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Natalia Grace Barnett, the Ukrainian girl who was reportedly abandoned by her adoptive family, has broken her silence on the bizarre news story for the very first time, insisting that she is not the murderous adult scam artist her former family is painting her to be.
Authorities charged Michael Barnett and ex-wife Kristine Barnett with felony child neglect of a dependent.
In an exclusive interview on “Dr. Phil,” Barnett said that she suffers from a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal.
She said that the Barnetts adopted her in 2010 when she was 8 years old, but abandoned her just two years after the adoption, insisting that she was a dangerous, psychopathic adult bent on destroying the family. The Barnetts legally changed Natalia’s age to 22 in a probate court just two years later.
The family then left her in an Indiana apartment before fleeing the U.S. to go to Canada.
The Barnetts insisted that their adopted daughter is actually an adult woman who is a violent scam artist who attempted to physically harm members of the family. In a recent interview on “Good Morning America,” Michael said that his family believes Natalia could even be as old as 33.
“Natalia would do things like place clear thumbtacks 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,” Michael said during the “GMA” interview, and insisted that Natalia even attempted to drag Kristine into an electric fence. The Barnetts said that they even had supporting medical documentation proving that Natalia is a grown woman, and not a child.
To Dr. Phil McGraw, Natalia denied that she is a con artist. Natalia — who is currently living with a new adoptive family — insisted that she is only 16 years old.
“It’s not true!” she insisted. “It’s not true at all. I just want people to hear my side.”
The episode is set to air on Thursday.
Previously, a woman purporting to be Natalia’s birth mother spoke out and insisted that she did give birth to Natalia in 2003.