by Lesley R. Chinn
Three months ago, former Chicago Bulls star Eddy Curry’s ex-girlfriend, Nova Henry and her 10- month-old daughter, Ava, were brutally killed.
For the first time, Henry’s mother spoke about her daughter’s domestic violence troubles and her restraining order against her alleged killer.
Closing out Women’s History Month, Henry attended a campaign fundraiser for Cook County Sheriff candidate Sylvester Baker Jr., held last Saturday at Captain Hard Times Restaurant on 438 E. 79th St. She urged attendees to stand up against domestic violence.
Wearing a black sleeveless dress and pearls, Yolan Henry carried her daughter’s purse as a symbolic gesture. Henry says she must now serve as a voice for her daughter and granddaughter. Both were victims of domestic violence. Atty. Frederick Goings, who is Nova’s exboyfriend, was reportedly charged with their alleged murders. Before her loved ones died, Henry said Nova filed a temporary restraining order against Goings but let it lapse.
“When you file a restraining order, there’s so much red tape, so many hoops you have to jump through, they often don’t follow it,” Yolan Henry stated.
Henry said Goings had a history of domestic violence. She said a state tracking system should be in place to flag past abusers instantly, when a restraining order is initiated.
The tragedy of Nova’s and Ava’s deaths have impacted both the Henry and Curry families, said Henry as she wiped the tears from her eyes after speaking. “A bullet can affect one person or two, but in my family, it has affected many,” she said.
In addition to losing her daughter and granddaughter, Henry said she also suffered a third loss through the court system when her grandson, Noah Henry Curry, was taken away from her. Noah is the son of basketball star Eddy Curry, who now plays for the New York Knicks. Noah lives with Eddy’s mother, Gayle. “I am really at the mercy of the Curry family—-whenever they say I can, is when I can see him. I know he is being well taken care of. I just hope I will be able to see him.”
Yolan Henry recently saw her grandson for an hour at a McDonalds. Henry says she misses him “tremendously.”
Before her death, Nova Henry reportedly signed an agreement which said that if she died the child would go to his father. Yolan Henry said she plans to have the order appealed and hopes that she would be able to raise Noah jointly with the Curry family. She added that she plans to argue her daughter’s abusive attorney-boyfriend coerced her into sign the agreement giving Curry full custody. “All I’m entitled to are grandparents’ visitation rights, even though I have raised my grandson since birth.”
Meanwhile, Baker called for a domestic violence unit in the sheriff’s office to enforce orders of protection. Also joining Henry and Baker were Ronald Holt, whose son, Blair, was killed in 2007 on a CTA bus; and Rev. Dr. Willa Pitts, whose two sons, Kendrick and Carnell, were killed in March.