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Saturday, November 21, 2009

You are not the father

man is supposed to take care of his children. If he gets a woman pregnant, he's expected to step up and take responsibility. But what if that man discovers that the child he thought was his own -- the kid he read to, cuddled and tucked in at night -- is another man's? Then who is responsible for the kid -- the biological father or the nurturing adoptive dad? That is the quandary increasingly being raised by DNA tests. As Ruth Padawer writes in a fascinating cover story for the upcoming New York Times Magazine, the rise of paternity tests -- bought on the cheap online or at local drug stores -- have revealed "just how murky society’s notions of fatherhood actually are."

Mike L., the lead subject in Padawer's piece, found evidence of his wife's affair with a coworker and decided to have L., his 5-year-old daughter, take a DNA test. The results arrived in the mail: He was not the father. "I ran upstairs, locked myself in the bathroom and cried and dry-heaved for 45 minutes. I felt like my guts were being ripped out," he says. Mike separated from his wife, Stephanie, and began paying her child support because, he says, she claimed Rob, L.'s bio-dad, had refused. Things continued on this way for several years, until he got news that Stephanie would be marrying Rob, and that was too much to bear. He asked a Pennsylvania court to relieve him of parental responsibility, but a judge ruled that Mike was the legal father, not Rob.

Padawer explains, "Once a man has been deemed a father, either because of marriage or because he has acknowledged paternity (by agreeing to be on the birth certificate, say, or paying child support), most state courts say he cannot then abandon that child -- no matter what a DNA test subsequently reveals," she continues. "In Pennsylvania and many other states, the only way a non-biological father can rebut his legal status as father is if he can prove he was tricked into the role -- a showing of fraud -- and can demonstrate that upon learning the truth, he immediately stopped acting as the child’s father." In Mike's case, the judge ruled that he was the legal father because he stuck around even after the DNA test -- in other words, because of love, not fraud.

"I pay child support to a biologically intact family," Mike says. "How ridiculous is that?" Pretty ridiculous when you consider that Rob gets to live with L. and play the role of papa; and Mike only gets to see her on the weekend. As vexing as this case is, though, we hardly want courts to devalue the unbreakable bond that can develop even in relationships without genetic ties. At some point, DNA can become rather irrelevant. The truth is that Mike's utter adoration of L. jumps off the page; he is a doting, indulgent father. L., now 11 years old, still sees him as her daddy and he wants it to remain that way -- he just doesn't want to pay child support to the woman who cruelly cuckolded and defrauded him. As far as the law is concerned, though, he can't have it both ways. There are many different ideas for how to best address the issue -- from limiting paternity challenges to the first two years of the child's life to widespread DNA testing at birth (I picture Maury Povitch being wheeled from delivery room to delivery room: "You are not the father! You are the father!") -- but all are imperfect.

Paternal uncertainty is one of the many biological inequalities of reproduction (see also: pushing a human being out of your vagina) and, as evolutionary psychologists tell it, getting stuck raising some other schmo's kid is a hard-wired male nightmare. But if you had any doubt that we humans are more than our base evolutionary imperatives, this article should convince you: For all his rightful resentment, men like Mike show that family is thicker than blood.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Eddie Cibrian's Ex Claims He's Stiffing Her Out of Spousal Support


Eddie Cibrian's estranged wife Brandi Glanville wants him to pay her spousal support. reports that she has filed documents in L.A. County Superior Court claiming that the CSI star, 36, earns $60,000 a week but is only paying for her for "household bills."

Glanville, 36 - mother to Cibrian's sons, Mason, 6, and Jake, 2 - is asking for $39,963 a month in spousal support so she can pay for the kids' schooling and medical bills, among other expenses.

In August, Glanville filed for divorce after eight years, citing irreconcilable differences.

She told Us Weekly she was tired of Cibrian's infidelity. As Us Weekly first reported, he had an affair with now-single LeAnn Rimes while shooting Lifetime original movie Northern Lights, which they filmed last fall.

He recently announced that he plans to sue Life & Style for claiming that he cheated on Rimes, 27. He said the tabloid published a story "filled with inaccuracies and deceitful lies, presumably to titillate sales, but clearly resulting in harm to Eddie Cibrian and others."

Marq Torien was arrested for non child support payments

Marq Torien of the Bulletboys
Marq Torien of the Bulletboys
©Pasco Sheriff's Office

Bulletboys lead singer, Marq Torien, 48, was arrested Friday the 13th in Pasco County, Florida for 'non support of child or spouse' it was reported by the Pasco Sheriff's Office. The Bulletboys, who rose to fame for 5 minutes in the late 80's on the strength of the hit "Smooth Up In Ya," are currently on tour supporting their latest release, 10c Billionaire.

So who were the Bulletboys again? Bulletboys have released six albums to date. Their debut, Bulletboys, has been their most successful, garnering the band a gold record. At best, the Bulletboys were a C-level hair band from their era. A-level...? Think Motley Crue/Poison. B-level...? Think Ratt/Dokken, etc.

The Bulletboys greatest asset and arguably, their biggest achilles heel, has been their uncanny ability to sound strikingly similar to their southern California predecessors, Van Halen. This Van Halen emulation was their calling card. Their ability to almost-sound-not-quite-exactly like the mighty Van Halen was briefly impressive back in 1988.

Now don't get me wrong. I like the Bulletboys. I'd take an early Bulletboys album over the later Van-Hagar era schmaltz any day. But I liken the Bulletboys to leftovers... sometimes I like them, but rarely. Leftovers sound like a good idea at the time, but usually leave you wishing you had something else.

So the lead singer gets busted for back child support? Who cares? Why is this news?

From a marketing, public relations, and promotions perspective, this ‘dead-beat-Dad’ scenario is pure gold for the aging Bulletboys. Question: What better way to revive a music career that barely came alive in the first place? Answer: Get bad press by getting arrested. The scenario is as old as rock-n-roll. Any attention, positive or negative, will move a few more CD's and get a few more folks out to see the live show. You gotta pay the bills right? Well, some of them in this case.

While not as sexy as car crashes and rehab, Torien’s stunt will work just as well. And this has always been the Bulletboys' modus operandi: take what's already worked and do it too. Starting a band in the 80's? Sound like Van Halen? Check. Career in the toilet in '09? Need to get in the news by getting arrested for not paying your baby-mama? Check.

Whether intentional or not, the move is great for business. Look, you’re reading about it now. And that's the point. Who cares if your name is dragged through the mud. This is rock-n-roll. You're back in the black baby! So rock on Bulletboys! You had to do it for the “mean green.”

Monday, November 16, 2009

Two People charged in 5 year old missing

SANFORD, N.C. (AP) — Searchers found the body of a missing 5-year-old off a road Monday, ending a weeklong search for the girl, whose mother was accused of offering her for sex, police said.

Fayetteville Police spokeswoman Theresa Chance told The Associated Press that searchers found Shaniya Davis' body southeast of Sanford in central North Carolina.

Two people have been charged in her disappearance, including her mother, Antoinette Davis, 25. Police charged Davis with human trafficking and felony child abuse, saying Shaniya was offered for prostitution. A first court appearance for Davis was scheduled Monday afternoon, and police said she did not yet have an attorney.

Authorities also charged Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, with kidnapping after they said he was seen in surveillance footage carrying Shaniya at a Sanford hotel. Authorities said McNeill admitted taking the girl, though his attorney said he will plead not guilty.

Davis reported Shaniya missing last Tuesday. The investigation first led to the arrest of a man named Clarence Coe, but charges against him were dropped a day later when investigators tracked down McNeill after getting a tip from a hotel employee.

Additional information led investigators to a search site near Sanford on Sunday. They continued searching Monday, scouring miles of landscape, roads, ravines and fields on four-wheelers and with helicopters.

Syd Severe, 42, who came down from Raleigh to help in the search, said he doesn't believe in the death penalty but feels the culprits in this case deserve it.

"We were hoping that someone could carry her home," Severe said. "It's just sick."

After Shaniya's body was found, a solemn group of searchers met quietly at a nearby fire station to ensure that all volunteers were accounted for.

Her father, Bradley Lockhart, said he raised his daughter for several years but last month decided to let her stay with her mother. He had pleaded for her safe return.

"I should've never let her go over there," he told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Before Shaniya's body was found, he said on CBS's "The Early Show" Monday that he remained hopeful someone would bring his daughter somewhere safe, such as a police station or hospital.

"They can drop her off at Walmart, I don't care," he said.

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