Billy Porter’s Divorce Now Involves a Dog Visitation Dispute

As Billy Porter and husband Adam Smith’s divorce winds through Manhattan court, their cockapoo, Lola, has emerged as a key point of contention, Allegedly has learned. 

During a November 15  proceeding, the Pose actor’s lawyer claimed that Smith “blocked access” to the curly haired pooch. Porter claimed that Smith even “took me off as being the father.”

The fur flew following a discussion of the couple’s financials, a court transcript reveals.  Porter’s attorney, Margaret Brady, told judge Douglas Hoffman that there was “just one other small matter…the parties owned a dog.” 

“It’s not a small matter. Depends on what kind of dog it is,” Hoffman said. 

As Brady started to answer, Porter interjected: “cockapoo.”

“A cockapoo, your honor,” Brady said. “An adorable little dog.”

“You’re talking to a former cockapoo owner,” Hoffman said.

“Oh. Well, I hope you’ll be sympathetic,” Brady said. “Defendant has refused to give plaintiff access to the dog since the middle of this summer. We would like an access schedule.”

“Your Honor, it’s not their dog,” said Dana Stutman, Smith’s attorney. “It was given as a gift.” 

“It’s a marital asset,” Brady said. 

“It may be. It was a birthday gift to my client from Mr. Porter. I understand that it doesn’t make it separate property,” Stutman said. “However, for seven months, this dog, except for one small week—for seven months, this dog has been with my client and not one request has come asking for time with him.”

“It was refused from the get-go,” Brady said. “I had a conversation with my client and he would still like the opportunity to spend time with his dog.” 

“When would he like to see the dog?” Hoffman asked. 

“Well, as long as he can promise that he’s not doing drugs, that he’s not having parties,” Stutman said. 

“You will not scandalize my name like that,” Porter said.  

“These are based on fact, your honor, and I’m not trying to do anything that would harm anyone’s reputation here,” Stutman said. “But they brought up the dog, and I’m telling you what the concerns have been from the get-go.” 

“Could we have an agreement in which they both agree that they would not do any drugs or drink any alcohol when the dog is in their possession or they will exchange it—or a neutral third-party will exchange the dog?” Brady offered. “My client would like to see the dog when he gets back from London [at] the end of November.”

“I can certainly arrange for him to see him, but to stay overnight with him is something that’s very difficult,” Stutman said. “If you want to have a trial on whether or not there’s fitness for taking care of a dog, we’ll do that. But I don’t think that that’s really what Mr. Porter wants.”

“I do not intend to appoint a forensic veterinarian,” Hoffman said, referring to a process in child custody cases during which the court appoints experts including psychologists to weigh minors’ best interests. 

“But for seven months, he hasn’t seen the dog and it wasn’t worth asking for,” Stutman said. “I’m sorry, your honor. I don’t buy it, actually.”

“Counsel, will you arrange for at least daytime, a substantial daytime visit? A Saturday for several hours, something like that?” Hoffman said. 

Stutman said they would have to talk because this was the “first time they’re raising it before your honor.”  

“Okay,” Hoffman said. “And very importantly, what is the dog’s name?”  

When Stutman responded “Lola,” this revealed still more acrimony over the canine. 

“He changed the name,” Porter said.  

“The dog’s name was Bader,” Brady added. 

“Bader Lola Majors,” Porter said. 

“And when he blocked access to the dog, he changed the dog’s name,” Brady added. 

“And took me off as being the father,” Porter also said. 

“What is the dog’s name now?” Hoffman asked. 

“Lola, the mini cockapoo,” Porter said. 

“Lola,” Smith said.

“Lola?” Hoffman asked.

Smith responded, “Lola is her name.” 

“Okay. You came to the right court in terms of a dog,” Hoffman said.  

“So, in any case, try to arrange for reasonable access. If it’s a daytime access visit with the dog, we can take it from there,” Hoffman said.  “Okay? Just — the dog is a member of the family. He can visit with the dog. Let’s work that out reasonably. Okay?” 

Stutman said yes.

Porter and Smith announced Lola’s arrival in January 2021. He reposted Smith’s Instagram post on Lola, which said: “delighted to have you all meet the newest addition to our family: Bader Lola Majors (BLM) aka Miss Lola. You can follow her adventures over at @baderlolamajors.”  At present, Lola’s Instagram appears inactive.

It was unclear at press time whether Porter has had a visit with Lola since the court proceeding. It was also unknown whether Porter and Smith had agreed to a visitation schedule. 

When e-mailed for comment on the dog dispute, Porter’s publicist responded: “seriously?!” Allegedly followed up on the request for comment. The publicist responded they wouldn’t be commenting and said “aren’t there more important things you could be writing about?” Smith’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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