TODAY

TODAY   |  July 16, 2013

Jason Patric: ‘I want to see my son’

The child custody battle between actor Jason Patric and his former girlfriend Danielle Schreiber, who bore a son from Patric’s donated sperm, has become a case of he-said she-said, with a possible change in a California law hanging in the balance. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports and Patric shares his side of the story.

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>>> we'll begin this half hour out here. we have new details on the child dust custody battle between actor jason patrick and his girlfriend. we talked to her on monday and we'll talk to him in just a moment.

>> reporter: there are photos stage and screen actor jason patrick with his former girlfriend and the son she bore with his donated sperm three years ago. the boy, named gus , with patrick alone. there's video of them visiting in new york city when he was in a long running play and showing gus finding daddy on a broadway play bill.

>> which one is dada? right there. that's right.

>> he wrote her that he didn't want to be a father though he was willing to donate sperm and she told savannah that after the baby's birth patrick spent very little time with him.

>> he never changed a single diaper. was never with gus unsupervised for more than half an hour here or there.

>> he says he selected intended father on his donor form rather than waving his rights to claim parenthood and says he was an active father to gus from the beginning in as many ways as he could be choosing and paying for preschool and spending as much time as he could with gus .

>> she had her house and i lived ten minutes away and every morning i was there.

>> he says he has been barred from seeing gus since a court 20 weeks ago ruled for danielle as sole parent.

>> he's never seen me again. there's not a picture of me in his house. and she has him calling other people dada. and what did this boy think happened?

>> and now a public dispute with a child welfare in the balance. nbc news los angeles .

>>> and jason patric is with us here along with his attorney. good morning to both of you.

>> good morning savannah.

>> jason , i think this gets a little confusing for some people because on the one hand initially it appears you did not intend to be the father and then ultimately you did have some kind of relationship with this little boy . yesterday danielle was on our show and she said explicitly you never changed a diaper and you were never alone with gus for more than a half hour. is she lying?

>> unfortunately he is, yes. and the way the story is played out because it's a nice sound bite about sperm donor but i was never a sperm donor . we had fertility issues and we had to go to assisted reproductive technology and i had to give sperm. if you are a sperm donor when you go to a sperm bank you sign a waiver form that waifs your rights and responsibilities and i did the opposite. i signed an intended parent form with my name and danielle 's name as intended parents of the child that would come from the process.

>> that form came into the court case but so did a letter that you also supplied in which you stated you were not ready to be a father and she says you asked her to keep it secret. how do you explain that.

>> i just said the actual words, the word secret is never in that letter. i said let's keep this among ourselves. we tried for at least three years. she had a bad miscarriage and the pressures of all the different fertility treatments put pressure on her. when i said let's keep this between us meaning the pregnancy.

>> did the letter say i'm not ready to be a father.

>> yeah, sure after all the process and miscarriages and all the things there was confusion but it was more about the idea of i don't know if i can be what could be considered the conventional family.

>> but how do you explain this because jason lost in the initial trial, the initial court case that dealt with this and yet he does have video, he has things that have the little boy calling him dada. he has the intended parent form. how do you explain how sit that the courtsided with danielle in this?

>> the court took a strict interpretation of what the statute says. it says if a man provides his semen to a physician for the purpose of inseminated an unmarried woman he is barred legally from asserting that he is the father. but there's two different statutes at play here. that's why we have the bill pending. there's another statute that says that a man can come to court, a man anywhere in the world that could be any other individual other than jason doing this, and this man could say i held this child out as my own and i received the child into my home and the court would give him the opportunity to be heard on whether he could be legally determined to be the father. the only man who can't is jason , the biological father .

>> briefly there's legislation now pending that could change that so that it would apply to somebody in jason 's situation but would it pass would it apply retroactively? would it help jason 's situation?

>> well, the legislation sitting in the assembly will be effective as of january 1st , 2014 .

>> when was the last time you saw gus .

>> the 2 1 weeks today.

>> have you had any contact whatsoever?

>> none. i sent at least 20 e-mails. fred sent a dozen legal letters and no reply whatsoever.

>> i asked danielle yesterday if jason wants to be a father with this child what is wrong with that. she said she never tried to end the relationship. she is just trying to determine her legal rights . what do you say to that?

>> i say, danielle if you're out there listening right now where ever you are because i don't know where my son is in this world, you have my e-mail. you have my number and call me and where ever you are i will be there tomorrow. if you are truthful about that let me know because i want to see my son. that's all i've been trying to do.

>> are you looking for full custody of your son?

>> i want my son to have the two parents he grew up with his entire life until i decided i no longer could be with his mother and she said then you're not going to have your son.

>> well, it's a long tale. i appreciate you coming here and bringing your perspective. both of you, thank you very