After Learning Child’s Paternity, Woman Returns To Find Out Her Own (Full Episode) | Paternity Court


Please be seated. Hello, Your Honor. Hello. This is the case of
Peterson v. Peterson.
JUDGE LAKE: Thank you, Jerome.
Good day everyone. AUDIENCE: Good day. Mr. Peterson,
just one month ago, your world came crumbling down
when your wife, Mrs. Peterson, revealed she had been
keeping a secret, that your 22-year-old
daughter, Lajoya Jackson, may not be your biological
daughter, is that correct? Yes, it is. Mrs. Peterson, you admit, that 22 years ago,
during the window
of conception, you had sex with another man,
Mr. Beckham, but you want to prove today
in court, that Mr. Peterson
is Ms. Jackson’s father. Yes, Your Honor. So, Mr. Peterson, explain
to the court what happened
just a month ago. Uh, I work third shift, so, I’m not at home
a lot, but… I came home, went to sleep,
got up the next morning, not expecting anything
out of the ordinary. My daughter Lajoya and
her mother, my wife, Letia, they were outside, talking,
and I got up to go outside
to say “Good morning.” And before I could
say anything, I heard Lajoya say, “What? Milton might not
be my dad?” I looked at my wife and, I said, “What is she
talking about?” And… She ignored me.
I asked her again, she kinda teared up,
and she walked off. I didn’t want to start
an argument or confrontation, so I went on back in the house
and waited for her
to calm down… But she finally told me,
about two days later that, there was somebody
in the past. And Ms. Peterson, do you remember
this conversation? Yes, Your Honor. And those were the words
you uttered to your daughter, that Mr. Peterson may not be
her biological father? Yes, they are, Your Honor. So, up until this point, Mr. Peterson, you had no doubt
that Lajoya was your daughter? MILTON:None at all,
whatsoever.
We had so much in common,
I never, ever, would have
thought that, this would be going on. Never. And you and Mrs. Peterson,
you’ve been together
for how long, 23 years? MILTON: 23 years, yes. And married for
13 of those years? Yes. So, this is a
long-standing relationship? MILTON: Yes. And you never knew? MILTON: No. You’ve kept this secret
this long, Mrs. Peterson? Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: Why? I didn’t wanna harm my family,
or break what I built. When we first got together,
I thought she was a virgin. I asked her about
past relationships… She told me that
they were not sexually active. But she did have
other boyfriends before me. So, that’s why I’m…
Where I’m at now. And that’s why
you had no question? Right. But, in fact, you were not
a virgin when you met him,
Mrs. Peterson? No, I wasn’t, Your Honor. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING IN SHOCK) So, Lajoya, when you first
heard this news,
what were you thinking? I’ve had some suspicion
for almost a year now. We were out of state,
we just moved here. And a guy, just randomly,
came up to my door
and was like, “Oh, your mom told me
where you live at.
I’m your father. “Um, I went to jail, “and your mom said
another guy was your father, “because she didn’t want
nobody not to be
there for you…” When I first came to my mom
about it, she was like, “Oh, that’s an old friend
of mine, but he’s like
not right in the head. “He’s funny, I don’t know why
he’s says that or whatever.” She kinda brushed it off
but I said it in front
of my father, Mr. Peterson, I said it in front of him,
but she was like, like, kinda trying to
quiet it off, like don’t talk about it
right now, you know. How did it happen that just a month ago,
you revisited this situation
with your mother? A month ago,
I was previously in court, because I had
a similar situation. Um, with my child’s father,
uh, um… With my boyfriend,
I lied and told him that
he was not the father, but, it… I didn’t like
having that between us, and I came clean to him. So, then,
I confronted my mother, which is the conversation
that my father, Mr. Peterson,
walked in on… Um, and asks her,
“Do you just wanna go
and do it, “so that, you know,
just for my clarity, “because I’m feeling
some type of way about it,
you know?” And, she had never admitted
that there was
a possibility of… One guy being my… My…
Potentially being my father… And then I found out,
there were multiple guys that
could possibly be my father. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING IN SHOCK) Wow. So, Mrs. Peterson, this now, I’m sure,
has affected your marriage? Yes, it has, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: Because you told
Lajoya there were multiple men that could be her father. Your Honor, we barely
have a family anymore. And when it started from us
daily arguing, to them not speaking at all, to my mother sleeping
in the car in the driveway. She ended up getting so sick
from sleeping out in the rain, and it just got so bad.
It’s like, we don’t even talk anymore. You don’t talk to your father,
or your mother? None of us. It’s like
we don’t exist to each other. It’s not as much as
I’m mad at him, as much as I’m hurt
to look at him every day… He doesn’t eat,
he goes days
without sleeping, and like that hurts me,
you know. I know that it’s not my fault,
but I still feel so involved just for the simple fact that
I don’t want to see him
like that. Wow. You’re right, sweetheart.
This is not your fault. But I can imagine how it feels
to see the man you love
as your father, going through this.
Mr. Peterson, this hurts. MILTON: A lot. I can see. MILTON: A lot. I try very hard to stay
around and be there, especially for the grandkids,
because my… My grandparents
were there for me,
and I wanted to be that same type of
example to them. And they call me “Grandpa,”
and… Every time I see them, they…
I love you, run to me
and give me hug. And that touches me. And I lost my grandfather
not too long ago. So I’m…
While I’m still young,
I want to be there for them. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Wow. Mrs. Peterson, would have
ever said anything, if this man had not
approached her a year ago? Had you planned
to take this secret
to your grave? Yes, she did.
She did, Your Honor. LETIA: Yes, Your Honor. It just feels so weird
knowing that, it’s a potential
that somebody else
could be my father, ’cause I never thought that
this could happen to me. Never thought.
I never used to think
as a child, like, “Oh, this might not
be my dad.” I just wake up and be like,
“Oh, dad, make me
some cereal.” Not, “Oh, this might not
be my dad.” And now, if he feels
as if he can’t take this, and I’m not his child,
he could walk away
at any moment. And he had no ties
or connections to me, or my children
if he’s not my father. All these years,
everything’s been perfect. Up until, a couple
of months ago… It’s… It’s been arguing back
and forth for like we don’t even know
who each other are anymore. I feel like I’m in
a whole another place, but my body is over here.
I’m just… I’m not where
I’m supposed to be. Mrs. Peterson, you say
if there could be multiple men
that are her father? That means during
the window of conception, around the time
she was conceived,
you were with different men. How were you able
to pull that off and be in a committed relationship
with Mr. Peterson? I was very young.
I knew better, but I didn’t think about
the consequences
before I did things. I go to parties and drink,
and everything like that, and then go home with people. You were young,
so he wouldn’t necessarily
think you were missing. You were just at a party,
you just went to a party. LETIA: Right. JUDGE LAKE: He wasn’t thinking
you were having sex with people after the party. Correct. (SIGHS) So, the other man
that’s in court today
is Mr. Beckham.Can you explain the nature
of your relationship with him?
We partied together,
we drank together,
we had sex a couple of times.And he potentially could be
Lajoya’s biological father?
Yes. Along with the other 12 men. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING) LAJOYA: Right? Yes. The number is 12? No, that’s not
the exact number, but more and more men
just keep coming out
of the woodworks. Mrs. Peterson, Mr. Beckham,
the other possible father, did you ever tell him
you were pregnant, and he could potentially
be the father? No, I didn’t, Your Honor. All right, I think it’s time
we meet Mr. Beckham. Lajoya, please go stand
with your father, and Jerome, will you please
escort Mr. Beckham
into the courtroom, please. Thank you for joining us
today, sir. ANTONIO: How are you?
(CLEARS THROAT) We are getting down
to the bottom
of this paternity situation, as it relates
to Lajoya Jackson. When did you find out that you could potentially
be her biological father? Mmm, I found out like
about two weeks ago. ANTONIO: She contacted me
through Facebook. And basically,
she had once told me,
once before, that, you know,
she could have been pregnant,
or whatever, so… But I had moved, I moved away. But basically, you know,
we had met at a party…
We were drinking… And you know…
It was a lot going on… But drinking mean that
you couldn’t have been
the father? JUDGE LAKE: Right.
But… Exactly. Why… Why didn’t you try
to pursue and see
what was going on? Well, basically, at that time,
I was young and I was scared. And you know,
I really just wasn’t ready
to be a father at that time. So, when you grew up,
why didn’t you try
to contact her like, “Oh, let me see what she did
with the child.” Or anything… (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) LAJOYA: Like that’s a straight
dead beat move, right there. Yeah, I basically… I might have a child in this
world, but I don’t care. I’m just gonna go on
and move away,
whole out of state. A million miles away
and not even see
if the child is mine. Did Mrs. Peterson say to you,
“I’m pregnant,
and you’re the father?” Yeah, somewhat like that. She said it.
I could be the father. JUDGE LAKE: You could be? ANTONIO: Yeah. Mrs. Peterson, you testified that
you did not tell him
you were pregnant. I didn’t. So, is he remembering
the story wrong? Yes, Your Honor. So, he’s remembering it wrong,
or you’re remembering
it wrong, because to me,
neither one of you’ll
got your stories straight. I just want to know
what happened, for real. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Hold on, I wanna hear
your testimony. What are you saying,
Mrs. Peterson? I said that we are not liars. Neither one of us
are the person that we were. I mean, I know you grew up… LETIA: And I’ve been… since before any of this. …your mother
every day since then. You have been my mother. But you’ve been lying to me
about who my father is for 22 years! (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Every day, when I got
to wake up and see that you’ll arguing,
you sleeping in the car, and this guy right here,
just sitting there,
looking like… Oh, this doesn’t
affect his life,
and you’re ruining my family. And you don’t care. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Oh, we was drinking,
we was having a party, but you don’t care, ’cause at the end of the
night, you gonna go home
to your family. You probably got a family. I don’t know,
’cause I never saw you
a day in my life, ’cause you never tried
to contact me. It’s my first time
even seeing you,
a day in my life. Right, and it looks like
you don’t care. I mean, I do care,
I wanna find out,
if I am your father. I really do.
That’s why I’m here. ‘Cause if I am your father,
then I’m gonna step up, and do what I’m supposed
to do for you. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) You know,
it’s not my fault that me and your mom was young
and we were kids. You know, and basically,
my family moved away. And so, therefore, that’s how
I really lost contact. But small world though.
We’re all here together.
So, today… We gonna find out. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) ANTONIO: And I really
do wanna know. I’m sorry for, you know,
not being there,
if I am your father. I really apologize for that. (SOBBING) We’re gonna
find out today, Lajoya,
’cause I really wanna know. Mrs. Peterson, when you see
your daughter, in this much pain, do you regret
not telling her sooner? Yes. (SOBBING) This is not what
I meant to happen. JUDGE LAKE: Mr. Peterson,
I know this hurts, because Lajoya
is your only child with Mrs. Peterson. MILTON: She’s our only child. And so, if she’s not
your biological child, this relationship you’ve had
for all of these years… It’s gonna break my heart. If… If she’s not mine… Like I said, I feel like
I wasted a lot of time. I got to start all over again,
’cause I would like to have
a family of my own, if she’s not my daughter. I don’t want to leave
from her family, but I would like
to have me a family. Are you saying that
if you are not Lajoya’s
biological father… I’m gone. JUDGE LAKE: You are going
to get a divorce? You are
gonna pursue a divorce? I’m gone. I… I… I hurt her, she hurt me, that’s not
what love is about. I got to go if she’s not mine. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) I think it’s time
for the results. Jerome? These results were prepared
by DNA Diagnostics and they read as follows. In the case of
Peterson v. Peterson,
when it comes to
22-year-old Lajoya Jackson, it has been determined
by this court, Mr. Beckham, you… Are not her father. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) In the case of
Peterson v. Peterson,
when it comes to
22-year-old Lajoya Jackson, it has been determined
by this court, Mr. Peterson, you… Are not her father. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING IN SHOCK) Oh, my God! (SOBBING) Are you serious?
Really Mom? Every time though… I came and asked you, just tell me before we go,
do you know? Oh, I know he’s the father. I know. I know. I thought you knew, Mom. I thought you knew! I thought, I thought,
I thought. I thought you knew! LETIA: I thought. I’m sorry. I did think
he was your father, or I wouldn’t be here. I’m so very sorry, Lajoya. I’m so very sorry. I know, how much you all wanted
a different result. MILTON: Yup. I walked out of here
with no father, Your Honor. Nobody. I have
nothing now. (CRYING) I’m still gonna be there.
I’m still gonna be there.
I ain’t going nowhere. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) I’m sorry.
Please forgive me, please. LAJOYA: (WAILING) No! (SOBBING) LETIA: I’ll find him. I don’t wanna keep
going through this. (LAJOYA SOBBING) He’s still your family. MILTON: No, we not family. That’s fine.
She’s still my daughter. MILTON: You’re right
about that. LETIA: It’s my mistake. I will do what I can.
I will fix this. You gonna fix me too? JUDGE LAKE: Mrs. Peterson? Is it one man in particular,
you truly believe, is her biological father,
after getting the results
from Mr. Beckham, and the results
from Mr. Peterson? There is another man? Yes. JUDGE LAKE: You know
where he is? Yes. That’s a start. JUDGE LAKE: You guys, now,
have to start working
through this. I know Mr. Peterson, you say,
you’re not gonna be able to
continue on in the marriage… I want you to just
take a moment, take a breath, and think about it. You all have invested
a lot of time together, and you’re worth that. Yeah. I wish you
the very best of luck,
all of you. MILTON: Thank you. Court is adjourned. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Jerome, can you please bring
Lajoya up for me?

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