Actor Jason Patric's ex-girlfriend is refusing to honour the actor's request for joint custody of their three-year-old son because he legally gave up his parental rights before the child was born.
The Speed 2 star donated sperm so his former girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber, could have a baby in 2009, and last year (12) he launched legal action to gain joint custody of little Gus after the couple split, even though U.S. law only recognises him as a sperm donor, who has no paternity rights.
Patric lost the court battle in early 2013, but he recently filed an appeal and now the dispute has turned into a high-profile case as lawmakers in California consider a new bill, which would give donor dads more rights.
However Schreiber, who alleges Patric initially asked her to keep his identity a secret after he turned down the chance to claim parenthood prior to conception, is standing her ground - during an appearance on U.S. breakfast show Today on Monday (15Jul13), she said, "It's not about him having a relationship or contact with Gus. This is just about rights. Me preserving my right to be a sole legal parent, not having to share that with someone who has never intended to and never raised Gus, even when we were dating - Jason never did anything to raise Gus. He never changed a single diaper."
Patric also appeared on Tv on Monday - he hit newswoman Katie Couric's chat show and said, "This is a case where I've had my son stolen from me and I have to do anything I can to try and get him back."
The Lost Boys star, who hasn't seen his three-and-a-half-year-old son for 20 weeks, told Couric he thought he had done enough when he signed forms before he donated sperm to his former partner.
He explained, "I went into the fertility clinic with her and I signed 20 pages of forms that say 'intended parent Jason Patric'."
But he agreed to leave his name off baby Gus' birth certificate - because he didn't want his kid to be targetted by his critics.
The actor added, "I wanted to protect him from the public eye that I have felt hasn't been kind to me. Any private documents - the consent forms, school forms, paediatrician's all have me as the father, but I didn't want the paparazzi taking pictures of my child coming out of Cedars-Sinai (Medical Center)."
Patric revealed he was dealt a blow by his ex two days after they celebrated his 46th birthday with their baby last year (12), when she told him of her plans to become a single parent: "She became very removed and within one week... she told me she would not speak to me unless it was through a lawyer... and she's not spoken to me since, in over a year.
"When I talked to your producers about coming on this show, the first thing I said is, 'Please invite Danielle Schreiber on the show. Please have her sit right here and explain... why you've done this.'"
Schreiber turned down the opportunity to appear alongside her ex on the Katie show.