Ukrainian Adoptee Allegedly Abandoned by Indiana Couple Opens Up to Dr. Phil
The girl at the center of one of the most bizarre news stories in recent memory breaks her silence this week, speaking for the first time about her ordeal to Dr. Phil McGraw.
Natalia Grace Barnett sat down with the talk show host for a segment that airs on Dr. Phil on Thursday, November 7.
Barnett was adopted from the Ukraine in 2010 by an Indiana couple who are alleged to have abandoned her more than five years ago — leaving her alone in an apartment before fleeing north to Canada.
Michael Barnett, 43, and his wife, Kristine, 45, contend they thought they were adopting an 8-year-old child, but now allege Natalia is a “sociopath” and a “con artist” who is actually an adult woman.
Natalia denied being a con artist during her Dr. Phil interview, an exclusive clip from which is featured on PEOPLE above.
Natalia has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, and two years after the adoption, the Barnetts had the daughter’s age legally changed to 22.
Barnett recently told Good Morning America he and his wife now think Natalia may be as old as 33.
Barnett even alleged Natalia was trying to harm his family.
“Natalia would do things like place clear thumb tacks on the stairs face up so that when we would walk up the stairs, we would be stepping on thumb tacks to pain and injure ourselves,” Barnett said.
Barnett even accused her of trying to kill his wife by dragging her towards an electric fence.
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The interview with Dr. Phil is Natalia’s first since the story first made national headlines in September.
In the preview clip, McGraw challenges Natalia on the claims her adoptive parents have made against her as Natalia tells the talk show host she wants to get her side of the story out there.
Natalia’s former adoptive parents have been charged with neglecting a dependent.
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