NEW: Dusten Brown, Cherokee Nation say ‘Baby Veronica’ custody battle over
TULSA — Dusten Brown and the Cherokee Nation announced the four-year custody battle for “baby” Veronica is over Thursday.
Veronica, who’s now four, is currently with her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, and that appears to be where she will stay.
Today, her biological father Dusten Brown and the Cherokee Nation announced during an emotional press conference, “it’s over” and this decision is in the best interest of baby Veronica.
“During this four year fight to raise my daughter I had to make many difficult decisions,” says Brown. “Decisions no father should have to make.”
Cherokee Nation Assistant Attorney General, Chrissi Nimmo, says, “As of today, Dusten Brown and the Cherokee Nation have jointly moved to dismiss all pending litigation in Oklahoma and Cherokee courts.”
It’s a decision they believe will allow everyone to move forward, but Brown and the Cherokee Nation are still facing contempt of court and felony complaint charges in South Carolina.
Nimmo pleaded with South Carolina courts and the Capobiancos, saying listen to your heart and drop the charges.
“Dusten is here today letting go of the past and asking to move forward,” says Nimmo. “He cannot do that and you cannot do that with continued litigation.”
Local adoption attorney Jim Ikard says these battles usually end because tribe officials realize they don’t have a chance at winning and if the past four years have any lasting effects on baby Veronica, he claims it’s her father’s doing.
“Why go on if you’re going to lose time after time after time,” says Ikard. “It’s not going to be easy, but it`s not going to be easy because of the actions taken by the Cherokee Nation and the Browns.
Those actions Dusten Brown says were always to remind veronica of her Cherokee heritage.
“You will always be my little girl, my princess and I will always love you,” says Brown. “Never ever for one second doubt how much I love you, how hard I fought for you or how much you mean to me.”
Brown and the Cherokee Nation have also asked the Capobiancos to let them help educate baby Veronica about her Cherokee heritage as much as possible.
We’ve reached out to a family spokesperson for the Capobiancos today for a comment on Brown’s decision. We haven’t yet heard back.