Lawyer sues rap stars to collect child support

October 17, 2004|By Knight Ridder

NEW YORK - Gangsta rap's bad boys are fighting a new foe - a diminutive blond lawyer who calls herself the "anti-celebrity."

Their songs include "Cop Killer" and "Bad Boy For Life," but Manhattan attorney Suzanne Kimberly Bracker is building her own reputation: making rapper fathers pay child support.

Her hit list includes Puff Daddy, Ice T and Funkmaster Flex.

Right now, she's embroiled in a bitter custody battle with Roc-a-Fella Records' czar Damon Dash. Other famous fathers that have done battle with her in Manhattan Family Court include former Knicks star Latrell Sprewell and boxer Zab Judah.

Bracker specializes in teaming up with ex-girlfriends to hunt down the rich, famous and often in-denial fathers of their children and making them accountable.


"There are plenty of celebrity lawyers," she says. "I'm an anti-celebrity lawyer and I'm the only one.

"If somebody is pregnant by a celebrity or has a child by a celebrity, the chances are they're going to be calling me."

Bracker, 43, a family law expert who broke into the legal field as an aide to famed divorce lawyer Raoul Felder, took on Sean (P. Diddy) Combs in 2001 after being contacted by his former lover and mother of his 3-year-old son, Kim Porter.

The undisclosed child support settlement, believed to be in the millions, prompted calls from other women in the same situation - many of them struggling to make ends meet despite their child's father being a multimillionaire.

"These celebrities go to inner-city areas, they go to the Bronx, Brooklyn, Harlem, because there, they're the big cheese," Bracker said.

"They are going to meet the prettiest women in the neighborhood, they are going to have sex with them, and then they're going to say, 'I don't know her, and that's not my kid.'

"Some of these women are living on nothing, and they're bringing up the children of multimillionaires."

But because it's so often a battle of rich against poor, lawyers are reluctant to take the cases, she says.

Her clients agree.

"Other lawyers refused to take my case when they heard who it was against," said Linda Williams, Dash's ex-girlfriend. "But Suzanne isn't intimidated by anybody. She likes to represent the underdog, she doesn't hesitate in fighting high-profile people. She's superb."

Bracker says, "It's difficult to sue somebody who has a lot of money because they can buy everything - the best experts, evidence, witnesses.

"A lot of lawyers won't take on the cases because of this, or because they know the celebrity or their business associates. But that sort of case is my niche. I'll take anything on, as long as it interests me."

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