NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, November 26, 2015, 9:12 AM
Chris Rock and Malaak Compton-Rock arrive at the Kids’ Choice Awards 2014 with (l. to r.) Zahra Rock, Lola Rock and the yet-to-be-adopted Ntombi.
Comedian Chris Rock’s family matters grow ever more complicated.
The “Top Five” star’s estranged wife, Malaak Compton-Rock, is making it clear that the 7-year-old South African girl living with the family on a visitor visa since infancy — though not yet adopted — has been “cherished and adored” as part of the family.
“While the adoption by Malaak is not yet finalized, it is actively in process under the rigorous guidelines and safeguards of international adoption policy,” Compton-Rock’s lawyer said in a statement to People magazine.
“The child is in the country lawfully with the written consent of her birth parents, and while here, has been cherished and adored by the entire Rock family.”
Compton-Rock is the girl’s primary caregiver, the lawyer added.
Amid divorce proceedings from his 19-year marriage, the stand-up comic has reportedly been embroiled in a bizarre child support battle over Ntombi, who began living with the family in 2008 when she was six months old but was never officially adopted.
The Rocks enrolled her in school in New Jersey and have toted her along to movie premieres, family vacations and Knicks games along with their biological daughters Zahra, 11, and Lola, 13 — though it remains unclear why they were raising the South African girl at all.
Rock hasn’t seen Ntombi since he and his wife split last year, TMZ reports.
Meanwhile, the little girl’s biological father has shed light on the dire circumstances that led to Ntombi needing a new home, according to a private investigator’s report obtained by TMZ.
When this photo was taken in November 2010, the girl in Chris Rock’s arms was identified as his daughter — but she was never adopted by the comic or his wife.
Crispen Khanyile and his now ex-girlfriend, Precious Ndebele, were reportedly unemployed parents of two when Ntombi was born. The investigator, who interviewed Ndebele in 2014, also learned that she lived in a slum selling secondhand clothes to make money.
Compton-Rock allegedly brought Ntombi back to South Africa each year to visit with her biological parents and siblings, a brother and sister.
Via her lawyer, Rock’s estranged wife expressed sadness over the controversy surrounding Ntombi.
“Although Chris Rock is a celebrity, Malaak and the children are not,” the rep told People. “Protecting the privacy of her family remains of utmost importance to Malaak.”