Kristine Barnett defended her ex-husband, Micheal Barnett, over his treatment of Natalia Grace and claimed he did not abuse their adopted daughter in the wake of Natalia’s explosive allegations in Investigation Discovery’s six-part docuseries The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks.

“She was not abused by anyone in my family. Let’s get straight to these allegations,” Kristine wrote in a lengthy statement on Facebook on Thursday, January 4. “Nobody ever took a belt to Natalia and the allegations that she was ‘beaten’ are just plain false. Any discipline of Natalia was very minimal and was not out of the bounds of normal parenting.”

Instead, Kristine felt their parenting style was “overly permissive” as they felt a “tremendous amount of sympathy for Natalia.”

“I am certainly not going to claim I was a perfect mom. Anyone who has children knows that feeling of going to bed at night hoping you have done the right things and enough for your children on a daily basis,” she continued. “I am sure there were plenty of fails and some successes I had as a parent and mom but I was not abusive to my children.”

The author added that Natalia’s various allegations were later investigated as “unfounded” and after being admitted to various hospitals, “She was checked constantly for abuse and it was not found to exist.”

In regards to Michael, the mom of three said his mental health was affected after Natalia’s adoption, ultimately leading to their 2018 divorce.

“It is hard to describe the level of abject horror a person feels when they want to be responsible for a person’s safety and well being but cannot help that person because of the person’s own choices. I believe that is what he felt with Natalia. We all did. Natalia made her own choices,” she concluded. “He did not abuse Natalia, he tried very hard to make a good home for her and provide for her.”

Kristine and Michael adopted Natalia in 2010, believing her to be 6 years old at the time. Shortly into their time together as a new family, Kristine alleged her new daughter was much older after allegedly finding Natalia had pulic hair. The former couple went on to claim that Natalia threatened and attempted to kill them multiple times, using her rare form of dwarfism to pose as a child and infiltrate the family as a “con artist.”

The Barnett family had Natalia’s birth year legally changed in 2012 from 2003 to 1989 — aging her by 14 years. After Natalia was declared a legal adult, the Barnetts rented her own apartment in Lafayette, Indiana, and relocated with their three sons to Canada.

Natalia’s story went viral after being portrayed in the ID docuseries, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, in May 2023. The series portrayed the point of view of Michael and others close to the situation but did not include commentary from Natalia herself.

Natalia broke her silence about the abuse she allegedly faced in Natalia Speaks, which is a six-part series airing on ID, and provided “insight into what really went on behind closed doors in the Barnetts’ home,” according to a press release.

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