tabloid mainstay since around September, when a bitter custody battle and child abuse allegations elevated the Fast & Furious actor’s family troubles to TMZ status.

Tyrese himself has fueled the story with his near-constant social media presence, offering stream of consciousness takes on everything from religion to music to his ongoing legal woes. While the mononymous star’s posts often take aim at the news coverage that’s made his personal life into a public circus, his social media missives are probably to blame for the majority of this attention. Just take an Instagram post from earlier this week, in which Tyrese claimed that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith sent him “5 million dollars,” continuing, “You’ve guys asked me to get off and stay off the Internet now that my daughters legal fees will be paid ! will listen…..” According to TMZ, while sources close to the couple confirm that they are worried about Tyrese, “Our Will and Jada sources say they did not give Tyrese any money at all.”

The possibly fictitious $5 million donation unfortunately didn’t have a profound effect on Tyrese—his avowed social media silence didn’t even last a day. So even though The Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services has officially closed its investigation into the child abuse allegations against Tyrese and won’t be seeking criminal charges, it’s safe to assume that this story will keep developing as long as the actor is speaking out multiple times a week and pulling A-list actors into his increasingly confusing web of drama.

This current season of Tyrese’s discontent was ushered in by a slate of dark September allegations. The actor’s ex-wife, Norma Mitchell Gibson, was granted a temporary restraining order against the 38-year-old as well as custody of their daughter Shayla. According to court documents, Gibson accused her ex of abusing their daughter on August 19, alleging that he hit her “between 12 and 16 times.” Mitchell Gibson claimed that Tyrese “pushed our daughter to the ground, pinned her face down, put his knees on her back, grabbed her hands with one arm and beat her with the other.” Among other claims, she alleged that Tyrese beat her in the past, “including when I was pregnant with our daughter,” that he withheld contact between Shayla and her mother, and that she was “deeply concerned” that Tyrese was planning to take Shayla with him to Dubai.

In a statement at the time, Tyrese told People that, “After 9 years of working extremely hard to co-parent our child, I am disappointed to learn that the mother of my daughter has made gross and false accusations against my character in a shameful attempt to ruin our co-parenting efforts…There is nothing I love more in this world than my daughter and I would never do anything to harm her well-being or happiness. Co-parenting is tough and it’s unfortunate when your partner tries to sabotage the situation with hurtful lies and irrational behavior.”

In a September 13 Instagram, he added, “Norma I know you can see this, I’m sorry I got re-married, I’m sorry we didn’t work out...... Sometimes you get married and have kids and things just don’t work out, but I have NEVER wished harm on you.......But I see the attacks just won’t stop so I believe this too will pass and God and the courts will reveal the truth.....I just simply wanna co-parent and raise Shayla to be a respectful, decent, smart angel that I know she is,” concluding, “More truths coming soon....... Child custody family issues are the worst.” Tyrese and Gibson were married from 2007 to 2009; he recently wed Samantha Lee Gibson in a secret Valentine’s Day ceremony.

Just over a month later, Tyrese appeared to flagrantly violate the temporary restraining order with a public display of parental affection, hiring a plane to fly a banner over his daughter’s school reading: “No matter what, Daddy loves you Shayla.” In an October 25 Instagram post, the actor copped to the stunt, writing, “Wanted the banner to be longer but it’s was too expensive this is what I really wanted it to say ‘In the end however way it looks, however way this all feels stay strong my little angel i taught you that this is all just a process of pain seeking happiness, whatever the outcome just know the courts and NO one will ever paint OUR picture NO MATTER WHAT DADDY STILL LOVES YOU SHAYLA.’” Tyrese further claimed that he and his ex were “so cool” before he fell in love and got remarried, musing “things change.”

According to The Blast, “We’re told Shayla was ‘mortified’ when she saw the plane’s message, and burst into tears. She ended up staying in the Principal’s office away from the other children and school officials did not allow other children to play outside while the plane was overhead.” Norma Mitchell Gibson’s attorney told People that the banner was a “complete violation” of the restraining order as well as “a reflection of Mr. Gibson’s erratic state of mind.”

“Simply put, he doesn’t respect boundaries,” The statement concluded. “If he did, this restraining order would not have been necessary. At the end of the day, we simply want him to get the help he needs so that he can become a stable, solid and secure presence in his daughter’s life.”

The end of October ushered in a flurry of Tyrese-related TMZ bulletins. First, the gossip site reported that the star had been granted a monitored visit with Shayla—his first time seeing his 10-year-old daughter in two months. That same day, TMZ published a video of Tyrese leaving a Los Angeles hospital after reportedly “checking himself in for chest pains and anxiety” in the wake of a lengthy court proceeding. TMZ described the legal showdown as “a marathon hearing” in which Mitchell Gibson was attempting to get a permanent restraining order. In the interview, Tyrese tells cameras, “Guys, please don’t make this about me. This is about my daughter.”

Then, after what appeared to be a successful visit with his daughter, Tyrese published an emotional video on Facebook. The actor, wearing a “Shayla Rocks” hoodie, makes a tearful plea: “Don’t take my baby. Don’t take my baby please.” Crying, he continues, “This is all I got.” In the accompanying caption, he writes, “I’m on my way back to court,” later sharing, “NoRMA I don’t hate you I just simply and literally moved on - I’m not just married I’m HAPPILY MARRIED.”

Confusingly, according to The Blast, Tyrese is now passing up monitored visits with his daughter. While the actor reportedly was given multiple options to see Shayla, Mitchell Gibson’s legal team alleged that “they didn’t hear from him and the visitation never happened.” The article continued, “Tyrese also has the option to see Shayla this weekend, but just this morning he Instagrammed that he is ‘headed to Abu Dhabi for the formula 1 races and to see my non judgmental family and to take a much needed break from America and the blogs.’” Both sides are expected back in court on November 14.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

Sprinkled in with his posts about Shayla, Tyrese has taken to sounding off on recent developments in the Fast & Furious franchise. Back in September, the actor spoke out in a now-deleted Instagram comment on one of Dwayne Johnson’s posts. “If you move forward with that #Hobbs Movie you will have purposely ignored the heart to heart moment we had in my sprinter,” he insisted. “I don’t wanna hear from you until you remember what we talked about. I’m on your timeline cause you’re not responding to my text messages – #FastFamily is just that a family……..We don’t fly solo.”

Tyrese’s reaction to The Rock’s rumored spinoff paled in comparison to his response to the news that Fast & Furious 9 would be released a full year after its expected premiere. “Congratulations to @TheRock and your brother in law aka 7 bucks producing partner @hhgarcia41 for making the fast and the furious franchise about YOU - And like you, DJ even if they call I will not be deleting this post,” Tyrese wrote on Instagram. “Gn folks see you in 2020 April #FastFamily right? Nah..... it’s about #TeamDewayne #3yrs will it be worth the wait? #NoShaw just Hobbs will this be another #BayWatch? Guys guys just relax I’m just a passionate film critic.” However, in a November 2 post Tyrese appeared to fall back on his beef, sharing, “Want you guys to know I had a real Heart to Heart with one of Dewayne’s associates and this will be my last post about him........ I repeat my last.... I respect the associate who called.”

Of course, if there’s one thing this epic has shown, it’s that Tyrese struggles with social media abstinence.