Allen Iverson abducted his children, says mom, a rising trend

Allen Iverson abducted his five children, says his ex-wife in a court filing. The FBI says the Allen Iverson case is not an isolated one: Parental abductions have risen sharply in the past two years.

(AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)
Former Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson at a 76ers basketball game in March. Iverson's ex-wife says that he abducted their children, which she says she has sole custody of.

After her divorce from former NBA star Allen Iverson, Tawanna Iverson won sole custody of their five kids, now ages 3-16.

But now she claims, he's abducted the children and won't return them, according to legal documents filed on June 12 at the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia. And she says he has a alcohol problem.

She agreed that Iverson could take the kids on a four-day vacation in late May, according to But he never returned. Twanna knows where her children and ex-husband are. In fact, reporter Jeff Hullinger of WXIA-TV in Atlanta spoke to Iverson outside a Sheraton Suites hotel in Atlanta where he's been staying with the children.

"They say I stole my own kids?" asks Iverson in response to the reporter's questions. "If that's what you believe and people think I'm crazy enough to do it then so be it."

How common are such "parental abuductions?"

The FBI says that such abductions are up sharply.

"An analysis of recent FBI child abduction investigations has revealed a disturbing trend: Non-custodial parents are increasingly abducting and threatening to harm their own kids to retaliate against parents who were granted legal custody of the children.

"An analysis of all FBI child abduction cases where a motivation was known shows that custodial-motivated abductions—in which a son or daughter is taken against the will of the child and the custodial parent—have increased from 9 percent in fiscal year 2010 to 50 percent in fiscal year 2012. Sometimes the motivation is to convince the custodial parent to stay in a relationship; more often it is to harm the child in an act of retaliation."

Allen has given no indication that he intends to harm his children. TMZ reports that Allen has filed legal docs in which he denies all of his ex-wife's allegations.

The FBI offers the following advice to divorced parents: "Custodial parents should inform schools, after-care facilities, babysitters, and others who may at times be responsible for their children about what custody agreements are in place so that kids are not mistakenly released to non-custodial parents," according to Ashli-Jade Douglas, an FBI analyst in the Violent Crimes Against Children Intelligence Unit who specializes in child abduction matters.

The former basketball star played for teams in Philadelphia, Denver, Detroit and Memphis during his 14-year NBA career. In the divorce proceedings, Iverson said he was broke. Earlier this year, it was reported that he lost his 10,000 square foot Atlanta mansion in a foreclosure.

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