Man Walked Out On Family 35 Years Ago (Full Episode) | Paternity Court

Man Walked Out On Family 35 Years Ago (Full Episode) | Paternity Court


JUDGE LAKE: You may be seated. JEROME: Hello, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: Hello. JEROME: This is the case of
Hauser v. Campbell.
JUDGE LAKE:Thank you, Jerome.
Good day, everyone.
AUDIENCE: Good day. JUDGE LAKE: Ms. Houser,
you claim your ex-husband unexpectedly walked out
on you when your son, Michael Campbell
was five months old. You say your son has had medical problems
since he was a child. And you have petitioned
the court for a DNA test in order to hopefully
find a solution for a life
debilitating condition. Is that correct? Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: Mr. Campbell,
you say you’ve never
believed the plaintiff’s son belonged to you
and today’s result will prove your case
and clear your name. Is that correct? Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: So Ms. Hauser,
how positive are you that the defendant
is your son’s father? 100% Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: You are? Explain. Mr. Campbell and I met
when I was a junior and he was
a senior in high school and what ended up
happening was mid to late July,
early August, I became pregnant. We discussed it and we figured out to get married. We eloped. JUDGE LAKE: And why
did you make that decision? Because Mr. Campbell’s
father hated me. Really? HAUSER: Oh, yes.
Absolutely could
not abide me. They didn’t even know
you were getting
married at all? No, they didn’t know I was
pregnant then either. They did not. HAUSER: No, ma’am, they did
not, Your Honor. And so you made the decision
Mr. Campbell to elope with Ms. Hauser? Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: You knew she
was pregnant. And your family,
they were not fond
of this union. My father wasn’t, no. And so, you’re pregnant. HAUSER: Yes ma’am. You get married. JUDGE LAKE:Did you get
married because you were
in love or
did you get married
because you found out
you were pregnant?
I actually thought
it was both, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: How about you,
Mr. Campbell? I would agree with that,
I thought it was both. JUDGE LAKE: You did? Yes. So, when you got married because of the baby
and also because
you loved her did you think
you were this child’s
biological father? No. JUDGE LAKE: You did not? No, I never believed
for one second
it was. JUDGE LAKE: Ms. Houser,
you seem surprised. Oh, very surprised. If Mr. Campbell was not
Michael’s father, why did he sign
the birth certificate? Why, when we
got divorced did Mr. Campbell
and his family
try to get custody of Michael? Mr. Campbell? That is complete… JUDGE LAKE: Did you sign
the birth certificate? No, ma’am, I was in basic
training in the army
when Michael was born. JUDGE LAKE:Did anybody bring
a copy of this
birth certificate?
Yes, ma’am, I did. JUDGE LAKE:
Jerome, let me
see that. JUDGE LAKE: So wait,
Ms. Houser, you’re saying that
Mr. Campbellsigned the
birth certificate?
HAUSER:The army base
of Fort Jackson
supplied a copy of it
and they sent it back to the state of Missouri
and that is what it
looks like now. And Mr. Campbell,
you say you
weren’t aware of this? No, ma’am, I’ve never
seen that. You’ve never seen
the birth certificate? Well, I have one… At home now. But I didn’t for many,
many years. So you know Dennis R. Campbell
is listed as father. Yes, but I didn’t
list me on there. I was in basic training. I had no idea… JUDGE LAKE: You don’t remember
receiving… No. An acknowledgment
or anything to sign? No, ma’am, I do not. But at that time, you
all were married? JUDGE LAKE: So the child was
born within the marriage? Yes, ma’am we were. Yes, Your Honor. Yes. JUDGE LAKE: So I want to
understand this, you’re saying you knew as soon
as you married her
that this wasn’t your child. Yes, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: So why
marry a woman who’s pregnant with another man’s child
and you don’t
believe it’s… There’s any possibility
that it’s yours? She was my
first love and we were kids
and I thought you know, we would
make the perfect high school romance,
live together forever… CAMPBELL: Ignorance is youth,
king of thing. That’s very well put. (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) That’s very well put. And there are
no other possibilities? No, ma’am, there is not. So Mr. Campbell I would like
to understand your doubt.
Why do you doubt? Well, when Peggi and I
were together we broke up right
after I graduated. Before summer had started. And we didn’t get
back together until August of 1980. So there is just no possible
way the timing would
have worked out. When you do the math
and count back from the date of birth, you were not together
is what you’re saying? That is correct. You don’t see it that way,
Ms. Hauser? HAUSER: No, ma’am I don’t. JUDGE LAKE: How do you
remember it? I just don’t understand
how Mr. Campbell can say that we were broke up.
We were not broke up. We were together. When was the first time
you heard he had doubts? Because he married you and… Four years ago. Really? HAUSER: Yes, Your Honor. What happened? I had finally contacted
him because Michael
had questions about his medical conditions. He wanted to know if I could
get a hold of his dad to get some kind of a copy
of the family medical history. Because Michael
is disabled. And he has been
practically all his life. That’s when I first heard
from Mr. Campbell. “Why would I send that?” “He’s not my kid!” HAUSER: At the time,
Michael was 31 years old. And I’m sorry, it pissed me off. And I can see
that it really hurts
you as well. Oh, yes ma’am. I was faithful to this man
the entire time
we were together. We never broke up,
Dennis, you know it. And to be literally called a whore? And stated to my son
that I am? No, that ain’t working. We’re gonna prove this. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDS) JUDGE LAKE: The point when you
and Mr. Campbell were married… Yes, ma’am. And Michael is born… Mmm-hmm. Where does the relationship
go wrong? How do you
end up divorced? The relationship
Your Honor, went bad when I joined Mr. Campbell
in South Carolina while he was enlisted. And then when Michael was four months old I moved in to a mobile
home court. With a boyfriend
and a girlfriend and
one of their friends. And Michael and I. It was a three bedroom. There was nothing going on between any of us,
it was just cheaper
to live that way. Mr. Campbell came to see me because he was in the army,
he was on the base
all the time. He came. He gave me
some money to pay
my share of the rent and that was
the last I saw him. That was the last
you saw him? HAUSER: Yes, ma’am, until two weeks later
when I was served with divorce papers
and custody papers! CAMPBELL: Your Honor, may I
say something? Yes, please, sir. During the time that
Peggi and I were
originally dating, before we
ever got married we had split up because
she had cheated on me. CAMPBELL: A friend of mine had
called me up and said,
“Hey, I was with “your girl last night.” Which is why we broke up. Why I married her? Like I said earlier,
I was young, I thought I loved her,
I thought, no matter what, I wanted to try. And then we broke up
the second time because that third party
that she was living with
in South Carolina, I ended up
catching them
in bed together. JUDGE LAKE: Really? CAMPBELL: Yes. JUDGE LAKE: What happened? Well, I came home from leave
unexpectedly one weekend and I came in and Peggi was in bed
with her shirt off and, uh, this gentleman
was walking out of the
bedroom with his shirt off. Did that happen, Ms. Hauser? No, ma’am, it did not. CAMPBELL: Yes, it did. What was your
recollection of it,
Ms. Hauser? He came home, unexpectedly as he said. He was playing with Michael. He met the couple and the
other gentleman
I was living with. He jumped to conclusions
the minute he met this man. Even though, he and I,
and the couple
that were with us denied it. Was anyone’s clothes
off at the time? No! So Mr. Campbell,
you say you remember
this happening. CAMPBELL: Very well, yes. And what was your response
when you saw this? Well I started yelling
at her I’m sure and I packed up my stuff
and left, basically. JUDGE LAKE: What was life
like, Ms. Hauser? You’re a
single mom at this point, with a child
that has medical, uh, challenges. After the divorce, I went back to Wisconsin,
where I had grown up
part of my life. And I still have
friends there. And… Michael had a cast
on his left leg from the time he was one
hour old. He was born with a deformity where
his leg was wrapped
around his stomach to his back. HAUSER: He was without a third of his ligaments
and a third of his tendons. HAUSER:And, as he got older,we noticed something
wasn’t right.
He ended up having
a rare form of epilepsy.
JUDGE LAKE: Okay. On top of it,
so we’re dealing
with that. And then when he turned 12, he had first diagnosis of manic depression. I can imagine this has been taxing, I mean literally, physically… HAUSER: Mmm-hmm. Financially… JUDGE LAKE: Financially,
emotionally. Mmm-hmm. JUDGE LAKE: And you’ve been
through a lot. Did Mr. Campbell ever help? HAUSER: No. JUDGE LAKE: Paid
child support? He paid child
support to the
state of Wisconsin because I had Michael
on social services because I couldn’t
afford his meds. I really couldn’t. And in fact, my husband and I
had to file
for bankruptcy. Because we
couldn’t take care
of the bills. So Mr. Campbell,
did you know
this was going on? Well, no, I wasn’t
aware that she had issues such as that. Peggi and I, oh, sorry.
Mrs. Hauser and I. We never really spoke after
we divorced. So I really didn’t know what was wrong
with Michael. Paid child support
but you never asked. CAMPBELL: That is correct. He paid child
support, Your Honor,
but he fought it every time he had a chance. HAUSER: Your Honor, I couldn’t
find Mr. Campbell. I knew from our previous
emails that he had
a son named Brian. That’s how
I contacted him
four years ago. And he’s here today. Sir, will you
please stand. (CLEARS THROAT) Thank you for
joining us, today. Do you believe that Michael, Ms. Hauser’s son, is also your father’s
biological son? No, I do not Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: You don’t, why? Um, just based on all the history and, um, everything I’ve
known of my father. I, I mean… He’s been a great father. So you feel because
of the way your father
has treated you, you think
he would never do this to another
child that would, could possibly be
his biological child? Yes, Your Honor. I have some photographs,
Your Honor. On the resemblance between
my son and… JUDGE LAKE: I’d like to
see that, Jerome. And these
are photographs of? HAUSER: Michael. HAUSER:As a teenager
and Dennis as a teenager.
AUDIENCE:Wow!JUDGE LAKE:And you believe
you see a resemblance?
There is a
resemblance there. But Michael
also looks like Mr. Campbell’s father. As he got older. JUDGE LAKE: Do you see a
resemblance, Mr. Campbell? No, Your Honor, I don’t. (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) JUDGE LAKE: How about
you Brian? Maybe somewhat. I… (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) The only thing he didn’t get
is your nose. HAUSER: He got mine.
It’s a little bit pugged. So Mr. Campbell… CAMPBELL: I have one. When you walked out you know, when Michael
was five months old and you decided to
leave the marriage,
did you just close the door completely
and never look back. And you just kind of consider… It feels like
you considered this
child support just tax you had to pay on a marriage
you shouldn’t have
gotten yourself in. Well, something along
those lines, yes. So Ms. Hauser, Yes, Your Honor. You are 100% sure
that Mr. Campbell is Michael’s
biological father… HAUSER: Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: And Mr. Campbell
you are 100% sure you are not? That is correct. Well listen, I’m happy
you’re here today. And I’m happy that we can
bring you one step closer to hopefully
resolution and figuring out how
to move forward. It just, there seems like
there’s so much animosity. So much… It’s, it’s like… JUDGE LAKE: So much time
has passed. There’s so much history
and then there’s so little. HAUSER: Yes. Beause it’s that you’ve
gotten married… HAUSER: Mostly. and then you (CLAPS) Just separated
and never looked back. JUDGE LAKE: We’ve got to get
this straightened out. I think it’s time to go to
the results, Jerome. JUDGE LAKE: Thank you. JEROME: You’re welcome. JUDGE LAKE: These results were
prepared by DNA diagnostics and they read as follows. In the case of
Hauser v. Campbell
When it comes to
Michael Campbell… JUDGE LAKE: It has been
determined by this court… JUDGE LAKE:
Mr. Campbell, you… Are not the father. HAUSER: Oh, my. JUDGE LAKE: Well Ms. Hauser, 35 years. You were so certain. HAUSER: Mmm-hmm. That there was
no other person. HAUSER: Yeah.
JUDGE LAKE: That you
had entertained because you had been
completely faithful to him.
That just… Is not true.
The DNA has… HAUSER: Yeah, I just… Spoken! HAUSER: I have no clue. I don’t recall anything. HAUSER: We were never broke
up, we were
constantly together. You don’t have to break up
to make a baby with someone. I know. But, I…
I would have to ask
Mr. Campbell because apparently he knows. Well, this is a first. Mr. Campbell, do you
have any idea? And I’m not saying this
to be funny, I’m saying
this for this child. Because her son is experiencing
medical challenges, severe medical challenges. Your Honor, from what I was
told because we were separated
during that summer… Someone had mentioned a name
of a classmate to me. Just give me the first name. JUDGE LAKE: Does that
ring a bell? If it’s the same one
I’m thinking of,
not in your life! And plus he died
two years ago. JUDGE LAKE: All right. This is difficult,
because you are
going to have to find a way to explain
this to your son. HAUSER: Yeah. And in that explanation, um, you’re going to have to own
up to the fact that at
this point in time, you don’t have any clue who
his biological father is. HAUSER: No, I don’t. JUDGE LAKE: And… Mom, you’re gonna have
to do what it takes. Ask questions. Have a conversation
with Mr. Campbell. Call old classmates. If my son was on the line,
it would be a shame
in my game. JUDGE LAKE: I don’t care. Exactly. This matters.
We’ve had doctors
testify in this courtroom about how when they ask you
for your medical history it’s not just because
they want to know
your business. Their trying to figure out
how to help you. How to save your life. What is the other half
of your make up? JUDGE LAKE: So that they
can understand what they can do. HAUSER: Yeah. To make
you healthier and whole. This is important
information for a young man that’s going through
what he’s going through. And I really… Like I said,
in this moment
I don’t want you to crouch or I don’t
want you to step back. Because in
this moment, yeah we’ve discovered
that, no, you weren’t
just with Mr. Campbell. This is about Michael. We have resources
and counseling for you. I want you to take
advantage of it because
I want you to help him do whatever it takes to get to his father. I wish you the very
best of luck. JUDGE LAKE:
Court is adjourned.

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