Now, in the weeks since the beloved rapper's passing, his surviving family has begun a legal battle regarding primary custody over his daughter, Emani Asghedom.
On Tuesday (May 14), reports broke that the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services has taken an interest in the legal proceedings. Officials from the government agency reportedly appeared in court on Tuesday, during which a decision was initially set to be made regarding where the 10-year-old daughter will reside permanently.
As previously reported, Nipsey's sister Samantha Smith has publicly pronounced her desire to seek full guardianship of the child. She filed a motion last month and Nipsey's brother, Samiel Asghedom, also filed a declaration in support of Smith becoming the child's legal guardian.
However, during Tuesday's hearing, the girl's mother, Tanisha Foster, also expressed her desire to be in her daughter's life. Her appearance in court marks the first time she has spoken on the matter.
As reported by the Daily News, the case was assigned to a different judge and the initial hearing will take place Friday (May 17). While in court, Foster's lawyer, Larry Lewellyn, told the judge his client hadn't seen her child "in months" and was hoping for a private visit in the courthouse. The judge went on to clear the courtroom, allowing the mother and daughter a private 20-minute visit.
Lewellyn also confirmed that Nipsey and Foster shared custody prior to the rapper's death. "She was primarily with her dad, but the father never kept her away from her mother," he stated outside the courtroom. He also noted how Foster has "every legal right" to take custody of the child at the hearing, but wants "what is best for her."
"Her intent is that she wants her child back in her life," Lewellyn said. "Our position is that as the mother, she's the natural guardian. But we will look into the entire situation."
On April 30, Smith filed for emergency temporary guardianship of Emani. After the court didn't find the situation to be urgent, an initial hearing was scheduled. On Friday, the judge will hear arguments from both sides regarding what those close to the situation feel is in the best interest.