Please be seated. Hello, Your Honor.
Hello. This is a case of
Peebles v. Peebles. Thank you, Jerome.
Good day, everyone. AUDIENCE: Good day. Mr. Peebles, you say you married the defendant,
Mrs. Peebles, on April Fool’s Day
two years ago. But since then you’ve been
played for a fool. You claim you are not her 20 month old daughter,
A’myriah’s biological father, and are stuck
on the birth certificate until today’s results prove
you are not her dad. Is that correct?
Yes, Your Honor. Mrs. Peebles, you say
that you were the one fooled by Mr. Peebles’ lies
and empty promises. You believe that
today’s DNA results
will prove your case, and you demand
he stops running from his responsibility.
Is that correct?
RAQUEL: Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: Mr. Peebles,
explain to the court, who is fooling whom? Your Honor, truthfully,
I feel like I’m the fool. In the beginning, you know
everything was cool.
She was nice. But then, to come
to find out she’s
very conniving, bossy, insecure,
all the above. JUDGE LAKE: So you say
you felt like a fool.
Yes, ma’am. Well, uh, did you set out
to fool him, Ms. Peebles? No, ma’am. He fooled me.
I’ve been taking care
of this man for four years. JUDGE LAKE: So,
what is the nature
of you guys’ relationship? How did this begin? How we met is
through a friend
of a friend. We went to a club
and we was
introduced right there. So, and… Somehow you
ended up married.
What happened? (AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
RAQUEL: He wanted
to be with me. When he went away,
he made it real clear, he wanted to be with me.
So, I made… Took initiative and say okay,
we going make this
a relationship. And I’ve been there
from day one. I do it all.
From taking care of A’myriah, taking care of him,
he like my third child. So, how am I
fooling anybody? He’s fooling me,
Thinking, saying he love me.
He don’t really love me. Do you love her, Mr. Peebles? Yeah, I love her,
but I just… This is just like
a stopping point right now. Now, he claimed that
I was cheating on him which I’ma be honest,
I did. It’s because he cheated
on me first. Mr. Peebles, how did you
find out about all of this? The day before my birthday,
we got into it. So, on my birthday,
she dropped me off
in my mother’s house. She went to this
little party, that was already
in the making. RAQUEL: Incorrect.
He drove my car. So I got picked on
to go to this party,
which I met the other guy. JUDGE LAKE:
Wait a minute, wait a minute.
Take me back to this day. It’s your birthday.
What y’all supposed to do? Go out to dinner or something? What’s the plan?
He didn’t wanna be around me. He didn’t even invite me
to his party. RENARDO: It was just…
I was going enjoy myself. But she already
had plans to go
to this party regardless of my birthday,
getting to it or anything. You know, she already
had these plans. JUDGE LAKE: Oh, so you saying
it wasn’t about the argument or you all not
getting along that day. She’d already made
these plans. She was gonna go,
regardless. So you felt like there was
a previous plan for her to be cheating
and it was regardless
of your birthday. Right.
So, on your birthday, you said… You said
you were gonna go out
and have some fun. Yourself? Without you? What was I supposed to do?
Just stay in the house? And then how does it
get to the point where you find out Ms. Peebles,
your wife, was cheating? I called her phone.
JUDGE LAKE: And what happened? I called her phone
and he answered her phone and say, “I’m chilling
with my baby.” What?
RAQUEL: That’s a lie. Judge, how he found out
is when we came home that Sunday, I told him… We got into a…
Can’t remember what the argument
was about. I say,
“Okay, that’s why “I had an affair
with the guy.”
MAN: Whoa. He got mad
and punched the wall. There’s a big old hole
in my wall when I was
in the process of moving. And so, wait a minute.
He picks up the phone, dials his wife’s number, and a guy picks up, and says, “I’m chilling
with my baby”? RAQUEL: That’s a lie. Yes, ma’am.
That’s a lie. JUDGE LAKE: On his birthday?
That’s a lie. He don’t ever
answer the phone and I pay his phone bill
every month. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS)
So he does have… Valid doubt. RAQUEL: Why it seems
so funky is because of course,
I was sleeping with him but I used protection
with this guy. I was sleeping
with him unprotected. JUDGE LAKE: Okay, you say
you used birth control,
you used a condom. Well, we know that’s
not 100% effective. Is that the only time
you slept with that guy? Maybe a week after that,
but like I said,
protected sex. One week after? Yes, Your Honor. Take me to the day
you find out you’re pregnant. RAQUEL: Found out in November,
which I was already
two months pregnant, and the guy that, you know,
I messed around with, I started messing with him
in September. So how could he even be
this man baby? You know… So wait. In November,
you found out you were
two months pregnant. Yes, Your Honor. Mr. Peebles, when
is your birthday? My birthday’s September 21st.
Okay. JUDGE LAKE:Let’s go back
to the two days
after Thanksgiving. That’s when you said
you were pregnant. RAQUEL:Yes, Your Honor. So, that’s exactly two months. Yes, Your Honor. That’s an easy calculation. And continued to see him
after we… You know, get back together
and everything. He was also talking
to other women. So my whole thing
is it’s okay for you to do it but when it
comes down to me,
I’m the bad person. It’s not okay for either
one of you to do it, but when you
come up pregnant, and you admittedly were
having a sexual relationship
with another man, two months before you find out that you are
two months pregnant… (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS) We don’t have
to be rocket scientists
to do that math. So when you find out
who do you tell? Of course, my husband,
Mr. Peebles. JUDGE LAKE: So you tell him? And when you find this out,
Mr. Peebles, what
is your reaction? My reaction was… You know, I’m super excited.
This gonna be my first child. (CROWD EXCLAIMS)
You know. Well, I keep
replaying, like… These time frames. You know and I get
to thinking, like, damn. Two, almost two years of being together,
unprotected sex. Never got pregnant. Until you go
outside the relationship,
and come back, now you’re pregnant. My name
on the birth certificate, but I’m ready
to find out results. So, Mr. Peebles, is this the only man
you believe your wife
was with? No, ma’am.
(RAQUEL SCOFFS) There’s another person? Who? RENARDO: Somebody else came
to my door. I look at her,
she look at me, like, who is…
Who can that be? Most people call
before they come. Go to the door,
it’s a dude at the door. She behind me.
All type of names
to her. So, I couldn’t tolerate
the disrespect. What’d you mean
all type of names?
Well… Curse words. Oh, the guy was
cursing at your wife? And telling her like, “I took care of you…” RAQUEL: Which he did,
cause he was never around. And… And from that…
He was never…
He don’t have a job. So, yeah, he took care of me,
he paid my bills
and did it all. But I was having no
sexual relationship with him. I’m confused, Jerome.
JEROME: That’s two of us. You’re married
to Mr. Peebles, but you had another man
paying your bills
and taking care of you? Possible. Multiple.
How else was he
getting taken care of? JUDGE LAKE: Oh! I wasn’t gonna keep
on using my money. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS) Oh, so you took another man’s
money to pay for… The man you live with?
Yes. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS) Whoa! It’s multiple. Mm. Multiple, but he make
this seem like I’m…
I’m the bad person though. I’m the bad person,
when he up here talking to other women,
got a baby on the way. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS) We married now. Your baby due
in two weeks before
our baby birthday. And you still talk to her. And she your friend
on Facebook, but your wife can’t be
your friend on Facebook. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS)
JUDGE LAKE: Uh-oh. Wait a minute now. Is that true,
Mr. Peebles? Yes, Your Honor.
And why is that? Why is that he left
his whole, entire family for her.
And moved in with her. And then, Your Honor, he left her to say he going
back to his mom house but he say he wanted
his family back, he wanted to
work on his family.
So he came back to move in. (STAMMERS) Ever since then, 4:00, 5:00 in the morning I work 14 hour shifts.
I’m a manager. He’s out doing whatever
he wants to do. I don’t ever
see my husband. Never. I call his phone.
I’m on block list. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS)
WOMAN: What? JUDGE LAKE: Mr. Peebles…
Nag. What woman don’t nag? That’s all it is. Nag.
don’t nag? Of course, I’m a nag
because you’re not there
for me. I’ve been there for you
for four years, Renardo. Put trackers on calls
on my phone. Track, yep.
Cut the phone off. I sure damn paying for it. Come on, now.
I’m paying for it. JUDGE LAKE: Was she
paying for the phone bill? Yes.
(AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS) I do what I do…
Do you have
a job, Mr. Peebles? I had a job. But he quits it.
He quits. He quits. So that means
I take care of everything. From child care, clothing, everything. I still give him
money to make sure he okay. I don’t see nothing. Mm-mm.
see nothing? Mm. Okay. I don’t see how
you taking care of me. How? You still around,
you get money from me. I take care of myself.
How you doing with no job? Mr. Peebles, did you get
another woman pregnant? (STAMMERS) Yeah,
I actually did… At the same time as your wife? I actually…
We went our separate ways. Not legally. I moved in… It weren’t
even moving in with her. I moved in with my
best friend. I ended up meeting
this other person, we got intimate, I started…
They take pictures together. Started spending the night,
we moved in. While you all are
still married, all this is happening?
Yes. He don’t take
me out, Your Honor. He don’t do nothing for…
But I see on Facebook, he all hooked up on her.
When do we take pictures? We married.
We don’t even
take pictures together. We don’t spend
no time together. Every time we go out,
I got to pay for the bill. I do it all. Ask her about now though.
You pregnant now. How you get pregnant now?
What you been doing? Who you been with,
since I left.
With somebody else. And we’ve been back together
and she’s still been
with him. Still been sleeping
with him, coming in
at 8:00, 8: in the morning… That was only twice.
But he comes in at 4:00 or 5:00
every night, Your Honor. Every night he comes home… (CROSSTALK) Ms. Peebles, are
you pregnant now?
Yes, Your Honor. (AUDIENCE GASPS) And… And this is
with another guy. She went outside,
came back, and then, here again,
she pregnant again. Same thing with A’myriah. Do you know who
this child’s father is? Is it Mr. Peebles
or another man? I’ma be honest.
I don’t know. (ALL EXCLAIM) Okay, so we in trouble here. We’re in trouble here. Let’s get back
to A’myriah first. Mr. Peebles, do you have
a relationship with A’myriah? RAQUEL: Barely. Kinda, sorta.
JUDGE LAKE: Kinda, sorta. What does that mean? She more like
in day care, so… It’s like, I don’t…
When I’m out, I’m out. When I come home,
we FaceTime, talk, and I see her. I don’t…what.
I don’t know. I’m honestly…
Because I’ve got
the doubts that she’s not mine. So why am I sitting her trying
to take care of a child
that’s not mine? And so, when you look
at A’myriah, do you feel like there’s
any resemblance? I don’t know how to…
To really look into her and see
if she look like me or any of that,
and all that. I can’t see none of that.
I don’t even look at it
like that. I can’t.
I really don’t. I’m okay with that.
There’s plenty of people
come in this courtroom and say, oh, the baby
looks just like me
and then, it’s not theirs. I mean, we see that
all the time. So if you say,
“You know what, Your Honor, “I haven’t really
studied her features “and I don’t know,
I can’t tell.”
I’ll accept that. So, look. Ms. Peebles, did you
ever tell the other guy
you got pregnant? He know about it. He did.
He knew about it and he looked
at A’myriah and said,
“That’s not my baby.” He said if it was his,
he’d take care of her
like a real man. But you haven’t had
a DNA test with that man?
No. Because I know it’s
my husband’s baby. I know it. JUDGE LAKE: How do you
I know… Well, using protection…
I know, like, it’s not a good, you know, reason, but yes,
we used protection… She didn’t feel the condom
when it broke on her
when I used it. It’s just… It’s too much. For real.
It’s… It’s too much. RAQUEL: If he wasn’t starting
off with his infidelity,
we won’t be here today. He started everything
and I was, like,
I was there from day one. Take care of this man.
I do it all, Honor. To this day,
still do it. It’s not fair.
And I don’t want to lose
my family. So you do want your family? With this other baby involved
and issues, I don’t think
this gonna work. He don’t want…
He don’t care about me. All he was is using me. And I let him stomp on me
and do it all. And I still just
take the punches.
I still love him. Be at the top
somewhere then. Mr. Peebles, do you want
this marriage to work? He don’t. Honestly, these results
gonna reflect on what’s
gonna happen. So, if A’myriah is
your biological child, you do want to try
to make the marriage
and the family work? Maybe. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS)
JUDGE LAKE: All right. I can see we’re going
in a circle here. A vicious circle. Jerome, I’m ready
for the results. These results were prepared
by DNA Diagnostics
and they read as follows. In the case
ofPeebles v. Peebles, when it comes to 20 month old
A’myriah Peebles, it has been determined
by this court, Mr. Peebles, you… Are the father.
(SCOFFS) Now take care
of your responsibility.
Help me out. Start helping me out,
all right? You making me feel
like I’m the fool.
I’m deceiving you. You deceived me
from day one. And deny her.
You stop cheating.
Quit cheating. Coming home, pregnant.
You stop cheating. You got a whole baby
on the way. What you gonna do
with two kids and no job? (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS) We got to figure
something out, family. He don’t…
This is… This is… Very, very toxic. The foundation
of your marriage
is just destroyed. You all have to decide
if you want to build it back,
brick by brick, or if you fine with it
just being demolished. If that’s the case,
then move on. And learn how
to co-parent. He ain’t gonna help me.
People do it every day. Do you have a skill?
Yes. And what is that?
What job is that?
I cut grass. Ain’t nothing
wrong with it. I know a million landscapers.
Making a great living. You can work for a landscaper, you can own your own
landscaping company. But you got to get busy. Doing something productive. And, Ms. Peebles,
you are enabling him. I want you all to talk
to the counselor, I want you all to figure out
how to do this. Together. I will see you back here
when the baby is born.
All right? Yes, Your Honor.
And I want a better report on this marriage. I wish you all the very best.
Court is adjourned.