Tamar Braxton's Ex David Adefeso Speaks Out, Claims She 'Attacked' Him While He Was Driving
After news broke on Wednesday that he had filed for a restraining order against the singer and reality star, Adefeso spoke out in a lengthy video posted on his YouTube channel. In the video, the businessman detailed an alleged physical altercation between himself and Braxton, 43, that prompted him to contact police.
Adefeso also addressed the situation in a statement provided to PEOPLE.
"The fact that my personal life is playing out in this very public manner is both foreign and discomforting to me," he said. "However, the last few days and false accusations of Tamar Braxton have left me with no other alternative except to respond in a court of law and with a public statement. After a two-year relationship with Tamar, I want her to have mental and emotional stability. This is essential for her own well-being, self-fulfillment and direction in life. It is also the basis of every loving, supportive, trusting relationship—or more simply put, a healthy relationship. But it takes the commitment of both partners to achieve this goal."
"When Tamar and I were together, I worked very hard and spent a great deal of time and money to help her grow. I still care about her deeply and hope she can get there, but it must be without me. Words and deeds matter, and Tamar's have been not only unacceptable and also damaging to herself and those around her, particularly me and my reputation."
"My court filing, which is a public document, goes into great detail about the situation that unfolded between us. It states the most salient issue — namely, that I was the victim in this situation. As I document in the filing, I am actually the victim of domestic abuse. One in seven men experience severe physical violence, yet it remains a silent epidemic. As humiliating as this is, I must speak out for my own truth and others who do not have a platform."
"And although not part of the filing, I must affirm here and now that I have never physically abused Tamar before, during or after our relationship. Period," Adefeso concluded. "I want to resolve our legal issues and move on with my life to focus on my business, my family and the future. I hope to put the past two years behind me as soon as possible, and stay out of courtrooms and the press. Despite my wish to be silent, I will discredit falsehoods and defend my integrity and ethics. For that reason, I will not hide the truth of this situation or let others define me with half-truths or complete falsehoods."
Braxton, through her rep, did not comment.
In his YouTube video, Adefeso began by acknowledging the issue of mental illness, seemingly referencing his ex's own struggles. Braxton herself recently opened up to fans about her mental health journey after attempting suicide in July.
"There's no reason why we should be ashamed of it," Adefeso said. "We should be able to talk about it openly, something that affects 50 percent of us, and not consider it to be a stigma. It's not something we should hide from. One thing we can't forget, however, is the impact on the family."
"It's a lot. But it's important that we continue to stand by and support people who have mental health [issues], which is part of why I'm here today, or what I'm here to do today," he continued. "It's been two years. You can't forget that love. I loved Tamar with my entire heart. I loved her from day one with my entire heart. My heart, my body, my soul, my spirit. I loved her with everything I had. And I stood by her through thick and thin. I went to bat for my girl, as a man should, no matter what, and I'll continue to do it today."
Adefeso said that while he would "continue to stand by Tamar no matter what," he also wanted to draw attention to "the victims of domestic assault."
"It's a stigma in our society for a man to report that he has been abused, but there's a lot of men who are being abused. Every Black man also carries a stigma of being an aggressor, an aggressive Black man, somebody who you can't tame," he said. "We [Black people] should stand together. So I'm going to make a pledge: I will not subscribe to that. We must just speak the truth. We can't attack. I will never, never bring myself to attack Tamar, somebody I've spent so long with. I never will."
"I'll speak the truth, and here's the truth: I have been a victim of domestic violence and domestic assault," he continued. "I was attacked."
Adefeso claimed that he was driving at "high speed" when Braxton "attacked" him.
"A blow to my neck, my jugular," he said. "For those of you who know about medicine and the jugular, that's what carries blood to your brain. When you're hit there, it discombobulates you. I thought I was going to crash. I was driving fast."
"I called my mom — a 50-year-old guy having to call his mom when he's driving," he continued. "Tamar was in the car. My mom started praying, only to find out that after the blow, I was being secretly recorded, something that is illegal and unfair. And the tapes being sent to my family, the tapes of me in distress, in pain, calling my mom, were being sent to my family and other people."
Adefeso said his car, a Rolls-Royce, was "destroyed" in the alleged incident.
"Almost $30,000 in damage," he claimed. "I can't really continue to speak about this because the cops are involved. It's a criminal case now, for the damage to the car, the taping, the assault. But I'll tell you something — despite all that, and despite the fact that we're separated and we're pretty much over, the love never goes away. I loved Tamar from the bottom of my heart, I always have, and I will continue to."
"No matter what she needs, I'll be there as a support for her," he continued. "The way I've been from day one. Whatever she needs, I'll be there. That's my promise, and I will not speak ill against somebody I loved so much — I've always loved."
Adefeso concluded by denying speculation that he "grabbed" or "hit" Braxton.
"It's a complete and absolute falsehood. I have never, ever, ever, and never will, put my hand on a woman," he said. "You hit a woman, you deserve to go to jail for a long time. Women are not as strong as us physically. You do not touch women. Not in my home, not ever."
"I never, ever laid a hand on Tamar Braxton or any woman in my entire life," he continued. "There's a criminal investigation that's going on, I'm the victim, and the truth will come to light."
A source close to Braxton tells PEOPLE the couple was broken up when the alleged incident occurred. According to the source, Adefeso was driving Braxton to an appointment when they got into an argument.
"David called the police after the incident was over and Tamar wasn't even there, so she didn't know they were called," the source says. "Tamar was mad about the video David posted. He had not posted on Instagram since before her suicide attempt, then all of a sudden, he posted with her son. They were already broken up when he posted that video. So she was mad that he posted without her permission and knowledge." (Braxton shares 7-year-old son Logan with ex-husband Vince Herbert.)
The source alleges that Adefeso is "worried" about his portrayal in Braxton's upcoming WE tv docuseries, Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life!, which premieres Thursday.
"David is worried about the show coming out and how he's going to look," says the source. "He doesn't want it to hurt his business."
The couple's split comes after reports emerged in July that the star had been found unresponsive by Adefeso in her room at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Her hospitalization unfolded hours after WE tv debuted the trailer for Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life!, which explores her journey with motherhood, love, and her career as she records a new album.
Later that month, Braxton broke her silence in a lengthy post on Instagram in which she opened up about her "path to healing" and revealed that she had attempted suicide after suffering "pain" for the past 11 years while working in the entertainment industry as a reality star.
She also publicly thanked Adefeso for saving her life in a since-deleted follow-up post.
The premiere of her docuseries was pushed back in light of the incident. It will debut Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on WE tv.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.