Actor Jason Patric says the mother of his 3-year-old son is lying when she asserts that he voluntarily gave up his rights to have a relationship with the boy.
Patric leveled the lying accusation at the woman — his former girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber — when he appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” on Tuesday morning, one day after Schreiber had her say on the subject Monday on “Today.”
At the center of their battle is a little boy named Gus, who was conceived using sperm donated by Patric.
Schreiber says Patric told her in a letter that he had no desire to be the child’s father. But he insists he does want to be the boy’s father, and that she misinterpreted his letter.
She says he was uninvolved in the boy’s upbringing so far, though the boy evidently knows Patric well enough to call him Dada. Patric says he was involved in the boy’s life until about 21 weeks ago, when, he alleges, Schreiber began barring him from the boy’s life after the couple broke up.
This was the kind of tit-for-tat seen on “Today” Monday and Tuesday morning as both Schreiber and then Patric appeared separately — each with a lawyer in tow — for interviews conducted by Savannah Guthrie, who’s in L.A. this week.
“Is she lying?” Guthrie asked Patric after a news report on the case by NBC’s Mike Taibbi was shown Tuesday on “Today” (and included in the clip, above).
“Unfortunately, she is, yes,” said Patric, 47. “And the way the story is played out — because it’s a nice soundbite about ‘sperm donor’ … But I was never a ‘sperm donor.’ We had fertility issues,” he said. “And therefore I had to give sperm … I signed an ‘intended parent’ form with my name and Danielle’s name as ‘intended parents’ of the child that would come from this process.”
Patric asserts that his signature on that form proves his intention to be a parent to the boy. But the case has already landed in court, which ruled in favor of Schreiber, whose lawyer called Patric a liar when Schreiber and the attorney appeared Monday on “Today.”
“A court has found that Jason is not a truthteller,” said the attorney, Patricia Glaser.
Despite the fact that the case has already been the subject of a court ruling, Patric and his attorney are still seeking ways for Patric to win at least partial custody of the boy. Part of their strategy seems to involve appearing on television to draw attention to the plight of Patric and other sperm-donor dads who seek greater involvement in the rearing of their off-spring. In fact, a new bill on the subject has begun to be discussed in the California legislature.
Patric first appeared last week on Katie Couric’s daytime talk show to talk about the case.