Chris Rock’s estranged wife wants sole custody of their daughters.
The 49-year-old comedian filed for divorce from Malaak Compton-Rock last week after 19 years of marriage and she reportedly wants to stop him from seeing their daughters Lola Simone, 12, and Zahra Savannah, 10.
A source close to Chris – who wants shared legal and physical custody – said: “He lives for his children. They come first. When he was doing a publicity tour for ‘Top Five,’ he made it clear it had to be scheduled around being able to take his daughters to school and pick them up.”
Chris and Malaak, 45, did sign a pre-nuptial agreement in 1996 but it could be a “key battleground” in their divorce as it may have expired because it was created so long ago, with the Top Five star arguing it became void after 18 years of marriage.
Though the couple have only just announced their separation, insiders say they had been having problems for “some time”.
The source told the New York Post newspaper’s Page Six column: “Chris just wasn’t happy in the marriage anymore. There is no third party involved . . . Chris and his wife had previously separated and got back together, so there have been problems for some time.”
Another source close to the couple reiterated the point telling TMZ: “Chris just did not want to continue in a marriage that was not fulfilling.”
In a statement made three days after Christmas Malaak, who is the founder of styleWorks, revealed she is no longer with the 49-year-old comedian and they are getting a divorce.
She explained: “After much contemplation and 19 years of marriage, Chris and I have decided to go our separate ways.
“Being fortunate enough to lead a life of service by working with those most vulnerable makes me well aware of life’s blessings, even when faced with difficulties.
“While recognizing that this is a significant change, my children remain at the center of my life and their well-being is my top priority.
Her husband’s attorney, Robert S. Cohen, also confirmed the split and made a statement on the star’s behalf.
Mr Cohen said: “Chris Rock has filed for divorce from his wife, Malaak.
“This is a personal matter and Chris requests privacy as he and Malaak work through this process and focus on their family.”
The couple married in 1996 and lived together in New Jersey.
In 2007 there were reports that they were heading for splitsville, but Chris insisted they were still “happy” together.
According to Mail Online, they were also hit by reports in 2010 that the star had fathered a child out of wedlock.
A spokesperson for Chris has been contacted for comment.