Prominent Sacramento artist David Garibaldi served jail time for failure to pay child support

Well-known Sacramento artist David Garibaldi was released from jail Tuesday after serving five days for contempt of court after a judge ruled he failed to fully pay child support to his ex-wife.

Sacramento Superior Court records show Garibaldi was remanded last Thursday for a 10-day jail sentence at the Sacramento County Main Jail downtown. It’s not unusual for those jailed to serve less time to prevent jail overcrowding.

Garibaldi and his wife divorced in 2018, and he was ordered in family court beginning that December to pay $14,000 a month to his ex-wife, court documents show — $7,000 in child support and $7,000 in alimony.

Court records show Garibaldi was found to be non-compliant or partially compliant with his child support order for multiple months in 2022 and 2023.

Garibaldi in an Aug. 3 hearing was cited for contempt of court over his failure to adhere to the order, prompting the jail time.

“The mother of my kids demanded that she be paid $20,000 per month, even though I stated this was unsustainable for any amount of time,” Garibaldi said in a Facebook video posted Wednesday.

Performance artist David Garibaldi opens for the band Kiss at Golden 1 Center on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. Garibaldi paints three art pieces during the opener that will be auctioned off to benefit 916 Ink, a local arts-based creative writing nonprofit organization.

Garibaldi said when the divorce agreement was finalized, he paid $20,000 per month throughout 2017 until November 2018.

Garibaldi and his ex-wife went back to court November 2018. He asked to lower the monthly payments, and she asked for more. The judge settled on $14,000 as Garibaldi’s future monthly payments.

“The judge decided on just kind of a number out of the wind of $14,000 with no data to support that I could even afford this, or that there was any discovery (evidence) shown that this is an accurate number,” Garibaldi said in his Facebook video.

The $14,000 was supposed to be a temporary two-month order, but Garibaldi said he still paid that total years later.

Before the court would even consider changing the order, Garibaldi said the court ordered him to hire a forensic accountant.

“They gave us a half-baked report that even still said ‘draft’ on it. They didn’t even finish the report. But there is an important piece of data in there that showed that my monthly take home could not support this monthly amount sustainably,” Garibaldi claims.

By 2020, according to Garibaldi, he had paid $600,000 in support. During the pandemic, Garibaldi said he lost business and could no longer pay the full monthly amount.

This led to Garibaldi having his driver’s license suspended and serving 60 hours of community service.

“Before they did the sentencing, there was an option to do home detention or work project, they offered it to the other party,” Garibaldi said. “They objected. The judge decided to go with them and what they wanted. And so I was ordered to a 10-day sentence in jail.”

The attorney for Garibaldi’s ex-wife declined to comment on the matter.

Garibaldi’s music-driven art creations landed him on the seventh season of “America’s Got Talent” in 2012; he finished in fourth place that year on the reality TV competition series.

Garibaldi was born in Los Angeles and later moved to south Sacramento as a kid. In Sacramento, he learned to enjoy creating art on “larger and somewhat illegal canvases” by painting graffiti as a teenager, according to the artist’s website.

The Bee’s Rosalio Ahumada contributed to this story.