BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Cheryl White made her first appearance in court on Friday afternoon via video conference with her attorney present and a member from her church who said she were there to give her support.
Cheryl White, 50, officially heard the charges against her in a Battle Creek courtroom. White is charged with attempting to kill 63-year-old Thomas Blige on Thursday morning after allegedly stabbing him in the neck.
Blige is the father of international R&B super-star Mary J. Blige.
FOX 17 has exclusively learned that Mary J. Blige was in Europe at the time of the incident and is currently on her way back to the United States.
White’s attorney said that Blige and White have been dating for five years.
“She is having a hard time and I think that what she would want us to express is that she is very thankful for the support that she has from her church members and from the community,” said White’s attorney Jeff Schroder.
Schroder said that White will fight the attempted murder charge, claiming self defense. Schroder said that it was Blige who tried to harm White.
According to Battle Creek Police, Blige was stabbed after confronting White while she slashed the tires on his SUV.
Mary Betts said that she knows the couple from church and came to court to support White. Betts also said that church members were aware who Blige’s famous daughter was, but it wasn’t talked about often.
“It was kind of common knowledge that he didn’t want people to know him because of her. He just wanted to be Thomas, you know and not be looked upon as her father,” said Betts.
Betts said that she has known Blige for several years and over the last six month Blige would bring White to church with him.
“I thought that I would really be able to see her. I just wanted her to know that somebody was here to support her. You know, that she’s got a familiar face to look out and see,” said Betts.
This isn’t White’s first run-in with police. She has four previous felony convictions and another 10 misdemeanors.
White was arrested just before Halloween after a domestic dispute with Blige and was placed on probation.
“We have him in our prayers and we are praying for his recovery and that this whole situation will be resolved in the best interest of both of them.”
If convicted, White faces up to life in prison and is being held on a $500,000 bond at the Calhoun County Jail.
FOX 17 has uncovered that a woman named Tyna Serbantez filed a personal protection order from Blige in 1997 and again 2000.
Battle Creek Police said that Blige is recovering at an undisclosed medical facility.