We just shared details from the court filing made by Love After Lockup star Brittany Santiago’s ex Tito Santana in which he alleges that Brittany (and husband Marcelino Santiago) kidnapped their four-year-old son more than a week ago. Tito, who currently has primary custody of Giovanni, demanded the immediate return of their son and asked the court for temporary full custody.
The argument made by Tito’s attorney is a very convincing one, especially given the fact that Tito does technically have legal custody of Giovanni. However, Brittany and her attorney have since filed a response in which she shares some additional disturbing details that could easily tip the scales in her favor!
TITO AND MARCELINO GOT INTO A FIGHT
One thing that both Brittany and Tito agree on is that she and her husband Marcelino took Giovanni after a physical altercation between Tito and Marcelino while filming a scene for the new series Life After Lockup late last month. The description of the altercation was a lot more detailed in Brittany’s filing:
The parties agreed to a filmed meeting between the parties wherein they would discuss custody issues and the resolution of the same. Further, Plaintiff [Tito] understood Brittany’s husband would also be present during the filming. On April 30, 2019 the parties met at a residence to discuss the custody issues. However, within five minutes of the meeting commencing, Plaintiff became agitated after Brittany’s husband expressed dissatisfaction over Plaintiffs prolonged lack of contact with the minor child. In response, Plaintiff punched Brittany’s husband in the mouth, causing a cut to his lip. Brittany’s husband then exerted reasonable force to defend himself and to restrain Plaintiff to ensure he would cause no further violence. Plaintiff left the scene of the assault.
Another thing that Brittany and Tito agree on is that he was awarded primary custody by default decree in March of 2016. However, Brittany claims that she was never actually made aware of Tito’s custody filing, and that’s why she was not there when the default decree was issued. She was arrested and incarcerated the following month.
The filing goes on to reveal a narrative that paints Tito as a non-dedicated parent who provides an unsafe and unsanitary environment for Giovanni. The filing is quite long, so I will break it down into segments with excerpts.
TITO’S GIRLFRIEND SHAVED GIOVANNI’S HEAD OUT OF SPITE WHEN HE WAS 2
Brittany says that Tito allowed Giovanni to visit her in prison for about five months after she was initially arrested in April of 2016. She says that the visitations then stopped “due to the pressure exerted by [Tito’s] new significant other.” After a period of three months without seeing Giovanni, Tito arranged a visitation. This apparently did not sit well with the fore-mentioned significant other:
Unfortunately, upon receiving word of Plaintiff’s intention to take the minor child to see Brittany, Plaintiff’s significant other awoke the then two (2) year old minor child in the middle of the night to completely shave the minor child’s head in an apparent effort to demonstrate her control over the minor child while Brittany was incarcerated.
Brittany was shocked to see the minor child’s head had been shaven when Plaintiff brought him for a visit, but she presumed the minor child’s head had been shaven due to a bad haircut or some other legitimate reason. However, upon questioning Plaintiff after the visit as to why the minor child’s head had been shaved, Plaintiff informed Brittany his girlfriend had shaved the minor child’s head and further stated regarding his girlfriend, “I slapped that b*tch as soon as I saw our son.” Needless to say, Brittany was shocked and disturbed to hear Plaintiff was so willing to utilize domestic violence against someone residing in the same home as the minor child.
BRITTANY’S DAD TOOK GIOVANNI FOR A YEAR
After the head shaving incident, Brittany reached out to her father in Alaska and asked if he would be willing to let Giovanni come live with him there. Brittany’s father was willing, and Tito “accepted without hesitation.”
Her father traveled to Las Vegas and picked up Giovanni for what was initially supposed to be a six month stay. Tito would later agree to let Giovanni stay with his grandfather in Alaska for roughly a year.
In February of 2018, Tito requested that Giovanni be returned to him in Las Vegas. Brittany’s father agreed and made the trip again. “However, upon arriving at the agreed upon date and time for the exchange, [Tito] was not present.”
Instead, a woman purporting to be Plaintiff’s girlfriend was present and attempted to retrieve the minor child from Brittany’s father. However, as Plaintiff’s girlfriend was unknown to Brittany’s father, he refused to turn the minor child over to the woman. Plaintiff’s girlfriend then explained that Plaintiff was unavailable to conduct the exchange because he was in jail. Despite the significant cost and time expended by Brittany’s father to return the minor child to Plaintiff in Las Vegas, he returned back to Alaska with the minor child due to Plaintiff’s unavailability to care for the minor child.
Tito reached out to Brittany’s father two weeks later, and he once again made the trip to Las Vegas from Alaska. This time Tito was present for the exchange and Giovanni was returned to his custody.
LOVE AFTER LOCKUP AND BRITTANY’S PRISON RELEASE
It was not long after Giovanni returned to Tito’s care that Brittany was released from prison. She informed Tito that she was participating in a reality show, and the two arranged for her first post-prison contact with Giovanni to be captured on camera.
Brittany’s first post-release contact with the minor child was to occur at a local park. However, what was supposed to be a happy occasion was upended by Plaintiff’s erratic behavior. Specifically, Plaintiff whipped his vehicle into the parking lot in an aggressive manner, which caused Brittany concern because she could see the minor child was in the backseat of Plaintiff’s car. Plaintiff then refused to exit the vehicle, though he did roll down his window to scream obscenities at Brittany in the presence of the minor child. Plaintiff then peeled off in his vehicle, exiting the parking lot in an unsafe manner. Brittany later learned that Plaintiff had gotten into an argument with his significant other during the drive to the park, which is what caused Plaintiff’s volatile emotional state.
BRITTANY ESSENTIALLY HAD CUSTODY OF GIOVANNI ALREADY
Once Brittany moved out of her grandmother’s house and in with Marcelino, she requested to spend more time with her son. Tito agreed, and in May of 2018 he dropped Giovanni off to stay with Brittany and Marcelino. Brittany assumed that there would be “a regular rotating custodial schedule at this point,” but “aside from a brief visit wherein Plaintiff dropped off the minor child’s belongings with Brittany, Plaintiff did not exercise custodial time with the minor child until three (3) months later in August of 2018.”
#LoveAfterLockup Brittany's ex Tito demands immediate return of 4-year-old son & full custody. According to his filing, @BrittanySanti11 & @BlazeBird1 "kidnapped" Giovanni after Tito & Marcelino got into an altercation while filming #LifeAfterLockup ? https://t.co/2yJvRlaNen
— Starcasm (@starcasm) May 8, 2019
GIOVANNI “MAULED” BY TITO’S EXOTIC PET
In August, Tito requested to have Giovanni stay with him for a week, which Brittany agreed to. On day six, Brittany received a call from Giovanni at roughly 11:30 PM. He was “crying and was in an agitated emotional state,” but he did not reveal any specifics about what had happened.
Brittany went to Plaintiffs residence the following day to pick up the minor child, at which point, in addition to the home being in an extreme unsanitary condition, she discovered the cause of the child’s late-night phone call. Brittany located the minor child in bed wrapped in bandages. Brittany demanded to know what had caused the minor child’s injuries. Plaintiff’s significant other responded, “Thank God I went upstairs and just so happened to hear him screaming.”
Plaintiff’s significant other went on to explain that Plaintiff’s genet – an exotic animal kept in the home that has a propensity for attacking small game and children — had mauled the minor child while the child was sleeping. No adults at Plaintiff’s residence had come to the aid of the minor child during the animal attack that resulted in bites/lacerations to every one of the minor child’s limbs. Plaintiff’s significant other further informed Brittany that the minor child had not been taken for medical attention after the animal attack. Brittany immediately took the minor child to Sunrise Hospital where the doctors determined that the minor child’s wounds had become infected. The minor child was prescribed a course of antibiotics which addressed the infection, however, the minor child still bears scars on his arms and legs from the animal attack.
Brittany later claims in the documents that Tito “maintains an unsanitary living environment, which includes but is not limited to, leaving animal feces on the floor for prolonged periods, leaving the sink filled with dirty dishes for extended durations, and leaving laundry scattered on the floor throughout the residence.”
(I should point out that it is unclear if the residence Tito was filmed in during the second season of Love After Lockup is where he actually resides.)
TITO SPENT VERY LITTLE TIME WITH GIOVANNI
From the time of the alleged genet attack in August of 2018, until March of 2019, Tito “did not exercise custodial time” with Giovanni.
Brittany invited Tito to her and Marcelino’s house for their son’s fourth birthday in November, but Tito “rebuffed this offer.”
During the Christmas holiday, Brittany dropped Giovanni off at Tito’s brother’s house so that he could spend time with his dad, but Tito never showed up.
Tito resumed having “limited and sporadic contact” with Giovanni in March. It does not state this in the filing, but I assume it was around this time that Brittany and Marcelino decided that they were going to file for custody of Giovanni — news that they surprised Tito with while the WE tv cameras were rolling on April 30.
After the altercation, Brittany and Marcelino have broken off all direct contact with Tito and only communicate via third parties.
BRITTANY IS SEEKING FULL CUSTODY OF GIOVANNI
Here is the conclusion from the filing:
For these reasons stated above and for good cause shown, Brittany respectfully requests that this Court enter the following orders:
1. For an order granting Brittany primary/sole legal custody;
2. For an order granting Brittany primary physical custody;
3. For an order granting Brittany temporary primary/sole legal and primary physical custody of the minor child pending an evidentiary hearing;
4. For an order requiring Plaintiff’s visitation to be supervised by a neutral supervisor at a neutral location at Defendant’s cost;
5. For an order setting Plaintiff’s child support obligation;
6. That Brittany be awarded her attorney’s fees and costs for having to bring this instant motion; and
7. Any other relief as this Court deems necessary and proper.
There is a custody hearing scheduled for June 26. We will certainly update if there are any major developments!