Natalia Grace Mans (née Barnett) spoke out for the first time following the conclusion of The Confessions of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks.
“I am okay and doing well and thank you all for your support and prayers,” the Ukranian orphan, who’s estimated to be 22, wrote in a January 5 Instagram post. “I wish I could tell you more [about] the show but I signed an agreement with the show to keep things confidential for now. I will let you guys know when I can for sure, but just know I am okay. Love y’all.”
Along with her message, she included a smiling selfie. She followed up the post with a video of herself as proof that the Instagram account was legitimate and belonged to her.
Natalia’s message comes following the Investigation Discovery docuseries’ bombshell ending. The special’s finale featured Natalia getting legally adopted by Antwon Mans and Cynthia Mans, who had defended her throughout Natalia Speaks. She was in tears as she seemingly finally settled down with the family she’d been wanting her whole life.
The timeline then fast-forwarded six months, with producers receiving a shocking phone call from the Mans’.
“Something ain’t right with Natalia,” Antwon said on the call. “This girl is tweakin’. I feel like she’s the enemy in the house. And she said to us [that] we have held her hostage. Made us look like we’re the enemy.” Cynthia jumped in and added, “Natalia is stabbing her family in the back over a complete lie.”
Antwon also accused his adopted daughter of “[doing] other things too,” but said she had reached a new low. “Natalia does not have emotions for nothing but herself,” he insisted. “We’re done. We’re done with her.”
The episode did not specify what happened between Natalia and the Mans’, but hinted that the information would come out in the future. A message flashed across the screen at the end of the show that read, “Natalia’s story will continue.”
Before Natalia was taken in by the Mans, she was adopted by Michael Barnett and Kristine Barnett in 2010. The now-estranged couple was told that Natalia, who has a rare form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SEDc), was 6 years old at the time of the adoption.
As the months went on, they began to suspect that Natalia was actually an adult posing as a child. Kristine and Michael accused their adopted daughter of threatening to kill them and their sons. In 2012, they had her birth year legally changed to 14 years earlier, making her 22 years old at the time. They left her to live on her own in an apartment in Indiana while they moved to Canada. Regardless of age, this was a difficult situation for Natalia, who struggled with the building’s steps and high cabinets due to her disability.
After an investigation that spanned five years, Michael and Kristine were charged with neglecting a dependent in 2019. In 2022, Michael was found not guilty of the charges against him. The charges against Kristine were dropped in March 2023.
Meanwhile, Natalia accused Kristine and Michael of abusive behavior. Michael backed up many of her claims about Kristine in the documentary, and Kristine, who did not appear in the special, has since denied the allegations in a Facebook post.
In one scene from Natalia Speaks that was filmed in 2023, Natalia took a DNA test and found out that she was 22 years old, which meant she would have been 9 when she was living alone in an apartment during her time with the Barnett family.
After reliving her traumatic childhood, Natalia was thrilled to move forward with Cynthia and Antwon. She called her legal adoption by the couple “the happiest day of [her] life.” Viewers will have to wait and see where this all went terribly wrong, but a premiere date for season 3 of The Curious Case of Natalia Grace has not been announced yet.
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