A young girl adopted by Chris Rock’s ex-wife Malaak Compton-Rock is at the center of reports that she is being housed illegally in the United States, a claim Compton-Rock is denying.

People references a statement released by Compton-Rock’s lawyer, David Aronson, which maintained that the 7-year-old Ntombi, is in the U.S. legally under the consent of her birth parents in South Africa.

“The tabloid reports are false and outrageous. Malaak has never been contacted about an investigation of any sort. The welfare and livelihood of this child has always been of utmost importance to the entire Rock family. She is in the United States lawfully with the written consent of her biological parents, with whom she continues to have contact,” the statement reads.

“While Malaak has made strides in the adoption, she understands that intercountry adoption is a long and rigorous process, with checks and balances in both countries essential for the protection of children,” the statement adds. “Malaak again appeals for the privacy of her family.”

Adding to the statement is confirmation from a source with knowledge of the situation that Ntombi is in the country legally, in addition to Rock and his ex meeting the girl’s birth parents on numerous occasions.

“Chris and Malaak have visited with Ntombi’s family multiple times in South Africa both before and after Ntombi came to the U.S.,” the source told People while taking note of the fact that the couple’s pending divorce is resulting in Compton-Rock pursing Ntombi’s adoption alone.

“Chris and Malaak pursued legal guardianship for adoption of Ntombi for years. Now she is pursuing it on her own and she is confident it will be completed.”

As it stands now, a tentative date for the divorce trial was set for next year by a New Jersey judge. Details of their split are being hammered out by Rock and Compton-Rock. Points being hashed out include whether the funnyman should Ntombi. According to Compton-Rock, the child was raised as their own for years.

Court documents obtained by People highlight Rock’s argument, which states that Compton-Rock “has the ability to work and contribute to her own support, as well as the support and other financial needs of the children.”

Despite this, Compton-Rock pointed out in her counterclaim that the family was “fully supported financially” by Rock. As a result, she is requesting that Rock continue to support her and the kids “commensurate with the marital standard of living.”

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