Q&A with Marcus Matthews 

Author of I Am Not the Father

Around 3 million viewers tune into The Maury Show every day to hear about shocking sex secrets, abusive relationships, uncontrollable teenagers, and infidelity.

But the show is probably best known for paternity testing.

Marcus Matthews, native Memphian and author of I Am Not the Father: Narratives of Men Falsely Accused of Paternity, was featured in a segment of the nationally syndicated talk show last week.

On the show, Matthews revisited his personal experience of being falsely accused of paternity when he was a 17-year-old senior at Westside High School. During the segment, he also discussed his book and an upcoming documentary, which both profile personal accounts of men who've experienced paternity fraud.

Flyer: Why do you think your story caught The Maury Show's attention?
Marcus Matthews: As far as I know, I'm the only person who has authored a book specifically about paternity fraud. It's very unique, and that's what they do [on the show]. I think my niche with the book and the show's niche aligned almost perfectly.

When you authored I Am Not the Father, did you consider the possibility of being featured on The Maury Show one day?
I wrote that book thinking I was writing a book. I had never written a book before. Not in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be on national TV. My intention was to share my story and help other guys share their story, because that's something that people need to hear. Getting the opportunity to talk about it on Maury accomplishes the goal of getting it out there.

What was it like backstage?
I talked to one guy [backstage] and he said he just wanted to know the truth [about his paternity]. I remember that feeling. You don't know if it's yours or not.

Maury came into the greenroom and thanked me for coming out. He said he appreciated me for being there and that he had heard a lot of good things about my work. That was impressive to me. He didn't have to say hello, but he made a special trip to come and meet me.

Did anything about the show seem staged?
It was funny, because one question that people always ask is, "Is the show real?" My legal briefing was with the mothers who were going to be on the show. We were all doing our legal paperwork together. It was definitely real. They were in the briefing saying, "He's going to find out," just like you see on TV.

What was it like to interact with Maury and be on a live television show?
I knew that I wasn't getting tested, so I wasn't as nervous as some of the other people who were there. Maury actually came backstage and got me between commercial breaks. We walked out together. He asked me to have a seat, and he was just cool. He carried himself in a very down-to-earth manner. He gave me a lot of room to talk. I felt comfortable with the interview, and I felt comfortable with him as an individual.


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