The mother of Gabby Douglas — the 16-year-old gold medal gymnast and first black woman to take the all-around individual title at the Olympics — filed for bankruptcy in Virginia last month, according to court documents obtained by TMZ.
Natalie Hawkins reportedly filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a form of debt consolidation far less serious than Chapter 13.
Hawkins, whose daughter just signed on to endorse Kellogg's Corn Flakes, has assets totaling $163,706.10 and debt totaling $79,754.14, TMZ reported.
Hawkins told the Associated Press that filing for bankruptcy allowed her "to still be able to live and reorganize my debt in such a way that I could still pay what I owed."
"It's my story, it's part of me. I'm not even embarrassed about it," Hawkins said Sunday in London. "It shows that even though I didn't like to have to do it, I'm glad there was something there for me to be able to protect my home."
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Hawkins has been ordered to pay $400 a month toward her debts over almost five years, the AP reported.
Meanwhile, her young daughter is likely to be snatched up by even more companies looking for her endorsement: she's already signed on to back the Proctor and Gamble brand, including its beauty lines such as Olay, Pantene, CoverGirl, and Secret, NBC News reported.
"Being the first at anything is always big news," said Ahmad Islam, managing partner of multicultural agency ad agency Commonground, of Douglas' groundbreaking gold medal, according to NBC News. And as more brands look to "connect with multicultural consumers, but not necessarily do it at the exclusion of the masses, she's perfect in a lot of ways."
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