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‘Natalia Speaks’: Michael Barnett walks away emotionally after saying he and Natalia Grace were ‘both victims’

Published: 1:44 p.m. PST, December 28, 2023

Natalia Grace comes face to face with Michael Barnett. In an excerpt from the upcoming three-part documentary series The strange case of Natalia Grace: Natalia speaksNatalia confronts her former adoptive father.

“Why did you adopt me in the first place? Why?” asks Natalia of Michael, who, with his then-wife Kristine, adopted Natalia in 2010 with the belief that she was a 6-year-old orphan from Ukraine.

Eventually, the then-couple, who did not know that Natalia suffered from a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, began to suspect that she was an adult who wanted to harm them and their children. The Barnetts quickly had Natalia’s legal age changed from 6 to 22, before moving to Canada and leaving Natalia in an apartment in Indiana.

Michael and Kristine, now divorced, were eventually accused of abandoning Natalia. Michael was found not guilty of three counts of neglect and conspiracy to neglect a dependent in 2022, while the charges against Kristine were dropped in March 2023.

“There’s not going to be a single answer to a lot of these questions,” Michael says. “Look, I recently learned that you and I have the same monster. Kristine. We’re here because we were both incredible victims of some type of supernatural abuse.”

Natalia questions Michael about how he was victimized, and he states, “I had the same monster as you. I was exceptionally controlled, repressed and threatened, I was minimized. Everything that was who I was was taken from me and I was guided and asked to be exactly what she wanted me to be.

As for how he was threatened, Michael claims: “His favorite threat was to take the boys away from me and make sure I never saw them again.”

Natalia pushes back, asking Michael why he never left his marriage.

“That’s the best question ever. I tried,” he said. “These answers don’t match what you’re looking for to some extent, but I tried to leave her no less than 10 times. I ended up in the hospital regularly because of it.”

“Why did you marry her?” Natalia asks Michael.

“That’s a hell of a question,” he replies.

Michael’s use of the word “hell” then prompts someone off-camera to ask him not to swear, sparking a feud between Michael and others behind the scenes. Finally fed up, Michael removes his microphone and leaves the set.

Natalia speaks dives headfirst into the questions, controversies and secrets uncovered in The strange casewhich premiered earlier this year, but this time, with Natalia sharing her side of the story.

The documentary series traces her adoption saga and Michael and Kristine’s allegations from Natalia’s perspective, offering insight into what really happened behind the closed doors of the Barnett household and how true their allegations are .

Natalia speaks also features never-before-seen evidence and footage, as well as new theories and testimony from a wide range of voices, including the retired FBI agents who initially investigated Natalia’s case, the genetic experts who help determine Natalia’s real age, and Deputy Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Jackie Starbuck, who prosecuted Michael at his October 2022 trial.

Additionally, the documentary series highlights Natalia’s next chapter, offering a portrait of her life with her new adoptive family and exclusive interviews with her adoptive parents, Bishop Antown and Christina Manns.

The strange case of Natalia Grace: Natalia speaks will premiere for three consecutive nights on ID beginning Monday, January 1, airing nightly from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT.


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