DAYTON, Ohio (CBS Cleveland) – A father of 27 who appeared on the television show “Divorce Court” was arrested days after the show aired for missing a child support court date.
The man, 39-year-old Nathaniel J. Smith, who has fathered 12 boys and 15 girls with 17 women, claims to know men who had fathered even more.
“With me, it really wasn’t a big deal because I know of people who have even more than me,” he was quoted as saying by WHIO-TV. “The difference is I take care of mine or at least attempt to.”
The episode, which was reportedly taped in June, aired Friday and also featured estranged wife Jasmine Cotton.
Smith reportedly makes his living as a performer and poet after losing a barbershop in 2006 and is said to have hopes of getting a reality show offer in the future. His first taste of fame has not been entirely positive, however, as he expressed surprise with the negative feedback he and his progeny garnered from viewers.
“To judge me? I read some things on the website that were like, ‘Wow.’ People say I need to be in jail. If I were to go to jail, what about my kids …, what about them?” he rhetorically asked, according to the station. “People are going to be people. They get someone who has abortions all the time and they give them the thumbs up.”
His words proved to be somewhat prophetic. Just two days after the show aired, Smith was arrested for failure to appear in court on matters related to child support, the station learned. He claimed he was unaware of the court date, but his excuse did not spare him time in the Montgomery County Jail.
Despite his hardships, Smith does not regret having such a large family.
“What is done is done,” he was quoted as saying. “One thing I would change is different moms.”