"To be called an unfit mother is the worst thing you can call someone, especially when it's not true," Barney tells PEOPLE

By Emily Strohm
April 16, 2014 05:30 PM
Katy Winn/Getty

The Real Housewives of Orange County star Tamra Barney is speaking out after ex-husband Simon Barney alleged in court documents that the reality star has been neglectful when it comes to caring for their three children.

“I am saddened by the false stories my ex-husband has released,” Tamra tells PEOPLE exclusively. “He has no foundation to his allegations and in my opinion will do anything to destroy me. Unfortunately, he is hurting our children and my family in the process.”

In the documents filed March 28 and obtained by RadarOnline, Simon alleges that “especially in recent times, Tamra has been very neglectful in her care for the children. This has resulted in the children not getting prompt medical care, nutritional meals, hygienic care, and deterioration in their school work and attendance.”

“I love my children more than anything in this world,” Tamra says. “He should be ashamed of his action and realize this is not best for our children.”

The former couple has shared custody of their three children since their nasty divorce in 2010 – Simon claimed that the reality star cheated on him (which Tamra denied) – but following the recent allegations, he’s now seeking full custody.

“It’s no coincidence that this story was released on the night RHOC premiered,” Tamra tells PEOPLE. “For someone that wants to keep his children out of the public eye, it’s evident he would do anything, including exploiting his kids to get attention.”

She adds, “Please give us our space during this difficult time. Thank you to everyone that has sent me messages and shared their stories with me, it is helping me get through this. One day I hope I can help someone get through this too.”

In a statement from her lawyer to PEOPLE, Tamra, who now goes by Tamra Judge since marrying husband Eddie last June, further denies the claims made by her former husband.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Barney has elected to involve the general public in very private litigation regarding the best interests of minor children. Ms. Judge is an excellent mother and we are confident the court will resolve the parties’ issues guided by the best interests of the minor children rather than the unfounded allegations by Mr. Barney.”

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