‘The Man With 1000 Kids’: Jonathan Meijer Netflix allegations, explained

‘The Man With 1000 Kids’: Jonathan Meijer Netflix allegations, explained

Netflix documentaries and docu-series have rarely ever been without scandal, and their latest release is no exception. The Man with 1000 Kids tells the story of Jonathan Meijer, a Dutch man who, as of 2023, was confirmed to have fathered anywhere between 500 and 600 kids. The release of the docuseries not only told the already-known story of Meijer’s activities, but also brought up some shocking allegations that could potentially lead to yet another lawsuit against Netflix. Move over Fiona from Baby Reindeer, there’s a new aggrieved person in town. 

Who is Jonathan Meijer?

Jonathan Jacob Meijer was born in the Netherlands sometime in the 80s. He started donating sperm in 2007 after hearing about a friend of his who couldn’t have children. At first, he donated through the normal routes such as sperm banks and fertility clinics, but soon moved outside of the formally recognized institutions. In an interview with The Independent, he shared that his desire to not remain anonymous to the people who were receiving his sperm was one of the main reasons why he decided to begin donating privately

This led Meijer down the path of becoming one of the most prolific sperm donors in the world. He put out adverts displaying his physical features and other information, and claimed to have received an overwhelming number of responses, which he did his best to carefully vet. However, whatever vetting process Meijer had didn’t stop him from spending the next decade and more donating his sperm to people all over the world. Yikes!

Sperm donor? Or a sperm addict? 

Meijer has asserted that the claim that he was addicted to donating sperm was not necessarily accurate, and that he was more addicted to the feeling of helping people in that particular way. He has spoken extensively about how difficult it can be for families who need donors to access them due to the shortage of registered donors in clinics and other organizations. 

Unfortunately, his good intentions were not always backed up with good actions, as he began to lie to the people he was donating to about the number of prior donations he had made. Knowing that some people might be uncomfortable with the extent of his actions, he would drastically reduce the number to ensure that they chose him. This all came to a head in 2023, when some of the parents who he had donated to discovered the extent of his lies, even creating a Facebook group to identify each other. 

They were understandably worried about the implications of having so many children with the same father running around. In the Netherlands alone, he has fathered at least a hundred children, despite the country’s limit of 25 children. The parents brought the case to a court, where Meijer was banned from donating his sperm anymore. He was also slapped with a £100,000 fine, for any further donations he made. The judge, however, gave an exception for families to whom he had already donated if they wanted more children and desired for the children to be biologically related. 

The Man with 1000 Kids: allegations and responses 

Netflix released The Man with 1000 Kids in July 2024, bringing Meijer’s story to the attention of millions who had not heard about it. The documentary portrayed Meijer as an addict who was obsessed with fathering as many children as possible. 

The series also touched on a lot of proven aspects of Meijer’s story, but one of the most shocking things mentioned was an anecdote that has yet to be proven. In the second episode of the docu-series, a woman named Patricia claimed that Meijers and another donor named Leon would play games of “sperm roulette.” This involved mixing each other’s sperm in a single sample to see which of them the future child would end up looking like. This was done without the consent of the parents receiving the samples.

Meijer responded to these allegations in a video on his YouTube channel, where he revealed that he had watched part of the documentary. In the video, he asserted that those claims were fake, and that he would be suing Netflix if they didn’t take it down. He also joined Patricia in a livestream on the “Down the Rabbit Hole” YouTube channel on July 3, where he confronted her about the allegations. Patricia replied that she had heard about the “sperm roulette” game from Leon. However, she admitted that she couldn’t prove the claims, which Meijer used as proof that it was a lie. 

Meijer revealed to The Independent that he had refrained from participating in the creation of the docuseries because he felt like it was capitalizing on the families he had donated to. He also said that he had independently decided to stop donating sperm in 2019, before the case against him was filed. Meijer continues to accuse Netflix of slander on his YouTube, and has posted multiple videos threatening to take legal action against the streamer.

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