16 & Pregnant star Cleondra Carter has turned to crowdfunding as she begins her battle for custody of her daughter, Kylee Sue.
In the third season of the controversial MTV show, the now 21-year-old star was reluctant to cohabit with Mario, the father of her child. Determined to do what was in the best interest of her child, Cleondra moved in with Mario and his family.
When they called it quits Spring 2013, the two agreed to joint custody of their daughter. She says things were going smoothly — until Mario’s mother and sister got involved. At which point, Mario filed for full custody of Kylee and claimed Cleondra was “withholding” their child from him.
They went to court on Oct. 31.
“I was bashed by Kylee’s father and his family with nothing but lies. My attorney was absolutely TERRIBLE! My attorney did not fight, no one fought for Kylee and the judicial system failed me as a mother,” she writes on her GoFundMe page.
“They made MANY false accusations that had no proof. The lies were outrageous, hurtful, and underhanded. It is unbelievable to me how these people just loved me two years ago and now I am such an awful mother.”
She goes on to say they portrayed her as promiscuous and claimed she was an “unfit mother.”
Cleondra continues, “When they took her away from me, I could not believe it. I could not breathe. She is my everything. Nothing is the same. I have been by my baby girl’s side since she was born, so to have that taken away by lies is unbelievable.”
Kylee’s mom — who is a student and a server at Applebee’s in search of a full-time job — is now turning to the Internet to help her appeal the case. She’s asking for $5,000 to pay for legal fees for a lawyer she “feels very confident about.”
“Any type of donation would be greatly appreciated in my fight to get my daughter back,” she says. “I will not give up, and she will always know how important she is to me. She needs her mother. Her mother needs her.”
As of press time, Cleondra has raised more than $1,000. Those looking to contribute can visit her GoFundMe page.