This Hollywood spotlight isn’t for a new movie. Instead, it’s shining bright on the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse.
Analysts are calling it a one-of-a-kind legal dispute regarding Patric’s sperm which was used to impregnate his ex-girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber. The IVF attempt did produce a pregnancy which resulted in the birth of a young boy, Gus, who is now four.
So what exactly is going on? Well, it appears the custody battle has been going on for years.
According to Eriq Gardner, a reporter who penned a recent Hollywood Reporter article, “Patric and Schreiber have been fighting over custody of their four-year-old son, who was born through artificial insemination.” He continues, “Thanks to California law, which grants the mother full custody unless there is a written agreement establishing parental rights before conception, a judge has denied The Lost Boys star access to his son. So as the custody battle heads to an appeals court next month, Gus can be considered in some respects a legal stranger to his father.”
But Patric hasn’t been backing down. Instead, more fuel has been tossed into the legal fire.
While the wheels are in motion towards the appellate court this month and beyond, Patric’s organization, “Stand Up for Gus,” is an effort to springboard awareness regarding parental alienation for couples who utilize assisted reproduction to have a child, but who are not married. In this case, there is no writing to prove Patric is a father and without it, he’s a sperm donor.
It has received ample attention. In addition to a star-studded fundraising event last year, interviews on popular shows such as The View and 20/20 have aired.
In full throttle, Patric’s social media avenues on Facebook and Twitter have voiced his parental alienation argument along with pictures of Gus.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Patty Glaser an attorney representing Schreiber, calls Patric’s attempts, “a ‘public relations tirade’ from a father who she says didn’t want his name on the birth certificate so as to avoid attention from the paparazzi.”
But wait, there’s more.
All of this jumpstarted the pursuing of a restraining order on Patric – the grounds were to stop using Gus’ name and photos for commercial purposes.
In a more recent Hollywood Reporter article, covering this attempted restraining order case, Eriq Gardner reported, “Schreiber’s attorney, Patty Glaser, insisted the child’s ‘exploitation’ was at stake, while Patric’s attorney, Lawrence Iser, focused the judge’s attention on the First Amendment. ‘Our country is founded upon the fundamental rights to speak freely and petition for causes, and the censorship sought by Ms. Schreiber is contrary to those fundamental values,’ said Iser.”
Judge Stephen Moloney, who heard the case a couple of weeks ago, agreed not to grant the restraining order. Doing so, he said, would mean that there was a “prior restraint.”
The article went on to say that Schreiber’s legal team could still hold Patric liable for any “improper statements made.” Judge Moloney, however, didn’t see the necessity to initiate a mandate, such as a one which would be equivalent to a gag order.
Following the hearing, Patric released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying, “After numerous attempts to stop me from speaking about my child, and to use the legal process to deprive me of my constitutional right of free speech, my victory today is not only for me and my son Gus, but for all other parents who will have the right to speak of and about their children in any form of media that they wish.”
This ongoing legal battle is initiating a great debate on the subject of “parental rights” in terms of sperm donation. Time will tell if the court gets “it right” in this case. But for others who aren’t married, it’s a slippery slope when using ART. To quote an oft used saying: “buyer beware.”