Larry Dolezal, the father of the former NAACP chapter president accused of lying about her ethnicity, says he is stunned by his daughter’s new claim that he and his wife might not be her biological parents.
“All the people in Troy and Libby she grew up with know she is our daughter,” Larry tells PEOPLE.
“Her former husband, her son Franklin and our son Izaiah also know,” he says. “All four of her grandparents are still alive and are witnesses, as well as numerous other family members. In fact, as I recall my parents came to our house and met her the very day she was born.”
During an interview on NBC Nightly News Tuesday, Rachel Dolezal told Savannah Guthrie that there is no biological proof that Larry and Ruthanne are her parents.
“Up to this point, I know who raised me,” Dolezal said. “I haven’t had a DNA test. There’s been no biological proof that Larry and Ruthanne are my biological parents.”
The race scandal surrounding Dolezal began after Larry and Ruthanne revealed their daughter’s true ethnicity to a local newspaper last week, sharing family photos and Dolezal’s birth certificate.
Despite the legal document naming Larry and Ruthanne as her birth parents, Dolezal still questions her heritage.
“I’m not necessarily saying that I can prove they’re not,” Dolezal told Guthrie, “but I don’t know that I can actually prove they are. I mean, the birth certificate was issued a month and a half after I’m born. Certainly there were no medical witnesses to my birth. It was in the woods.”
Larry says a simple DNA test would prove they are Rachel’s parents.
“If someone will take her up on that bluff, she will readily be proven to be our biological daughter,” Larry wrote in a statement to PEOPLE.
Larry says Rachel was born in their bedroom in the secluded wooden house they built and moved into in June of 1977. Paintings by Rachel when she was a young girl still adorn the walls.
“All I can think to say is, Wow,” he says.
Dolezal, who resigned from her position at the NAACP on Monday, was unapologetic about her actions during the interview, and she remained staunch in her identification as black.
“Nothing about being white describes who I am,” she said. “So, you know, what’s the word for it? The closest thing that I can come to is if you’re black or white, I’m black. I’m more black than white. On a level of values, lived experience currently. In this moment, that’s the answer.”
Dolezal also denied undergoing any skin-tone alterations, chalking up her darker complexion to self-tanner.
“Some days I might have spray-on, you know, like bronzer or whatever,” she said.
Earlier Tuesday, Dolezal lashed out at her parents during a live interview on Today.
“I don’t see why they’re in such a rush to whitewash some of the work that I have done, and who I am, and how I’ve identified,” she said. “This goes back to a very early age with my self-identification with the black experience as a very young child.”