Dwight Howard cleared of child abuse: Basketball player was accused by ex-girlfriend Royce Reed

The Houston Rockets sportsman was interviewed by Florida authorities over the claims

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The Independent Online

Dwight Howard has been cleared of child abuse claims made by the mother of his child, Royce Reed.

Reed accused the US basketball player of having whipped their six-year-old son, Braylon, with a belt, causing bruising and abrasions on his leg. She informed the Florida Department of Children and Families, who determined that the child’s injuries were not serious.

Howard - who was interviewed by authorities over the claims - admitted to using a belt on his son, but his lawyer filed legal documents claiming that he never caused marks, bruises, welts or injuries requiring medical treatment.

The investigation has since been closed "with no substantiated findings of physical injuries", said a statement on behalf of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Howard is currently seeking full custody of his son, claiming that Reed uses psychotropic drugs just so she can have a "chemical babysitter", according to Howard’s spokesperson.

"It's no coincidence that these false allegations were 'leaked' on the heels of Dwight filing for major custody of his son," the spokesperson told TMZ, adding that Howard will do "whatever is necessary to protect [the child's] welfare and best interests".

The Atlanta-born sportsman has played for the NBA’s Houston Rockets since July 2013.

In 2010, Howard won a defamation judgement against Reed, after a judge found that she had violated a court order prohibiting her from mentioning him in the media. Howard claimed that Reed had made disparaging remarks about him on Twitter and on reality television show Basketball Wives during her time on the programme.