“He’s rebuilding his life and becoming a very happy boy,” McKnight tells The National Enquirer in an exclusive interview.
The boy, Zander, had been living in foster care since January, one month before his mother died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Feb. 17 at her Arkansas home. But finally, McKnight was able to gain custody of the boy, who now lives with his dad and new stepmom, Corey Rena-McKnight, in Florida.
“Zander finally has a real chance in life,” McKnight explains. “He’s got a new bike and new friends.”
But he hasn’t forgotten his mom. “Zander often ask me, ‘Did you love my mom?'” McKnight reveals. “I’ve told him that he was deeply loved by both his mother and me, but we don’t focus on how Mindy died.”
“Zander understands what happened and says he knows that his mother is in heaven,” McKnight says. “I tell him that his mother still loves him and she’s watching out for him. Those are the thoughts that Zander needs to hold close.”
This peaceful new father-son relationship was a long time coming. McKnight had a strained relationship with Mindy since 2005, when he served jail time for assaulting her. He’s since gone to rehab and is seven years sober.
McKnight says, “I’ve become the man I’ve always hoped to be, for my son’s sake as well as my own.”
For more on McKnight’s wild life with Mindy and what he hopes her legacy will be, pick up this week’s issue of The Enquirer, on newsstands Thursday.