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Angeles County | Community News File / Torrance

Custody Hearing for Ballerina Rescheduled

August 28, 1998

A hearing in the custody dispute of 15-year-old Gardena ballerina Misty Copeland was rescheduled for Monday in Torrance Superior Court.

Earlier this month, Misty's mother, Sylvia DelaCerna, had filed for temporary restraining orders against a San Pedro couple who run a dance studio and took Misty into their home as a ballet student for nearly three years. DelaCerna claims Cynthia and Patrick Bradley have brainwashed her daughter into filing for emancipation from her mother and wants the couple to stay away from Misty.

DelaCerna also filed for a third temporary restraining order against a Los Angeles attorney who filed for the emancipation on behalf of her daughter. A hearing date for the emancipation request has not been set.

On Wednesday, DelaCerna told the court she had hired attorney Gloria Allred to represent her.

Torrance Superior Court Judge Lois Anderson Smaltz allowed the hearing to be rescheduled for 9 a.m. Monday so that Allred can familiarize herself with the case.

Misty is a ballet prodigy who won the Spotlight Award for ballet this year and has since received several professional offers.

DelaCerna says the Bradleys are exploiting her child. They say they want only what is best for Misty, but that they are prepared to go to court to enforce a management contract they had signed with the girl and her mother.

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