Jonathan Jacob Meijer, Netflix’s ‘Man with 1000 Kids,’ Says Claims in Show are “Total Slander”

With a title like The Man with 1000 Kids, it’s no wonder that the Netflix docuseries about prolific sperm donor Jonathan Jacob Meijer is climbing the streamer’s charts just a day after its release. That might come as good news to the numerous women interviewed in the series, several who say Meijer deceived them about the number of children he’s helped produce. But speaking with the media, the 42-year-old Dutch YouTuber says he’s disappointed in the show, and says it misrepresented his goals as a donor to scores of families.

“They deliberately called [the documentary] The Man With 1000 Kids, when it should be ‘the sperm donor who helped families conceive with 550 children’,” Meijer told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. “So already from the start, they are deliberately deceiving and misleading.”

In a New York Times report from 2021, Jonathan Jacob Meijer provided an even lower number. “I have approximately 250 children,” he said then. “Assumptions of 1,000 are ridiculous. I am disappointed by the obsession with the numbers. I became a donor not for any numbers but out of love to help parents with realizing their dream. I cannot understand how anyone can only focus on numbers and see my donor children as a number.”

However, Meijer tells the Independent that he stopped donating sperm in 2019, so it’s unclear where those additional 300 kids came from. In that interview, he says the number of children he’s fathered “is closer to 600.” (It’s that vagueness, perhaps, that explains the “focus on numbers” that Meijer finds so distressing.)

Meijer, whose efforts to continue to donate sperm have been stymied by several countries across Europe, tells the Independent that eventually, he became “hooked” on providing sperm to aspiring families. “Sometimes I would think: ‘It’s a lot [of children], maybe you should stop’ but then I’d get a new message saying: ‘Wow, you are really the donor we’ve been looking for.’”

“I found it hard to say no. You’re the guy that comes along with the winning lottery ticket, that’s the feeling you bring these people. It’s something magical.”

According to Meijer, the series is a result of cherry-picking dissatisfied recipients. “I think Netflix did a great job at selecting five families [who are unhappy] out of the 225 families that I’ve helped, and they [the other families] will definitely tell you something else,” he told the BBC.

He also hasn’t watched the show, he told the Independent. When told about some of the claims in the series, including allegations that he competed with fellow donors to see who could father the most children, and that he mixed sperm with another donor to see whose might “win,” he seemed shocked. “Is that in the documentary?” he asked.

“No, that’s total slander. It’s insane. Why would I do that? Why should anyone do that? If it’s in the documentary, be prepared, I will definitely sue the hell out of the whole Netflix crew.”

While Netflix has yet to address Meijer’s claims, The Man With 1,000 Kids executive producer Natalie Hill is standing by the show. “I’ve spent the last four years speaking to families who have been impacted by Jonathan’s lies. I’ve personally spoken to 45 or 50 families,” she told the BBC.

“Fifty families made impact statements to the court about his lies, and pleaded with the judge that he stop. So this continued platform for Jonathan to talk about it being a handful of women is completely untrue.”

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