No bad blood here? Natalia Grace’s adoptive mother Cynthia Mans has offered an update regarding her relationship with the Ukraine native amid the Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks documentary fallout. 

Taking to TikTok Live on Monday, January 22, Cynthia – who previously said she and husband Antwon Mans were “done” with Natalia just six months after signing adoption paperwork – told fans that Natalia, 22, is “still part of the family,” before moving on to other topics. Her admission certainly came out of left field, given that the ID series documented a severe schism between Natalia and the Mans family

The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks captured the attention of true crime fans everywhere, as it gave Natalia – who had been accused by former adoptive parents Michael and Kristine Barnett of threatening to kill them and their three sons – the opportunity to share her side of the story. Airing over three nights, the January 3 finale depicted Natalia’s adoption court hearing, officially becoming a Mans.

However, at the tail end of the episode, an alleged conversation between Antwon and Cynthia and producers aired, with the couple saying they were ready to sever ties with Natalia

“Something ain’t right with Natalia. This girl is tweakin’,” Antwon said during the phone call. “I feel like she’s the enemy in the house. And she said to us, we have held her hostage. Made us look like we’re the enemy.”

Cynthia, meanwhile, alleged to producers that Natalia was “stabbing her family in the back” and lacked awareness for others. 

“Natalia does not have emotions for nothing but herself. We’re done. We’re done with her,” Antwon continued, without specifying what it was that Natalia did to them. 

Just days later, Cynthia clarified to The U.S. Sun that Natalia was no longer living with them, but things between them were “absolutely perfect.” Two days went by, and Natalia took to her Instagram with a simple message, writing alongside a selfie, “Life is hard but gotta keep going.” 

natalia graces life is hard amid drama with mans family

Cynthia and Antwon first met Natalia in 2012 after she was left in an apartment in Indiana by the Barnett family, who fled to Canada shortly thereafter. The family who accused Natalia of being much older than she claimed to be rented her the unit in Lafayette, leaving her to fend for herself. The Mans sympathized with Natalia – who was proven to be around 9 years old at the time based on DNA tests – and welcomed her into their family. 

Kristine and Michael later faced neglect of a dependent charges in 2018, but all charges were dismissed between October 2022 and March 2023. Michael was one of the subject of ID’s first docuseries on the topic, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, and he later reunited with his former adopted daughter in part two. 

Michael claimed during a conversation with Natalia that they were both “victims” of Kristine, who allegedly abused them. 

“I was exceptionally controlled and put down and threatened,” Micheal said of his ex-wife. “Anything that was who I was ripped from me and I was guided and instructed to be exactly what she wanted me to be. … Her favorite threat was taking the boys away from me and making sure I would never see them ever again.”

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