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Montel Williams Pleads Poverty At Child Custody Court Hearing

Mar. 6 2010, Published 11:24 a.m. ET

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Despite starring in his own TV chat show for 17 seasons, hosting a radio show, writing a best-selling memoir and being a TV infomercial pitchman, Montel Williams claimed he couldn't pay $7,500 in legal fees for his kids' attorney during a court hearing in Fairfield County, Connecticut Friday.

"Mr. Williams' financial situation is extremely perilous," Montel's attorney told Judge Marylouise Schoefield.

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Williams and his ex-wife Grace divorced almost a decade ago.  They have two children, Montel II and Wintergrace who have been the subject of an ongoing custody dispute.  Williams is reportedly current on his $18,700 a-month support payments for the teenagers but rarely sees them.

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The kids want their dad to either step up to the plate and take an active role in their lives or get out of the way so they and their mom can make all the decisions about their upbringing, and they want Montel to pay for their lawyer to argue this latest dispute.

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