By now you’ve likely heard about the child abuse scandal concerning Michael and Heather Martin, the parents behind the YouTube channels DaddyOFive and MommyOFive.
After YouTuber Philip DeFranco and others began calling their videos into question because of their abusive nature concerning their kids, specifically Cody, police have begun investigating them. Although it’s clear to anyone who’s watched their now-deleted videos — which can still be viewed here thanks to DeFranco — that Cody and their other children’s emotional reactions to their “pranks” were very real, the Martins still claim that mostly everything they did was fake.
In an interview with ABC’s T.J. Holmes, the Martins said they made the videos to create shock value and gain more views. According to Mike, it started out as innocent “family fun” with the children on board and escalated into “making the next video more crazier than the next.”
“We did do pranks. But most of the time, the kids knew about ’em. They were planned. Some stuff is real. Some stuff was acted out, scripted,” Heather said.
She even said that her children intentionally exaggerated their emotions to make the videos more dramatic. If so, then Cody is an incredibly talented actor — a convenient explanation that many rightfully don’t buy.
You can hear more of what the Martins have to say about this whole situation in the video below. It’s really hard to believe anything that comes out of their mouths, though, when all video evidence points to traumatizing abuse.