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Thursday, January 16, 2014

5 fascinating celebrity paternity fraud cases

Until  just a few years ago Texas men were required to pay child support for any children born during their marriage—even for children that DNA testing proved were not their own. This meant that a man had to continue to pay child support after a divorce, regardless if the child was the result of infidelity. Texas changed this law as part of a growing response to the growing problem of paternity related fraud. 

Athletes, musicians, actors, and other celebrities have been a particularly hot target for paternity fraud, often having to get involved in legal cases for even the most baseless accusations. The following are five stories that had some celebrities breathing a sigh of relief when the truth finally came out: you are not the father.

Justin Bieber
Teen idol Justin Bieber becomes one of the youngest celebrities to face a paternity suit

Superstar singer Justin Bieber was just 17 years old when a 20 year old woman filed a lawsuit claiming that he was the father of her three month old baby. Bieber responded to the accusations by taking a DNA paternity test, which he said he would use to sue his accuser for making such baseless public accusations. 

The accuser promptly dropped her lawsuit, though continues to claim he is the father despite significant evidence to the contrary. Perhaps most interesting of all, if the test were to prove that he was indeed the father she would face criminal charges—Bieber was only 16 years old at the alleged time of conception. Luckily for him, paternity tests made possible by companies like GTLDNA allowed him to make a worthy case.

Mistress misses the ball by a mile in paternity claim against golfer Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
The discovery that Tiger Woods had been involved in a slew of extramarital affairs created a media frenzy—and no shortage of bizarre and bogus claims. Devon James, one of Woods’ mistresses, made headlines when she filed a paternity suit against the golf ace, claiming that her then nine year old son was his.

Unfortunately for her, DNA testing performed roughly eight years earlier indicated that there was a 99.99% chance that her ex-boyfriend was the child’s father. Even James’s mom was aghast with the absurdity of the claim, stating that her daughter is a pathological liar and a fraud. The case was promptly dismissed.

Anna Nicole Smith

Tragic death of model Anna Nicole Smith creates a slew of paternity claims

Former model and reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith’s death in 2006 set off a frenzy of claims regarding who exactly was the father of her infant daughter. Smith’s attorney, a photographer friend, her personal bodyguard, and Zsa Zsa Gabor’s eccentric husband all claimed to be the father; with others suggesting that the baby was the product of artificial insemination.

DNA testing ultimately proved that photographer Larry Birkhead was indeed the father, replacing Smith’s attorney Howard K. Stern as the listed father on the birth certificate. While one would hope the numerous paternity claims were made out of love, Smith’s child stands to inherit somewhere in the area of $50,000,000 from her mother’s estate.

Comedy legend Bill Cosby is the target of multi-million dollar paternity extortion scheme

Bill Cosby
Autumn Jackson could be Cosby’s daughter, but that didn’t save her from receiving a five year prison sentence for extortion in 1997.

Cosby admitted to having a one night affair with Jackson’s mother, but has adamantly denied being her father. Autumn believed otherwise, and demanded he pay her $40 million dollars to keep her from going to the press.

Unfortunately for Autumn the FBI was on the case, ultimately leading to her conviction for felony extortion. Cosby has undergone DNA testing to determine whether or not he is the father, but Autumn refuses to provide a sample for comparison.

Michael Jordan’s paternity accuser tosses air ball

Michael Jordan
Georgia resident Pamela Smith’s decision to accuse basketball icon Michael Jordan of fathering her 17 year old son was more or less laughed out of court, particularly when it was discovered that she had hired a PR rep before hiring a lawyer. Filing a false claim against a hyper-competitive athlete is a risky choice, and Smith learned this first hand.

The fact that Smith had already established the paternity of her son in 2003 via DNA testing came to light, infuriating Jordan, who went on to demand she pay for his legal bills. The judge agreed, forcing her to fork over almost $10,000 to cover Jordan’s legal bills. Smith’s bizarre decision to slander and hopefully profit from the basketball superstar proved to be a costly—not to mention embarrassing—decision.

Presented by GTL

Image licenses: 1. Joe Bielawa, CC BY-SA 2.0; 2. Keith Allison, CC BY-SA 2.0; 3. Toby Forage, CC BY-SA 2.0; 4. U.S. Navy/Scott King, US-PDGov; 5. Barbara Moore, CC BY-SA 2.0

1 comment:

  1. I feel that most actors are not so foreign to us. I think that we know the stars as if they were our neighbors, and we are naturally curious about them.