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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Dr. Phil's going to clear up this whole Ukrainian orphan situation

Illustration for article titled Dr. Phils going to clear up this whole Ukrainian orphan situation
Screenshot: Dr. Phil (YouTube)

The saga of Natalia the Ukrainian orphan is one of the wackiest things to happen in 2019, but don’t worry, everyone: Dr. Phil is on the case, and he has an exclusive interview with Natalia and her new adoptive parents. For those unfamiliar with this wild tale, it all started back in September, when The Daily Mail ran a story about a couple in Indiana who adopted a Ukrainian orphan named Natalia Grace. Not long after incorporating her into their family, Michael and Kristine Barnett claimed Natalia was actually “an adult sociopath masquerading as a child” who had threatened to kill them and their other children. The Barnetts say they had a doctor conduct a bone density test to determine Natalia’s actual age, which they claim is 22—an allegation they’ve used to justify abandoning Natalia to live in an apartment by herself when they ran off to Canada in 2013.


As the Barnetts tell it, they’ve lived the real-life version of the horror movie Orphan, but in the weeks since the initial report more details have emerged to suggest otherwise. Natalia was found to be living with another adoptive family, and The Daily Mail spoke with Natalia’s biological mother in Ukraine, who confirmed that her daughter—who suffers a rare form of dwarfism—was born in 2003, which would make her 16 years old. The Barnetts have pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony abandonment and their trial has been set for January 2020. Meanwhile, Natalia is appearing on Dr. Phil this Thursday in an episode sensationally titled “Ukrainian Orphan: Child or Adult Psychopath? The Exclusive Interview With Dwarf Accused of Posing As a Child.”

Below is an official sneak peek at the episode, in which Dr. Phil makes profound observations like, “I guess it really comes down to whether or not you are an evil psychopath demon who’s come over here to kill everybody.”

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