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Terrell Owens replaces attorney in child support case

After Terrell Owens missed a court appearance last Thursday in Atlanta for overdue child support, the former wide receiver said he had not been informed of the date and had replaced his former attorney, according to his publicist.

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Owens owes $20,000 in child support to Melanie Smith, the mother of his 7-year-old daughter, reported last Thursday. Judge John Groger was angered by Owens' absence, but David Hartin said he was responsible for the miscommunication with his client.

Owens then replaced Hartin with Todd Orston as his attorney.

"Unfortunately, Terrell Owens was never informed by his attorney that he was due in court last week in Georgia regarding his current child support case," Owens' publicist, Diana Bianchini, said in a statement sent Monday to's Steve Wyche. " ... Mr. Owens' previous Georgia attorney has taken responsibility for this failure to have communicated this date to him and has also been removed as counsel for Mr. Owens."

Owens' case has been reset for Thursday. Though Owens reportedly could face jail time if he misses the date, Bianchini assured that he is handling the issue.

"Mr. Owens is making the necessary arrangements to pay child support due to Ms. Smith in the Georgia case," Bianchini said. "He regrets that he is no longer able to pay child support based upon his previous NFL income. He hopes to be signed to an NFL team in the future. Mr. Owens has always made his child support payments his top priority."

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