Please be seated.

Hello.

Hello, Your Honor.

This is the caseof Burks v.

Smith.

Thank you, Jerome.

Good day, everyone.

AUDIENCE: Good day.

Ms.

Burks, you claim yourformer boss got you pregnant and now refuses to do anything for your four-year-olddaughter Masiah, leaving you infinancial distress.

You claim today'sDNA test will prove that he is Masiah's father.

You are joined by your brotherwho says he has had to step in and help out.

Mr.

Smith, you sayyou are 100% certain you are not her child'sbiological father and the truth willbe revealed today.

So, Ms.

Burks, how important are today's results foryou and your family? Oh, this situationis very, very important.

It's so important that when I go back home,it might not be a possibility that I might not havea home for my daughter.

So this situationis very, very important.

And so you are raisingyour daughter by yourself? Yes, I am.

JUDGE LAKE: You've had nohelp from Mr.

Smith? No.

JUDGE LAKE: Masiah is four years old.

LASHARA: Yes.

.

Am I correct? She's beautiful.

Mr.

Smith.

EDWARD: Yes, Your Honor?.

She says sheneeds your help.

Well, I was under assumptions for, uh, a long amount of timethat Masiah was not my child.

JUDGE LAKE: Okay.

And I was told thatby the plaintiff.

You were told thatby the plaintiff? EDWARD: Yes.

Ms.

Burks, did you tell.

LASHARA: No, that's not true.

No, I never told himthat he'll never bethe father at all.

Can I say something,Your Honor? JUDGE LAKE: Yes, sir.

Mr.

Wright, what wouldyou like to add? Okay.

Now this guy,he, uh, he.

He's tellinga story, all right? This is the guy that shewas with all the time.

So, like, how could youjust up and say that, like, come on now.

It looks just like him.

Are you serious? Well, yes, I.

She was with me all the time it's because sheworked with me.

We were still togetherwithout working.

EDWARD: When she saysstill together, she means we was inthe same place together.

We were never together.

You're saying you werenever in a relationship? EDWARD: Was neverin a relationship.

What was this? We work together and one time we did.

We had sex.

I was thirsty.

It was not one time,Your Honor.

He lying.

It's not one time,it was more than one time.

Way before I even have Masiah, it was maybe one or two years,way before I've had Masiah, we had sex andit was off and on, off and on inthe last year or two.

HILTON: And I.

Uh,I'm sorry, Your Honor.

You know, I wasworking for him for a period of time as well.

When I go home, them guyswould still be at work.

They do, like, spendingthe nights together, so.

EDWARD: Can I respond to that? I would like that.

Okay.

Reason why,Your Honor, I.

She would spend nights atmy home was because she.

Now, my businessis in my home, so there was alsoanother male partner who stayed in my home as well,spent just as much time.

He's staying upstairs.

He wasn't in there.

He was staying upstairs, so he don't even knowwhat was going on.

So he was your boss.

How did you end up gettinginto a sexual relationship with your boss? LASHARA: Well, one day after work, we hada couple of drinks.

Um, he asked me for a massage.

Um, he startedmassaging my back.

I massaged his.

One thing led to another.

He asked you for a massageand he ended up massaging you? That's incorrect, Your Honor.

What happened was,one day we was together.

We all got drunkafter a day of work.

She asked me could she spenda night at my home and she asked to massagemy back and my feet.

He lying.

I'm sorry.

That's not.

That's a lie.

That's a lie.

Okay.

Did you let all your employees massage your back andyour feet, Mr.

Smith? No, I did not letall employees massagingmy back and feet because there was actuallyonly three of us who was in my homeat the time.

All the other employeeswere outside, field reps.

Nobody else was inour inner circle ofhanging out together.

So, was this partof the job description or were you just trying toflirt with her at that point? At that point and that time,it was.

I was drunk, yes, I flirted with herat that time.

It wasn't nohe was drunk, drunk.

He know what inthe heck he was doing.

He was no drunk.

So, Mr.

Smith,your testimony is that this was a one-time thingor was this an ongoing sexual relationshipwith an employee? I'm sorry, Your Honor.

This was a one-time thing.

LASHARA: It wasn't a one-time.

After work with an employeeafter we all had a long day and we had some drinks.

JUDGE LAKE: Why sucha discrepancy, though? She says it was ongoingfor almost two years.

You say it was only one time? Because for thattwo-year span, when she wassaying that was.

This supposedly relationship, she was literally,literally telling our friends and co-workers thatI was her boyfriend.

That's not true.

That's not true at all.

That's not true.

To the fact.

They was assumingthat we was together because we've been together.

We would be togetherall the time.

So they assumed that.

Mr.

Wright, let me ask you.

You said you alsoworked for Mr.

Smithfor a period of time? Yes, I did.

Yes, I did.

How long? Um, I'd say maybea couple of months.

And during the timeyou worked for him, did you have an occasionto see your sister be involved, go out with him? Yeah, all the time.

Yeah, they was togetherall the time.

We've never wenton a date.

Never.

HILTON: It don't have tonecessarily be a date.

It was never no date.

Well, we all.

It's.

Like he said, at home.

He was at his home.

We go chill at his house.

EDWARD: Your Honor,she's trying to build it up as if I was doingsomething special or something byinviting her to my home and her being with me on a.

You're saying that shewas elevating the stakes, that this was not what it was,that you were just co-workers, you had one nightof indiscretion andit was just that? Yes, Your Honor.

JUDGE LAKE: But Ms.

Burks.

As it were, Your Honor,we didn't just have sexone time, Your Honor, and there go Masiah andI didn't know who the baby.

The father is.

It wasn't never that.

I was dealing with him.

This man for one or two years.

Way beforeMasiah came along.

When you found outMs.

Burks was pregnant, how did that go? I congratulated herbecause she told me her and her boyfriendat the time, who she was dating,was having a child.

So it was a regularday at work.

That's not true.

It was a regular dayat work Your Honor.

That's not true.

That's not true, Your Honor.

So.

How did you tell Mr.

Smithyou were pregnant? EDWARD: I mean, I alreadyknew she was pregnant.

He did knowI was pregnant and he.

But why would you ask me againif the baby was yours? Did you originally tellhim that it was yourex-boyfriend's child? No.

I told him that.

Yeah, I did.

Yes, I did.

I did.

JUDGE LAKE: Okay.

Now we remember.

EDWARD: Thank you.

So, Mr.

Smith.

EDWARD: Yes, Your Honor.

She comes overand she tells you, "I'm pregnant with myex-boyfriend's child.

We're gonna have a baby.

" And I said congratulations.

No.

That's not it, no.

I'm like, "Good for you.

" It's good to see that,you know, that you and your boyfriendis getting together.

That's four years later? EDWARD: Mmm-hmm.

How did four years go bywithout this getting resolved? I don't thinkhe ever wanted do it.

I.

I did wanna do it.

I mean, I was nervousand everything,but I wanted to do it.

He didn't want it.

EDWARD: Your Honor, I will admit that I did notpush to find out if the child was mine as muchas I should had in hindsight, but this young lady came to me and told me at the timethat this was not my child.

Look at her.

She looksjust like him.

EDWARD: Your Honor,the only reason thatthat is an issue is because the gentleman who she was withat the time, is very similar to myexact features as well.

No, he don't looknothing like her.

He was tall and he a lotdarker than him.

Right.

He don't looknothing like her.

The baby do not looknothing like him.

Look at her.

So let me ask you this.

Ms.

Burks, you saidthere is a potential that there's another manthat could be Masiah's biological father.

Where is he? Well, he's not around.

JUDGE LAKE: Does he wanna bea part of her life? EDWARD: Not at all,Your Honor.

She came to mewith the story to.

When she eventuallytold me that he's not gonnahelp her with it, she basically told methat he was like, "I'm not gonna bedealing with you, bye.

" LASHARA: That's not true.

EDWARD: She had me and all ouremployees before.

she even came to meand told me about that, "Hey, this childcould be yours.

" She had all of us believingthat it was his and shehad him believing it.

Oh, my God.

That is not true.

Like I said before,she was always with him.

It wasn't no one-time thing.

EDWARD: Your Honor, yes.

It never wasno one-time thing.

So Masiah is nowfour years old.

Have you developed any typeof a relationship with her? Yes, Your Honor.

I've had Masiah in my home several times living with me.

Really? EDWARD: Yes, because of Ms.

Burks inability to keep a safe environmentfor Masiah.

And the reason why I didthat under the idea that I was still thinkingthat she wasn't mine is because I did notwant to see the child go through the samesituation Ms.

Burks did.

Why would you do thatif you wasn't.

If you think youwasn't the father? Because I did notwant the child to be stuck with you.

That's a lie.

That's a lie.

Stuck with you? And so you would haveMasiah at your home.

You would just be takingcare of her on your own? Yes.

That's a lie.

JUDGE LAKE:For how long at a time? That's a lie.

In increments of easily six to four months,six to eight months.

LASHARA: That's a lie.

That's a doggone lie, man.

That's a doggone lie.

Your Honor, I wouldhave the child with me for.

I wanna say weeksbefore I would have Ms.

Burks come to me and say something like, "Hey, if you don'tlet me stay with you, "then I'm gonna take Masiah.

" LASHARA: That's not true.

That's not true.

So, you believeshe was using Masiah to get back in, to be ableto stay at your home? Not only stay at my homebut she want this.

The plaintiff has itreally bad for me, almost stalker-ish.

That's not true.

Yes, she was with meall the time.

And he know,even my ex know.

And he wasn't workingall the time.

EDWARD: Yes.

Right.

EDWARD: She waswith me all the time, multiple reasons.

One, she would get kicked outof everywhere she stayed.

So she would comeand knock on my door 2:00, 3:00, 4:00in the morning.

Several times.

That's a lie.

Two, the company that I did.

I owned and I ranout of my home, so all my employeeswould be there, all our friendswould be there, before work, after work,during work.

Three, the placewhere we placed our.

Where we did our job was.

Was literally a blockaway from my home.

So after work, during work,paperwork pick up, us just, "Hey, I'm too tiredright now.

" Everyone would go to my home.

So she stated aboutthe gentleman staying upstairs at my home is because I livedin a six-unit building and I had accessto all the units, so I gave the gentlemanupstairs an apartment.

I offered her an apartmentas well.

That's not true.

That's not true at all.

Oh, my goodness.

I.

You all have not agreedon one thing.

No.

That's not true.

Everything he said is a lie.

He's a good liar.

JUDGE LAKE:Goodness gracious! Come on, man.

I mean, everything he states,you say that's not true.

Everything you state,he says that's not true.

He's a great liar.

I don't see how he couldsit in front of a judgeand lie like that.

Who is Masiah calling daddy? Me.

The reason, Your Honor,she calls me daddy is because when she can'tor when she falls down, I've always been the one there to get and take themout the situation.

Mr.

Smith, you sayMasiah calls you daddy? EDWARD: Yes.

Have you stepped upto the plate consistently? Consistently.

JUDGE LAKE:Okay.

So if you have and she's four years old, why now?Why contest it all now? Two reasons.

One, I've just madea move to Arizona to start to start a new lifethat I have.

Okay.

HILTON: With yourother girlfriend.

With other girlfriend, right, and her kids stayingwith his mother house.

With.

No, no.

Come on now.

We are not inmy mother's house.

His cousin's house.

No, we're not.

It's not his.

It's not his.

HILTON: And he stayedwith us numerous times.

He stayed with us.

Okay.

Listen.

Listen.

Mr.

Smith,you're doing all this.

You're stepping into save Ms.

Burks.

You're taking Masiahin when you feel like she doesn't havea place to live.

EDWARD: Yes.

You say you stepped upconsistently.

The child calls you daddy? Yes.

JUDGE LAKE: What in the world? You've got all of thisgoing on and yet youstill deny paternity? I was getting tothe second part of that, Your Honor, the second partof the reason again is because nowthat I started my life with the young ladywho I'm dating now, she has a daughter as well and there's startingto get confusion as I'm dealingwith the daughter, as I'm dealing withthe young ladywho I'm dating now.

LASHARA: That's what'shurting me about it.

He haven't beenin that child's life and unlike me, I haven'thad a child in my life.

My father in my life.

He was off and on in my life.

And I don't wanna makethe same mistake of having Masiah not havinga father in her life.

It hurts me becauseI don't want her to be in the samepredicament as me.

I cry.

I used tocry off and on because I'm scaredthat I didn't knowwho the father is and she and I never knowwho her father is when she.

While growing up,so it hurts me.

He's gonna go back toArizona and live his life with his girlfriendand her daughter.

What you're fearing is thathe's moving on with his life and he's gonna severties with Masiah? Yeah.

JUDGE LAKE: Okay.

The only way we aregonna get down tothe bottom of this and figure out howwe can move forward is to get the resultsand I have them.

Jerome? (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Here you go, Your Honor.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

These results were preparedby DNA Diagnostics andthey read as follows.

JUDGE LAKE: In the caseof Burks v.

Smith, when it comes tofour-year-old Masiah Burks, it has been determinedby this court, Mr.

Smith.

you.

are not her father.

(AUDIENCE GASP) HILTON: I'm sorry.

Excuse me.

Oh, my God.

HILTON: What? JUDGE LAKE: You arenot her father, sir.

EDWARD: I've grown to love this young lady.

I'm still gonna helptake care of Masiah.

Bless you.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Mr.

Smith, I can seethat this ismaking you emotional.

I'm sorry, man.

I'm.

That's all I can say,I'm sorry.

Because I.

I've raised this girl.

She look likeand she act like that because I installedthose things in her.

JUDGE LAKE: I'm sorryI could not give you a different answer, Mr.

Smith.

(EDWARD SOBS) LASHARA: I'm sorry.

You say you're still gonnabe there for Masiahand that's a beautiful thing and it's not gonna bean easy road,but you can do it.

I wish you the verybest of luck.

Ms.

Burks, I'd like tosee you in my chambers.

Court is adjourned.

(BANGS GAVEL) Ms.

Burks, that wasa difficult result.

Yeah.

JUDGE LAKE: So we arewhere we are now.

And sometimes partof moving forward is understandingthat we have to.

To face our reality,all right? When I heard you testifyabout the strugglesyou've been through, that bothered me.

This is a gift from me to you and it's somethingto tide you over until we can helpfind a place to live and you canfind another job.

It's a gift card of $500 to make sure youcan get food.

(LASHARA SOBBING).

Clothing, to take careof your little girl.

I appreciate everything.

I wish you the verybest of luck.

Thank you.

You're welcome, sweetie.