“Michael, I forgive you,” Natalia told him toward the end of the dramatic Wednesday, January 3, series finale of The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks.
Michael, who had been begging for Natalia’s forgiveness throughout the episode, replied, “You don’t have to. I don’t forgive me.” However, Natalia doubled down, reiterating that she forgave him and asking him to pray with her. The two got down on their knees, with Natalia leading the prayer for the “Lord to help” Michael. “This is how we get free,” Michael exclaimed.
“This was hard but I’m willing to do it. Everyone deserves a second chance to admit their faults,” Natalia said about finally mending her relationship with Michael.
Her forgiveness came after Michael insisted to her that he, too, was a “victim” of his ex-wife and Natalia’s former adoptive mother, Kristine Barnett – though Natalia rejected his use of the word. The Ukraine native said she felt Michael was more of an “accomplice” to Kristine than a victim, adding, “He could have fought her, I couldn’t.”
Some of Natalia’s accusations of abuse from Kristine include that she beat her with a belt, tried to “overdose” her on prescription medication, and forced her to keep her eyes open as she pepper-sprayed her.
Michael, Natalia claimed, “watched” as some of these alleged instances of abuse took place — including the one involving the belt — but didn’t do anything to stop his then-wife. However, Natalia acknowledged that Michael may not have been aware of all of the abuse that took place, asking him during the series finale to elaborate on what he knows Kristine did to her. Michael said that he knows “a little” and is “afraid” of what he doesn’t.
Natalia asked Michael if he was sorry for not intervening, to which he replied he was “overly sorry” for not being stronger and not helping her.
In the docuseries’ final scene, Natalia is seen being officially adopted by her current parents, Antwon Mans and Cynthia Mans. “This is the day I close the door on the Barnetts and never open it again,” Natalia said between clips of her smiling and happy for the next chapter in her life.
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However, the episode would end on yet another cliffhanger, with Antwon telling the producers Natalia is “stabbing [them] in the back over a complete lie” in what he called a “new low” with their adoptive daughter.
A final title card in the last moments of the series read, “Natalia’s story will continue.” However, the next installment of the twisted saga has not yet been announced.
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