Sister’s Husband May Be Father (Full Episode) | Paternity Court

Sister’s Husband May Be Father (Full Episode) | Paternity Court


Please be seated. Hello, Your Honor. Hello. This is the case of
Griffin v. Richmond.
Thank you, Jerome.
Good day, everyone. AUDIENCE: Good day. Mr. Griffin. You were a married man
who had a two-year affair
with your wife’sstep-sister, the defendant.You say that relationship
produced a daughter but Mrs. Richmond claims you
are not her daughter’s
biological father. Is that correct? Yes, Your Honor. Your other daughter, Lakesha,
is here to support your claim. Mrs. Richmond, you admit to the affair with Mr. Griffin
but say you are positive the plaintiff is not your
daughter’s biological father
and you plan to prove that in court today,
is that correct? That is correct,
Your Honor. And so how do you end up
having an affair with
your sister’s husband? Not thinking. Just being wild
at that time of my age. And just not caring
about anything.
I can admit to that. I’m trying to fix it
for her now. Mr. Griffin, I have to
ask you now. I mean,
you’re a married man. And it’s bad enough
you sleeping outside
the marriage. But your wife’s sister? That was an honest
mistake, Your Honor. But at the same… Wait, that wasn’t a mistake
in identity, you knew it was
your wife’s sister. No, I understand.
I’m talking about me
doing what I did. Was it an honest mistake
or a dishonest mistake? Dishonest mistake. How long did this mistake… It lasted I’d say about
two years. Two years? No, a year. This was no mistake.
This was a decision. SHEILA: Exactly. Okay. So, for two years you
were sleeping with
your wife’s sister? Yes. Regularly? Yes. Often, very often. Without protection? Without protection. Lord. You should be able to be
alone with your sister’s
husband and not sleep with him and not sleep
with you. Right. Yes, Your Honor. But how are you all spending
this much time where this
type of relationship could develop? ‘Cause he was taking me
home when I used to go
over to their house to visit my stepsister
and stuff. How long had you been
married at the time,
Mr. Griffin? I would say
about 10 years. So you had all known
each other for an extended
amount of time. Oh, this is all
in the family. All in the family,
Your Honor. I was in love
so I thought that… I thought what I thought
was love back then
at that time. Oh, so you had worked
yourself up that you were
in love with him? Yes, Your Honor.
I think that’s why I chose to
tell him first before anyone else that he was
the father. We slept together more
unprotected than I did with
the other gentle… And when you told him what was
his response, do you remember? As I remember,
he said, “Yes.” Right off. He came
over to my house he picked her up and he went
up to the stairs and he put
her up to the light and he said,
“Yeah, she could be mine.” And that was the last
we ever discussed
her really seriously. That’s the last you
discussed her paternity? Of him seeing her actually
and of me and him talking about her and being… I’ve never seen him. Yeah… That’s because she left. JUDGE LAKE:
Hold on, Mrs. Richmond. I’m coming to that part. Mrs. Richmond, you’re
asserting in court today that you have not seen
Mr. Griffin. I’ve seen him one time
when I was 14. In your life? In my life. I spoke to him to the first time
on the phone like
the other week. I never talked to him… That’s because 30 years
I’ve been knowing that she’s my daughter. So you never
had a doubt? Never had a doubt. In 30 years? In 30 years. I did tell him that
I was pregnant but also I did tell him
that he was the father. But at the time he also knew
that I was with other people. Also and he was
a married man, so… And I’m sure he was with
other people too, so. I was with two other guys. So you are admitting that
at the window… During the window of
conception you were also
sleeping with two other men? Yes, Your Honor. Did you tell those men
you were pregnant? No, Your Honor. Why did you did only choose
to tell Mr. Griffin? Mr. Griffin was the one I was
with mostly all the time. Right, so you know it only
takes once though, right? Yes, ma’am. Her mother is saying there
is doubt and you not,
how can you be so sure? ‘Cause I have photos here of
when I was young and she was young. Jerome, let me see that. And because if it wasn’t
my daughter why would she come and tell me
she was pregant? Were you with her
all during the pregnancy? No. SHEILA: We was never together. You weren’t together
during the pregnancy? After I got pregnant, we never
had much contact because
I got into a relationship… That’s because you didn’t
want to come over. With another gentleman. JUDGE LAKE: While you were
pregant with his child? We ain’t hardly
seen each other. She was trying to hide it from her stepsister. So, Mr. Griffin, how did
you tell your wife that you got her
sister pregnant? I didn’t. Because I was too embarrassed
to tell her I did that. So, Tykia,
I want to hear from you. Right. ‘Cause I want to
understand at what
point did you find out. Um, like the first time
someone brought his name up was like, um…
My mom never brought
his name up. And then we went to
Albany when I was in
the third grade and my aunt and my counsins say, “Oh, you look
just like the Griffins.” “You look just like
the Griffins.” That’s what
everybody always say. “You look just like
those Griffins.” And I’m like, “Who is
the Griffins?” And she’s like,
“No, those not your people. “That’s not your dad.”
I don’t know. My mom… When people ask me who is
my dad, I’ve always said
my whole life I don’t have a dad.
I don’t know my dad. I don’t have a name.
My mom never told
me a name. How hard is that as a young
woman growing up? It’s just sad. And now I always have to hear
stupid stories about some old 70s triangle love,
love triangle. It’s just stupid. Wow, your family they’re your links.
They’re your pieces
to your puzzle when you figure out who you
are as a child. Exactly. Without that, I can imagine
you did feel like you didn’t know where you
came from. I am sorry about that too
’cause I was very selfish
for years and and I didn’t want to deal
with my past but I wasn’t
thinking about your life. And I’m sorry. Probably when I was like
in high school, I got a message on Myspace. Remember Myspace? I sure do. I wasn’t on it but
I remember it. I got a message on Myspace
from Lakesha. This long little thing saying
“I think you’re my sister.” And I’m just like, uh,
like who is this girl? Wait, so when you first got
the message where you
overwhelmed with emotion or did you feel it was a prank,
what were you thinking? I just thought
she was crazy because it wasn’t what
my mom say. Oh, because your mom told… All I know is what
my mom say. So, Ms. Griffin, Lakesha,
I want to hear from you. You reached out to Tykia? I did. And what made you do that? Well I was in my dad’s room
one day ’cause my sister
was taking up the other mirror so I was in there doing
my hair. And after I got done and I’m
getting my hair supplies out
of his room and stuff, you know, I’m straightening
up his dresser and
I see some mail from Jackson County
Child Support and I begin to look at it
and I seen her name. Tykia’s name. After that I decided to look
her up on Myspace so I can see
what she looks like. Had you ever been told
about Tykia? Yes. Who told you about her? My mother. She just kind of mentioned
we had another sister but I
didn’t know what her name was. So, Mrs. Richmond, how
did Mr. Griffin end up
with child support papers if you said he was
not the father. Okay, I’m getting ready
to explain that to you,
Your Honor. When I moved to
Wisconsin with her when
she was almost two and we took a paternity test
at that time, okay? I went on and did the child
support and she told me that the test proves
he’s not the father so do you
have another name to give me? So you were told he was
not the father? All right, now I want to
jump over to you, Mr. Griffin. Do you remember submitting
to this DNA testing years ago? Yes, I do. From my knowledge, I got
the paper saying I was. You got the papers and they
said you were the father? So you’re saying you got
paperwork from one DNA test. You got paperwork that says
you were the father and Mrs. Richmond, you got
paperwork that says he wasn’t. Exactly. And I also called… I’ve been hearing that
for about eight years. It’s stupid because
when I look… I said mom, “There’s no
record of that DNA test.” Hold on,
so now the plot thickens. Why would I get child
support papers if
I didn’t do the test? Well I don’t know why
Jackson County would
lie when we called. (OVERLAPPING DIALOG) SHEILA: Yeah, I took the test. Ooh, hold on, family,
hold on. SHEILA: Yes, Your Honor. Wow. This is complicated. All I know is that I believe
the other people. Thank you. When I called them, they said
that they do not have a test. They said that we took ours
but that he did not show up
to take his. That’s what they said. JUDGE LAKE: And that in… If that’s true, I don’t know. Listen, listen. That, in and of itself, is why
even at 32 years old it is important for you to be
in this courtroom today. Amen. From that very piece of
testimony you just said. I want to move forward because
I want to understand. In your court papers, Tykia,
you mentioned that one of the reasons you were
prompted to get down to the bottom
of this was because of the
loss of your husband. Correct, one of the other
sisters, Griffin sisters, um, her wedding was
May 21st, 2011. And she invited me
and my husband and my husband believed
that I looked like some of
the other sisters. So he was like,
“Yeah, we should go.” And I’m like… “I don’t know.” And then I
talk to the other people like
my sister and my mom and they are like, you know,
“I don’t think they’re your
family so why would you go “all the way to Michigan
to a wedding.” So we did not go
and that was the day he died. Aw, I’m so sorry. TYKIA: And, um,
he was a firefighted. I loved him to death. He drowned.So, I mean I was
just so sad.
JUDGE LAKE: He drowned
in the line of duty? Yeah, if you go to Macon,
Georgia, they renamed
the area after him Lake Tobesofkee to the
Michael Jones Fishing Area. So that’s nice and um… So basically her wedding day
is my death day. If we would have went,
maybe he’d be alive. TYKIA: (SOBBING) I’m sorry. You don’t have to apologize. You don’t have to apologize
and you don’t have to
feel guilty. I’m sorry. JUDGE LAKE: No… I’m sorry, I just don’t want
to talk about my husband. JUDGE LAKE: I understand.
I understand. (SOBBING) Sorry. You don’t have to apologize. What I’m here to make you
understand and I’m hoping
that I can is that this guilt that you feel… First of all, I want to say
that it’s normal. I have lost my mother
and I probably
replay that day… It’s been 10 years and I still
replay the day. As if I would have taken the
12 o’clock flight instead
of the five o’clock flight and everything I could have
done in between.
That is natural. But what I see here is even
another layer to this. That because of that lack
of security. Because of that feeling
of disconnection, all of these feelings,
I believe, are compounding what your natural grief
process would be. And that’s where our paternity
issues, they begin to anchor us down.
They weigh us down. So that we can’t
move forward. And that’s why it’s important
that we come here to get this
resolved today. I think it’s time
to get some answers. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Before I go to these results, Mr. Griffin. Hmm-mmm. I want you to look
across the aisle
right now. This is a woman, you say
this is your daughter. Yes, yes, I truly believe. Well to me you haven’t been in
this courtroom acting like
much of a father. And I want you to turn to your
daughter right now, if you believe this is
your daughter, and I’d like for you to tell
the court how you feel and more importantly how you
recognize what she feels. Well, I’m sorry for your husband and I wish that I had been
there for you. And I’m sorry for not
being there for you. Listen, I do believe you have
a level of regret. You come from a generation
where I’m sure there
was a level of, “Well, just let
well enough alone.” Well some people believe that.
We hear those stories in
this courtroom. Where when things get away
from us or when people move on you don’t want to disrupt
the new family structure,
and you feel like, “Well, let me just play my
part and stay to the back.” But I do want you to
understand, as this young
woman stands here, and talks about what she’s
dealt with for 32 years. I want you to honor
the part that you had to
play in that hurt beause that is important
for her healing as well. JUDGE LAKE: I’m ready
for the results. These results were prepared
by DNA Diagnostics and
they read as follows. In the case ofGriffin v. Richmond,when it comes to
32-year-old Tykia Richmond…30 years I’ve been knowing
that she’s my daughter.
It has been determined
by this court… Mr. Griffin, you are not her father. 32 years of thinking
you were this woman’s father. I’m just gonna have to help
her find him ’cause I got
names for her. So whatever I gotta do
to find her father, I’m just
gonna have to continue. I’m sorry. It’s okay. You’re still my sister. Thank you for that. I don’t see how she shouldn’t
be our sister, I mean, look at her eyes
and look at mine. She has the same big
seductive eyes as me. JUDGE LAKE: No, listen,
listen, listen. This is the issue with
paternity secrets. Because the mind begins
to play the game, right? And then the heart
follows suit, right? She’s been told since the
third grade, you look like
the Griffins, the Griffins, the Griffins, all her life. There are times I sit
in this chair and my heart will
buy into something. But only the DNA has the truth. We wish it would have turned
out differently for you all, but we wish you all the very
best of luck and we appreciate your courage
to come in here today
to get the truth. Court is adjourned. Tykia, can I see you
for a moment.

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