Here’s a recent headline on everyone’s favorite Men’s Rights hate site, A Voice for Men:
This seems to be a slightly ironic headline to find on a site run by a man who Buzzfeed infamously described as a “Deadbeat Dad” in a story titled “How Men’s Rights Leader Paul Elam Turned Being A Deadbeat Dad Into A Moneymaking Movement.”
Some pertinent highlights from that piece, by Buzzfeed’s Adam Serwer and Katie J.M. Baker, in case you haven’t read it, or if you’ve forgotten some of the sordid details:
Although Elam says that “fathers are forced to pay child support like it was mafia protection money,” he accused his first wife of lying about being raped so he could relinquish his parental rights and avoid paying child support.
When Elam and the woman Buzzfeed calls “Susan” divorced, she
received full custody of both children … Elam was granted visitation rights every other Sunday afternoon, but only if he wasn’t “under the influence of alcohol or drugs or in the company of people under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” He was also ordered to pay child support every month as well as some previously owed child support and a variety of other debts and court fines. But he didn’t. So Susan took him to court again. Finally, he wrote a petition to the court explaining that he didn’t believe he should be held in contempt of court or pay attorneys’ fees because he didn’t think Bonnie was his. …
[Susan’s] parents convinced her to end the legal battle and cut Elam out of her life without forcing him to prove his paternity. …
According to records, Elam was ultimately held in contempt for failure to pay child support. His punishment was a $100 fine and 30 days in jail. He was ordered to pay $1,200 in unpaid debts, upon which, both parties agreed, his parental rights would be terminated.
And that was that until the daughter Elam had claimed wasn’t his contacted him roughly a quarter of a century later. The two connected, with Elam finally accepting her as his daughter. She broke off the relationship some six years later, she told Buzzfeed, after Elam spanked her son for messing with his fancy new sub-zero fridge. (He denies this, though he does admit he was “grumpy” on the day in question.)
After Buzzfeed’s piece came out, Elam went back to claiming that maybe the woman Buzzfeed calls Bonnie wasn’t his daughter after all. In a post responding to the Buzzfeed story, Elam first referred to “Bonnie” as his “estranged daughter,” then simply his daughter, before adding:
I need to point out that it has not been established that I actually have a daughter. I think it is possible, even likely, but I don’t know for sure.
Somehow I doubt Elam will be winning any father of the year awards any time soon.