Newspaper Article Leads Woman To Find Possible Father (Full Episode) | Paternity Court


Please be seated. Hello, Your Honor. Hello. This is the case
ofSpencer vs. Garner-Smith.Thank you, Jerome.
Good day, everyone. AUDIENCE: Good day. JUDGE LAKE: Ms. Spencer,
you’re suing the defendant, your sister, for defaming your mother’s name by now claiming Mr. Smith is her father? That’s right, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: You say,
today’s paternity results will prove he is not. Ms. Garner, you
believe Mr. Smith is your biological father even though he
came into your life only years ago, and never knew
your mother was pregnant or that he could be your father? Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE:
So, Ms. Spencer, how has she defamed your mother? Explain that. I believe that my sister is defaming my mother’s name by making accusations that Mr. Smith is her father. All of our life we have believed that
this man right here, Lucius Kirkland, is the man that
is Carmen’s father. SPENCER: This is the man
that my mother has said to be her father and this is the man that I believe is her father. And I believe that today with this DNA test once it comes back she’ll know, that
this is her father. SPENCER: My mother
was a very strong-willed woman that
spoke her mind. And I do not believe,
Your Honor, that my mother would’ve
left this Earth without letting
Carmen know who she belonged to. And by making
these accusations, she’s defaming who… GARNER: Well, I never
made the accusations. I heard about him when I was in the seventh grade. JUDGE LAKE: What did you hear
in the seventh grade? I was… I was
going to school. I was in the seventh grade. And it was a lady
that came up to me. She said, “I am your aunt,” which would be
his baby sister. So, my mother was
still living at that time. And I went home and
I asked my mother about the accusations, and she told me, these
people was making it up. It wasn’t true. SPENCER: And in… Your Honor, may I interject to say if she heard about that
in the seventh grade that would’ve made
you how old, Carmen? About 12 or 13. And when did he come to you? When I was 37 years old. SPENCER: That means he
thought about it when she was 12 or 13, too, Your Honor. That’s when he
should’ve stood up. (AUDIENCE CLAPPING) JUDGE LAKE: So, Ms. Garner, your mother told you, when you
approached her and said someone had said this to you she said, “They’re lying.” She said they’re lying.
They made it up. So… JUDGE LAKE: And you left
it alone from there? I left it alone from
there. My motherdied when I was 17 years old.JUDGE LAKE:Okay.GARNER:She was 39 years
old. She died from lupus.
Um, I had did a article
on the newspaper when I was 37 years old. GARNER:It was aboutbeing homeless and on drugs,with a drug addiction.I had went to
Lucius Kirkland’s house to wash clothes. When I got back
to the shelter, they said a man called and said he’s seen
that articlein that newspaper, about
you being homeless
and on drugs.And he had
called… Mr. Smith had called this shelter and told them that
he was my father. JUDGE LAKE: Really? GARNER: Yeah. JUDGE LAKE: And so, Mr. Smith, you remember making
that phone call? Ah, yes,
Your Honor. I did. Tell me what happened. Well, after that
was in the paper, in the Canton paper, I got a call from my oldest daughter that, “Carmen is… “You know, is your daughter.” I started reading the paper. And then what happened was then I started to try to communicate with her, with Carmen. SMITH: This is, uh… So… SMITH: 20 years later. She saw
the article. SMITH: Yes. And called you? Yes, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: And said, “This is your daughter.” Yes, ma’am. Why did you believe? JUDGE LAKE: Why did
she believe that? Because there had
been rumors that I was… I was their…
Her father. Did you hear those rumors through the years? Ah, yes, but her
mom never said anything to me about it. She never even mentioned it. SMITH: I’m not here
to defame anybody. And I’m not
here to deny my
responsibility… SPENCER: Your Honor,
all I have to…
I just want to speak on behalf of my mother,
who is not here.Now, I can understand thathe say he heard,
and he lived in a town called Alliance. And we live in a town called Canton. And Carmen’sbiological father,Lucius Kirkland, lives in atown called Maslan.With all those towns together it is about 30 miles long. Everybody knows Andy. Everybody knows Barney. And everybody’s
Aunt Em is Aunt Em. So, if you heard this
once before, why didn’t you stand up then? Why would it take
your grown daughter to come and tell you that, that woman right there is your child, based on a article
in the paper and even after that
article ran, he still was a
sit-down father. SPENCER: He hasn’t
stood up yet. But today he
comes to stand. And today, I come to prove the point that this man is her father. (AUDIENCE CLAPPING) So, Mr. Smith, I mean, Ms. Spencer
makes a point. If you’d heard those
rumors over the years but her mother had never said anything to you, you do remember her mother,
am I correct? SMITH:Correct.JUDGE LAKE:
You remember having
a sexual relationship
with her?
SMITH:Yes.JUDGE LAKE: Did you ever… You were never told
she was pregnant? You never even knew this? No, I did not, Your Honor. Now, let’s go back
into this conversation, ’cause Carmen said when
she was in the seventh grade, his older or his
younger sister said, “You are my niece.” That means for another
seven-year-old… A seventh grader or
maybe a ninth grader to approach a
seventh grader to say, “You are my niece,” that conversation was
somewhere in your household. SPENCER: He lived in a… JUDGE LAKE: Well, I will
say this. Right or wrong, and you probably
won’t accept it because you’ve got
your mind made up. But I’ve sat in this
seat for a long time and helped a lot of families. It is not unusual. He says he didn’t know. If he did know,
it’s not unusual, and we see very often, Jerome can attest to this. Men in Mr. Smith’s position that stay on the outskirts even when they
hear these rumors… Back in the day, I’m sure,
if she was in a relationshiplike you said or
they had a family
and Lucius was deemed
to be her father,
many people during
those time would say you leave well
enough alone unless somebody come
say something to you. SPENCER: I never
ever heard nothin’ about a Mr. Smith until Mr. Smith popped up and said that he may be… JUDGE LAKE: After the article? After the article
had ran, I heard… Mr. Smith, when you were with Ms. Garner’s mother, and Ms. Spencer’s mother,did you remember her alsobeing in a relationship
with someone else?
Lucius, anybody,
do you remember that?
Well, we only… We dated for about a year. JUDGE LAKE: Okay. But, at that particular
time, Your Honor, I did not. Okay. If he dealt with her
for a whole year, he had to have
known something. SPENCER:You know, you don’t
just get a woman pregnant
and then, you don’t
see her no more.
After a year there’s feelings.After a year, you call
her every now and then. After a year, you see
her every now and then. My mother hung out. JUDGE LAKE: Okay. That’s all I’m saying. They had to have some
type of relationship. Babies don’t fall out the sky. They definitely don’t
fall out the sky. But this accusation
right here, it fell from
somewhere. It came up out
of somewhere. And that’s why
we’re here today. Because it came
up out of somewhere, and I want you
to be okay. I want rest of my
sisters to be okay. I don’t…
What it does for me, if we’re somewhere ’cause he has other children. 20 years ago,
they embraced me. They say,
“This is our sister.” They did? GARNER: Yes. GARNER: They have… 20 years ago? GARNER: Yes. But it’s never been
proven through DNA. So, we’re somewhere,
like maybe at an event, at a store, and they walk up and I say “This is my sister Cathy. “Cathy, this is my sister…” And she’d walk away
and might say “Them ain’t none
of your sisters. “You’re crazy.” Your Honor, I never ever
remember saying that none of them was her sister. At the end of the day and
the beginning of the day, I’m worried about
these accusationsand the defaming of
my mother’s name.
GARNER:I’m here
because, this is our mother.
SPENCER: That’s correct. And at the end
of the day all of you are my sisters. And I’m only here because there are other
siblings involved. And I need to know, for me. You know, ’cause a lot of time
you look at me and say “What difference is
it going to change?” What is it going to change? It’s going to change
who my brothers and sisters are. Or it’s gonna change,
who they are not. And that’s why I’m here today. And that’s why
it’s important to me. So… GARNER: ‘Cause y’all
seem to always have
a question of why is this
so important? Because we’ve
always had the same question,
Carmen. It’s still important to me. That you’re always looking
for love in all
the wrong places and once again… I wasn’t looking
for no love. Once again, here
you are, looking… But I wasn’t looking
for love, Cathy. I did a article
on homelessness and drug addiction. Ms. Garner, let me ask you this. Do you believe your mother cheated on the man that you knew to be
your biological father? GARNER:I believe my
mother was 20 years old.
And if I can remember
doing things when I was 20 years old, it could be very
much, so possible. For me to stand here and say “No, it never happened, “I know it didn’t happen.” Cathy was eight years
old when Mom died. GARNER: I was 17,
I’m the oldest. She has all these stories. And she sits down
and she acts like Mother sat around,
like at a fire camp and told ’em
all their business. (AUDIENCE LAUGH) She didn’t do that. JUDGE LAKE: Okay,
so Ms. Garner, you submitted
pictures to the court.This is a split screenof you as a child,and Lucius… Mr. Kirkland.That’s her
dad, Your Honor. Look at those resemblance. Look at that nose.Look at that mouth.That is the man who I believe, when my mother made those accusations, Lucius went to jail whenever he did not pay. And this is only
what they’ve told me. My mother did not play. She would have never sent a man to jail. If there was going to
be a man going to jail it would’ve been him, for not paying child support. SPENCER: She wouldn’t have
did that to him knowing in her heart, that Carmen did not
belong to him. But what if she did
know in her heart? ‘Cause I believe,
when I was younger, you know,
that was okay. But as I’ve
gotten older, I can go places. They say, “Oh, you look
just like Mr. Smith. “We know who your dad is.” GARNER: This has
nothing to do with me. I don’t run around saying, “Mr. Smith is my dad.” People walk up
to me and say. This comes to you,
is what you’re saying. GARNER: Yes. That even when
you’re not looking for that level
of validation… GARNER: They say, “I know
who your father is. “You’re Mr. Smith’s daughter.” I say, “Well, that’s
what they say.” GARNER: It hasn’t been proven. JUDGE LAKE: So, Ms. Spencer, let me ask you why do you think,
when you say, you said earlier,
“She’s looking for love “in all the wrong places.” Why do you feel like she is nurturing this relationship… Do you think
she truly believes that this is her father? I believe this is what
she wants to believe. I believe that in life, you have a person, such as Carmen’s father, who passed away, opposed to say
that she’s Alex’s child to say, I can follow
behind him. First of all, I don’t need
a father to follow behind. I have my own
life to follow behind. And one thing
for certain, and two for sure, if he turns out
to be my father, I’ve had two
great stepfathers. So, I ain’t looking
for no dad, ’cause I’ve been truly blessed in the father department. I don’t need to run
around, blaming no father. (AUDIENCE CLAPPING) Okay, if that’s the case, then what are
you looking for? I’m looking for truth. Okay… That’s what I’m
looking for. Then let’s…
Let’s go… And today,
I’m gonna get it. That’s what I’m
looking for. (AUDIENCE CLAPPING) And today, I’m
gonna get it. Ms. Spencer, Ms. Spencer… You do understand if you’re just
living your life and people keep walking up to you, talking about you look just
like this person, you look like that person, you look like… And you remember as early as seventh grade, someone
telling you this, and you addressed
it with your mother. You were told they were lies. But the seed had been planted. You know there’s a saying “You can’t un-ring a bell.” So when that happened, the bell was rung. And then, these subsequent interactions, moments, only re-enforced
what she had heard as a child. And so, her desire
to have just the truth and to know once and for all, I think, is very credible. See it started with
a article about homelessness
and drug addiction. Who claims that? Who just says… “That’s mine and
I want to help it.” That don’t say Carmen hit
a million dollar lottery. Okay. That says
you need help. Okay, so, Your Honor, who claims that? Answer that question for me. Because if… I had a child
that, I didn’t know, that was my child, and the article ran,and they said
that they
were needing help,
for whatever
they needed help with, please answer me,
what kind of help
did he give her? Mr. Smith, did you
help her? Mm-hmm. Your Honor… You called her,
we know that. I, I, Your Honor,
I called her. Not only that, let, let me set
the record
straight here, please. I am 78 years old. I have 14 children. I took care of
all of my children, 14 of them. And I’m not
a deadbeat dad. I’m just slow
and I take it easy.
I don’t say much. But when I found out
this was my child, supposedly, that’s why
we here today, I took her under my wings and all of my children, they love her
and they know that. (AUDIENCE CLAPPING) So I’m not here
as a deadbeat dad. I’m here to set
the record straight,
Your Honor. Let’s just, Your Honor,
let’s just get it over with. With that said,
are we ready for the results? JUDGE LAKE: ‘Cause I
have them for you. Yes, we are. Yes, we are. We ready?
All right. If you’d like
to take a seat, anyone. I know this has been
very emotional for everyone. If you’d like to take a seat,
sir, ma’am? JUDGE LAKE: Anybody, you’re
more than welcome. I’m ready. These results were prepared
by DNA Diagnostics, and they read as follows. In the case of
Spencer v. Garner-Smith,
when it comes to 57-year-old
Carmen Garner, it has been determined
by this court, Mr. Smith, you… Are her father. Glory! (AUDIENCE CLAPPING) Thank God.
(SNIFFLES) Judge, could I please
say one more thing? What would you
like to say, sir? I watch your show
all the time. (ALL LAUGHING) This is the Gospel. I was watching
your show and uh, the young lady
called me, and I said,
“You know, I don’t do
that other stuff.” I say, “I’m watching
Judge Lake.” She said,
“Oh, that’s where you going.” I said, “Well, let’s go,”
you know, but uh, before that,
I wasn’t gonna go
on no show, but God bless you
and I really love you. JUDGE LAKE: Well, thank you. (WORDS STUTTERING) I will say this,
this is a courtroom that takes family
very seriously. Children and the truth. Ms. Spencer, you were
so passionate today. And the bottom line is, what I saw
between you two sisters, is all that matters. Is because, as sisters
you can have disagreements, you can have, whatever,
it doesn’t matter. You’re still family. And I love the fact
that you embraced
your sister lovingly. And I love the way
you love her. If you feel like,
you want to
talk something through, we have
resources for you, our counselors,
our psychiatrists, whatever you need. But this is
a joyous day. And I’m so glad
you all now know for sure. Yeah. I wish you
the very best of luck. Court is adjourned. SPENCER: Thank you. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

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