Husband Found Other Man Through Social Media (Full Episode) | Paternity Court

Husband Found Other Man Through Social Media (Full Episode) | Paternity Court



Please be seated. Hello, Your Honor. Hello. This is the case of
Smith v. Smith. Thank you, Jerome.
Good day, everyone. AUDIENCE: Good day! Mr. Smith, you have brought
your estranged wife to court to prove that you are
the biological father of her four-year-old daughter,
Christina "Cookie" Smith. You signed
the birth certificate, and have been Daddy
since she was born, and claim you know
you are her father. Is that correct? CHRISTIAN: Yes, ma'am. JUDGE LAKE:
Mrs. Smith, you admit that you allowed your husband
to sign the birth certificate and initially believed
he was Cookie's father, but as your daughter
got older, she no longer
looked like him. And now you believe
another man
is her dad. Is that correct? Yes, Your Honor. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING) Mr. Smith, take us back
to the beginning
of your relationship with Mrs. Smith. In the beginning,
we actually met
in middle school. Uh, we went out until, I want to say,
seventh, eighth grade, and then we reconnected
after high school. All right, and you dated?
Fell in love? Right. We actually
got married. JUDGE LAKE: Okay. CHRISTIAN: We actually
ended up getting new phones
around that time. So, it was just like,
the other phones were
kind of lingering around. So, I'm casually
just going through them. And you know,
I saw text messages,
some photos, between my wife
and some other cat. What did you see?
What was the exchange? CHRISTIAN: Well, it was like,
it was like, you know… "I miss you." When you miss a person,
you know, apparently
you've seen… You've seen them before. You know? Nude photos. Oh! You know what I mean? (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING) Nude photos
of your wife? Or of the man? Excuse me, Your Honor. A little bit of both. I've never
seen any of these
alleged text messages that he's
talking about. Well, did you
send them? (WOMAN LAUGHING) I mean, even if you
haven't seen 'em, did you send them? Yes, ma'am. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING) JUDGE LAKE: Okay. MAN: So, you know about it. Well, then,
he's seen 'em. (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) So, what happened,
Mr. Smith? When you see
these text messages, with nude photos,
and "I miss you…" Basically, you know,
I let my parents know
what was going on. And I packed up,
and I left. I had to. So, you then called
your family member,
your mother. Right. Just to, you know,
because she's my support. You know, she helps me
on everything. Everything. You know what I mean?
Everything. And that's just
out of natural, you know, just
natural affection… You were upset. Yeah. I just had
to go to my mama. I had to,
I had to, I had to. So, she talked me
through it, and, um, she
actually, you know, helped me
get through a lot. So, at some point,
Mrs. Smith, you find out
you're pregnant. Yes, ma'am. Um, when I found out
I was pregnant, we were very excited. I told Christian,
we weren't together. And I thought that this
could be a chance for us to reconnect and make
our marriage work. And he agreed, and shortly after,
we got back together. And so, you found out
you were pregnant,
you told Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith, when you
found out she
was pregnant, were you happy
about it? Extremely happy. JUDGE LAKE: You were
extremely happy. Extremely happy! And she said she hoped
that this would help
rekindle your relationship. Did it? I didn't know what love was
until I met this person. JUDGE LAKE: Right. So, then… And I'm having a baby
with this person, as well? You can't ask for more.
I already got
everything I need. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) So, were you there
at the hospital
when she was born? I made it
priority number one. Okay. Be sure of it. It was a cesarean
section, um, birth. So, what I'd made sure
was, since I couldn't
cut the cord, um, I asked the doctor, you know, "Can I lean over,
can I see?" You know? 'Cause you can only see that
one time, you know? It can only
happen one time. So, now, you know,
when Cookie
is 18, 21, 40, I can tell her, "I saw you
come into this Earth." You know what I mean?
"The first time you just
(GRUNTS) "came out in there." I understand.
And so, you were there. CHRISTIAN: Yes, ma'am. And you were happy? CHRISTIAN: Ecstatic. Did you sign
the birth certificate? Yes, ma'am. JUDGE LAKE: Excellent.
And she has
your last name. CHRISTIAN: Yes, ma'am. And so, Mr. Smith,
at what point do you start having
paternity doubts about Christina? CHRISTIAN: So, I'm in
the shower one day, I believe Khalita
is at work,
Cookie's out there, I'm watching her. And I just noticed something
that doesn't need to be there. You know?
I didn't put it there. I know everything
that goes on in my house, so… It's just a CD that I see
that's out of place, and I'm like,
"I didn't
put this thing here." So… The number that was
on the CD, you know
how people can pass out CDs? Yes. Their contact
information. CHRISTIAN: Right. That number, it's just
something about that number. I didn't forget
about that number. Then I saw
an Instagram name, so, I immediately go,
I look up the Instagram, so I'm scrolling. And I see somebody (CHUCKLES)
holding my daughter. What? CHRISTIAN: You know,
with a cheese… One of these, you know,
with a "cheese"
on their faces, like, you know,
all happy
and everything. So does it
have a caption? Um, it did have
a caption, but I… Not for word-for-word verbatim, but it was something
in the line of him
claiming her though. It was that. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING) So, this photo,
you actually submitted
in your court papers. This is the photo you saw? On Instagram? CHRISTIAN: Honestly,
you know, I don't wanna, um… I don't like
looking at that. I don't like
looking at that at all. JUDGE LAKE: You can't
even look at it. Nah. Who is this man? Well, Your Honor,
his name is Joseph. I actually met Joseph
after we separated. And around the time
I was very vulnerable. (CLEARS THROAT) And he was the only one
showing me any type
of attention, or any love
which I needed, because I felt lonely
around the time, because my husband
left me alone. So… (CLICKS TONGUE) Yeah. JUDGE LAKE:
You had sex with him? KHALITA: Yes, ma'am. JUDGE LAKE: Did you
use protection? KHALITA: No, ma'am. Did you tell him
you were married? No, I did not. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING) So, Cookie is now
four years old. And you believe
that she is this man's
biological child. KHALITA: Yes, Your Honor. Not your husband? KHALITA: No. JUDGE LAKE: But for
the first two years, you allowed your husband
to believe that she was his, without ever saying,
"While we were separated, "I had sex with another guy,
unprotected, "when I got pregnant,"
there's a question? KHALITA: Yes, ma'am,
because I didn't feel like it was any need
to bring it up to him because when me and Joseph
hooked up, we were separated. So, I didn't tell
my husband about it. Well, at the point
you find out
you're pregnant, shouldn't you at least
put these cards on the table? Yeah. JUDGE LAKE: Because he's
bonding with this child
for two years. Correct. JUDGE LAKE:
And you knew the whole… Did you know the whole time
that there was a possibility that this other gentleman
could be her
biological father the entire time? At first, I had no doubt in my mind, that Christian, you know, wasn't
the father of my child. But as Christina
got older, and her features
started changing, that's when I, you know,
had some doubts about it. But, now, your husband
has formed a bond with this beautiful
little girl. He's on her
birth certificate. Right. He's raised her. And you never
stopped to say,
"I better say something"? No, Your Honor. AUDIENCE: Aw. Oh, she's so cute. AUDIENCE: Aw! (CHRISTIAN CHUCKLING) So, if he has a caption
saying, "This is my child," you had told
this other man that the child was his? Yes. Yeah. Before me.
Right? Before me? Like, I don't
mean anything. There's this random person
gets the best information
in the world, and you feel like
you can't tell me the one thing that I actually
need to hear for my sanity? I think we need to hear
from that other man,
and he is here. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING) JUDGE LAKE: Jerome? (APPLAUSE) Please escort
Mr. Joseph Prater
into the courtroom. (AUDIENCE MURMURING) That's tough. (CHUCKLES)
That's tough. We're gonna have you go
right up to the witness stand right next to the Judge. (CLEARS THROAT) Mr. Prater, how did you
meet Mrs. Smith? I seen her walking
down the sidewalk. And I actually
like ran behind her, and, um,
we exchanged numbers. We talked on the phone
for a little bit, not too much in depth,
but we talked
for a little bit. And then maybe a couple
of days after that, we met up. Did she tell you
she was married? No, ma'am.
I had no clue. JUDGE LAKE: So, when did you
find out about the baby? I don't know
the time, verbatim, but the first time that
I'd seen Cookie in person was when she
was two years old. Did you ever find out
she was pregnant at all two years before? Um, yeah, uh… You know what?
I can't… I don't even remember,
verbatim, I don't. So, tell me
about the first time
you met Cookie. I was in, um, downtown, we met in
a public place. And I started walking,
and she was
in a stroller. And she just looked up at me
with that mischievous like… Like one of those
type of things. And I was like,
"Oh, you know me
from somewhere?" Like, that's when I felt
like that might have
been my daughter. You did? Yeah, it was something. It was like she
knew me already. And so,
when you met her, did Mrs. Smith
say to you,
"This is your child"? I ain't gonna lie.
When I seen her… She looks just
like my dad. She looks just like us,
so you know, I never really
like doubted it. You understand
what I'm saying? Like I always thought
that "Yo, this is my child." And so,
while all this
is happening, at two years old, you find out, you accept it,
you've got this little girl. Do you make plans
to stay in her life and to be
a part of her life,
and to take care of her? Yes, ma'am, I did. But at the same time,
I wasn't in a position to be, uh… (STUTTERS) A structure
of a good parent, or anything at all. So, you're saying that you
did not start providing
support for the child. I mean, I would see her.
I would see her,
and we were like… JUDGE LAKE: So you would
see her, and you would
spend time with her. Yes, ma'am. JUDGE LAKE: How many times
did you see her,
spend time with her? She's four now,
after you met her
when she was two. Did you see her
on more than one occasion? JOSEPH: Yes, ma'am.
Yes, ma'am. JUDGE LAKE: And you'd always
refer to yourself as "Daddy"? Yes, ma'am. And all this time,
Mr. Smith, you're also
spending time with her? Of course. And having absolutely no idea
this entire encounter occurred. Still referring to yourself
as "Daddy" as well? (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING) Mrs. Smith, what kind
of web you weavin'? WOMEN: Yeah. Yeah! Mmm. (EXHALES) I'm gonna
give you time
to think on it. I'm gonna hear
from your mother. Please stand, ma'am. Step over
to the podium. State your name
for the record, ma'am. My name is Toni Brooks. JUDGE LAKE: And you
are Mr. Smith's mother. I am, Your Honor. Your son has already said
that when he first, uh, you know, had issues
in his marriage, he ended up moving out,
they ended up
getting back together, they had this beautiful baby,
this baby. I'm sure if your son
thinks it's his daughter, that's in your heart
and mind, your grandchild. It is my grandchild. It is. I love her,
she's been there. When he first…
They broke up… I've never
thought they should've been together
in the first place. I always feel like
their relationship
is just toxic. It doesn't work. At what point do you
even find out
about Mr. Prater? I kept asking, like,
"What's wrong with you?"
Like, "What's it?" He wouldn't tell me. Finally, he was like,
"Look, I gotta
show you something." And he goes,
he pulls up
the Instagram, and just puts it out there,
and he was like, "See, I guess
you were right, Ma." (AUDIENCE GROANING) And I didn't want it to be
a point of me being right. That's not the point.
The truth just
needs to be out. But, with that said,
the truth is, is that you
obviously didn't know that from that two-year point,
Mr. Prater is still in contact and seeing Cookie
as her father. And your son
is still functioning like Cookie's father. And, Mrs. Smith,
even though
you opened up and told Ms. Brooks
the truth, you still were
allowing Mr. Prater
to see her behind your husband's back. Until just now,
I didn't even know
any of that. And, Mr. Prater,
you did not know
about Mr. Smith. No, ma'am. So, Mrs. Smith, why? I just couldn't find
the right time to say anything about it. When you have
issues like this, the right time is
the soonest time available. Because that means
the child would
have clarity. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Your child. And so, as we
stand here today, what are your hopes
in this moment? I assume, Mr. Smith,
you hope that you are her
biological father? CHRISTIAN: Definitely.
Definitely, without a doubt. I… I can't really ask
for anything more. Honestly,
I would love that. JUDGE LAKE: And, Mr. Prater, I assume, since you are
attached to her, and believe you're
her biological father, you also hope
you are her biological father. I do hope she's
my daughter. Like… At the end of the day,
I do want to
apologize to bruh and say that I feel
like, at the same time, if I am the father,
she's just going to have two. Because he's been there
for two years, four years. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) At the end of the day,
I'd be willing to share. You know? So… Mrs. Smith? What do you hope for? I'm just hoping
that we could all
work together for Christina. 'Cause at the end
of the day,
it's about her. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) JUDGE LAKE: And I'm ready
to get the results for her. Jerome, I'll take
the envelope, please. Here you go, Your Honor.
Yeah. Thank you. These results were prepared
by DNA Diagnostics
and they read as follows. In the case of
Smith v. Smith, pertaining to whether
Mr. Smith or Mr. Prater is the biological father
of four-year-old
Christina Smith, it has been determined
by this court, the biological father
is Mr… Prater. (AUDIENCE MURMURING) JUDGE LAKE: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Mr. Smith. I know that was
not the news you wanted. That's tough. Oh, I know. But it doesn't matter. I'm gonna do
what I gotta do. That's my baby. That's my baby. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) But we have
to be honest. It is his baby, too. And he is
the biological father, and you are
the legal father, which means this web
is still continuing. It's complex. So, we have got ourselves into a real situation, with emotional issues, legal issues, marriage issues. We have counseling
and resources
here in this court. I want you all
to sit down and I want
you all to begin
this healing process for yourselves
and, most importantly,
for Cookie. All right? I wish you all
the very best of luck. Court is adjourned.

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