AceShowbiz - Chris Rock's estranged wife Malaak Compton Rock broke her silence on rumors saying that a 7-year-old girl from South Africa, who began living with them in 2008, resided in the U.S. illegally. Malaak said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE that the child named Ntombi was a part of the family.
Malaak explained that the girl "has been raised by the parties as a member of the family and has been solely supported by the parties." In addition, the 46-year-old woman claimed that she continued to be the girl's primary caregiver.
In Chris' divorce papers last December, he stated that the estranged couple had two children only. As to why the girl wasn't acknowledged as a part of the family in the legal documents, the recent statement explained, "Although Chris Rock is a celebrity, Malaak and the children are not. Protecting the privacy of her family remains of utmost importance to Malaak. She is saddened by recent tabloid media reports which are full of erroneous speculation and inaccuracies that are hurtful to three innocent young girls."
The statement continued, "While the adoption by Malaak is not yet finalized, it is actively in process under the rigorous guidelines and safeguards of international adoption policy. 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."
Meanwhile, an insider told the news outlet that "Chris has two children, and has always had only two children. He has never adopted a child. He maintains an extremely close and loving relationship with his daughters."
TMZ previously reported that Ntombi entered the U.S. on a B2 "visitor for pleasure" visa which allows her to stay in the country for up to 1 year. Due to the period of stay allowed, Ntombi and Malaak went to South Africa every year and reconnected with the child's biological family.