Daily Mail report alleges that the seven-year-old, who has lived with Rock and his wife for the past seven years, was taken out of the country without the proper adoption process being followed.

Compton-Rock’s legal representative David Aronson told People magazine: “The tabloid reports are false and outrageous. Malaak has never been contacted about an investigation of any sort. The welfare and livelihood of this child has always been of utmost importance to the entire Rock family. She is in the United States lawfully with the written consent of her biological parents, with whom she continues to have contact,”

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The Daily Mail claims the information about the investigation came from a member of the Hawks, but Hawks’ spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi, has denied this.

“There is no investigation from our office, we are investigating nothing and we don’t know which Hawks member they spoke to,” he said.

The child was taken to the US in 2008 when she was six months old. While she is in the care of Rock and his wife, they have not finalised the adoption yet because of the extended South African adoption process.

“While Malaak has made strides in the adoption, she understands that inter-country adoption is a long and rigorous process, with checks and balances in both countries essential for the protection of children. Malaak again appeals for the privacy of her family,” the lawyer’s statement concludes.

According to the Daily Mail, the child’s father is a South African from KwaZulu-Natal, while the mother is Zimbabwean.

The Department of Social Development says it has noted the media reports on the issue, but cannot confirm the alleged inter-country adoption until they receive more information on the matter.

“The Department of Social Development has a working agreement with the United States of America on inter-country adoptions and both countries are obligated to adhere to the agreements,” department spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said in a statement.