Tippecanoe prosecutors ask if couple was paid for interviews

Prosecutors in Lafayette want to know whether a former couple accused of abandoning their adopted daughter were paid for interviews given to national television shows and tabloids about the case.

Prosecutors said the pair left their daughter in Indiana and moved to Canada in 2013.

Michael and Kristine Barnett are charged with two counts of neglect, the Journal & Courier of Lafayette reported Thursday.

Prosecutors filed a request Oct. 11 asking the Barnetts for payment amounts they received, payment dates, and any other form of promised compensation. They also asked them to produce copies of the signed contracts for their appearances and any other documents they might have provided to media outlets. The lawyers refiled Nov. 8 because the defendants had not responded.

Michael Barnett and Kristine Barnett, who are divorced, have appeared on several talk shows claiming the girl was an adult posing as a child before a gag issue was ordered on them Oct. 28. The order was extended Nov. 1 to include the girl, but she had already been on “Dr. Phil” by then.

Court records and news reports show that Kristine Barnett gave an interview to the Daily Mail, a British tabloid.

Michael Barnett appeared twice on “The Dr. Oz Show,” once on “Inside Edition” and once on “Good Morning America,” as well as on news outlets in the Indianapolis television market.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, the couple adopted the girl in 2010 and a doctor who examined her that year determined she was about 8 years old.

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