BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — The father of R&B singer Mary J. Blige was hospitalized Thursday after he was stabbed outside his apartment by his ex-girlfriend, police say.
Thomas Blige, 63, was in critical condition at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo late Thursday. His roommate, Michael Thomas, said he appeared to be improving after surgery.
Suspect Cheryl White, 50, was charged Friday with attempted murder and her bond was set at $500,000. She is expected back in court on Feb. 7 for a preliminary hearing.
The roommate said Blige was in a front room of their second-floor apartment at the Arbors of Battle Creek, 200 Oakbrook Blvd., when he heard noises outside.
“He had heard some hissing sounds that he heard from outside, where the air was being let out of his tires,” Thomas said.
He said Blige ran outside and confronted the ex-girlfriend, who had slashed all four tires on his Ford Explorer.
“That’s when she attacked him,” Thomas said.
He stumbled inside, leaving a trail of blood on the sidewalk and in the snow outside the apartment building door.
“He came back in and yelled for me,” Thomas said. “I woke up and came to his rescue.”
He found his friend on the kitchen floor, bleeding from stab wounds to the throat, side and arm.
“Bleeding profusely,” he said. “I had to grab towels and cover the wounds the best I could until the rescue came.”
He said he called 911.
Battle Creek police said they got the call about 7:15 a.m. Thursday. They arrested the ex-girlfriend nearby. The roommate said she lived on the other side of the apartment complex.
Blige is a former jazz musician and Vietnam War vet who left his family and daughter Mary J. Blige, according to her biography, when she was 4.
The roommate said the two have kept in touch.
“They’re in very close contact with each other,” he said.
He said Blige and the ex-girlfriend were on-and-off-again for three years.
“They have a long history of violence,” he said.
Upstairs neighbor Maurice Lewis said fights involving Blige and the ex-girlfriend were common. He said he watched her smash the back window of Blige’s Ford Explorer with a rock a couple months ago.
“For the most part, everybody in there is calm, I’ve never had a problem,” Lewis said. “It’s just whenever she comes over. It’s crazy.”