YouTube Personality Loses Custody of Children Over Videos

custody, DuPage County family law attorneyA popular—albeit rather infamous—YouTube personality who goes by the username “DaddyOFive” has lost custody of two of his children. The kids are currently staying with their biological mother. The father gained notoriety on the video sharing site when he started posting videos of interactions between himself, his current wife, and children. The videos contain a number of “pranks” played on the children—acts which many viewers and commenters found to be cruel and even abusive.

Pushing Things Too Far

In one controversial video, a smiling woman appears and explains that her stepson had previously gotten in trouble for spilling ink on the carpet. She tells the camera that she is going to act like the child did it again. The woman sprays disappearing ink onto the carpet, then she and the child’s father call the son into the room. What follows is disturbing to many viewers: The two adults verbally berate the child for the spilled ink, screaming and cursing loudly at him. The child begins crying as he desperately tries to explain that he did not spill the ink. The verbal abuse goes on for an agonizing three full minutes before the parents laughingly tell the child that it was “just a prank.”

Unfortunately, there are other examples of similar behavior, including another video in which the same child is being yelled at for not completing his schoolwork. The father comes storming into the son’s room with a hammer and smashes a video game console while the child cowers behind a pillow on his bed. The video ends with the father telling the child that the smashed console was a decoy and that his actual video game system is undamaged. The boy is visibly shaken and responds by unsteadily saying, “I don’t like you. That hurt my feelings.”

Custodial Fallout

In the wake of public backlash from the YouTube community, the DaddyoFive channel has removed all of the controversial videos. Currently, all that remains is an apology video in which the parents admit they were wrong to do many of the things they did in regard to the children. Their actions, however, may be too little too late. A Maryland court has issued an emergency order returning two of the couple’s five children—including the boy from the two videos described above—to their biological mother.

She and her attorney released a video of their own stating that she was given emergency custody and that the two children are doing well. “They’re getting back to their playful selves.” The mother echoed many of the concerns expressed by YouTube commenters saying that it was “heartbreaking” and “disturbing” to see her children “being abused” in the videos.

Child Custody Questions?

While your child-related concerns are unlikely to make national headlines, the importance of protecting your children cannot be overstated. If you are in the midst of a parenting dispute or you feel that your children are in danger, contact an experienced Aurora family law attorney. Call 630-409-8184 for a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

 

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2017/04/25/the-saga-of-a-youtube-family-who-pulled-disturbing-pranks-on-their-own-kids/

http://time.com/4763981/daddyofive-mike-martin-heather-martin-youtube-prank-custody/

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