Dwarf orphan accused of ‘pretending to be a child’ denies trying to kill adoptive family

5 November 2019, 11:09 | Updated: 5 November 2019, 12:59

A dwarf orphan who was abandoned by her adoptive parents has denied being an ‘adult sociopath who posed as a child.’

Natalia Grace Barnett has spoken out on the bizarre case for the first time in a dramatic interview with Dr Phil which will air this Thursday.

Natalia - who has a rare form of dwarfism - was adopted by Michael Barnett, 43, and his now ex-wife Kristine, 45, in May 2010.

The pair are currently facing charges of neglect after leaving her in a flat when she was allegedly nine-years-old and fleeing to Canada with their other three children.

However, Michael appeared on This Morning last month to insist Natalia was actually a 22-year-old woman when they left her, and even accused her of trying to kill members of his family.

Natalia has defended herself in a TV interview
Natalia has defended herself in a TV interview. Picture: Michael and Kristine Barnett

Ukrainian-born Natalia, who has since been adopted by another American family, appeared in her first TV interview to deny she's a "sociopath" and a "con artist."

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In a clip of the upcoming chat, Dr. Phil can be heard asking Natalia: "She's painted you as an evil dwarf who's going to poison their coffee or stab them in their sleep.

"They say you scammed them, lied about your age, and terrorised them."

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To which a teary Natalia responds: "It's not true at all. I just want people to hear my side."

Her new adoptive mum Cynthia Mans then adds her daughter had bone scans which prove her real age.

Michael appeared on This Morning last month
Michael appeared on This Morning last month. Picture: ITV

This comes after The Barnetts previously claimed they paid for a bone scan which indicated she was born in 1989 - making her 21 when she was adopted. 

The parents then reportedly changed her age and later rented an apartment in Indiana in 2013 where they left her there alone.

Kristine has since accused Natalia of tormenting her, claiming she tried to poison her. 

She told the Daily Mail: "She would make statements and draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members, roll them up in a blanket and put them in the backyard.

Christine Barnett has been accused of child neglect
Christine Barnett has been accused of child neglect. Picture: Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office

"I saw her putting chemicals, bleach, Windex something like that, in my coffee and I asked her, 'what are you doing?', she said, 'I am trying to poison you.'”

Appearing on This Morning, Michael went on to tell hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: “One night I woke up and Natalia was standing over my bed with a knife in her hand and a blank look on her face.”

The Barnetts are now awaiting their next court date with prosecutors claiming Natalia was left to fend for herself as a young child while they moved away.