Mike Martin, also known as YouTuber DaddyOFive, and his wife Heather have lost custody of his two young children seen in his popular videos after he was accused of child abuse. The children, Cody and Emma, are now with their biological mother, Rose Hall.
Hall appeared in a video alongside her attorney, Tom Conlon, on May 1 to announce that she now has custody. They credit the YouTube community, which turned against Martin by calling out the child abuse caught on tape in the videos.
Many of the videos, which have been taken down from the DaddyOFive YouTube page, feature Martin and Heather yelling and screaming at their children. In an apology video, the parents claimed that the children were in on the “pranks.” The videos also show Heather’s three other children.
Heather is the mother of Jake, 14, Ryan, 12, and Alex, 9. Martin’s children are 11-year-old Emma and 9-year-old Cody. Both parents are in their mid-30s.
Here’s what you need to know about DaddyOFive.
1. DaddyOFive’s Videos Showed Him Pushing His Sons & Accusing Them of Things They Didn’t Do
The videos Martin, who lives in Ijamsville, Maryland, shared on YouTube that caught the attention of the web show him often pushing Cody and their other children. Although Martin took down these videos, some of them still exist on other YouTube pages.
The video seen above is a compilation of clips from videos with Cody. In one clip, Martin tells Cody that he’s going to give his XBox to his sister. In another, Martin yells at Cody through a closed door, using curses. He tells her that her sister is going to delete something on a computer and tells Cody to go downstairs to stop her. The door is locked, so Cody slams it and screams at her sister. Meanwhile, Martin holds the camera and laughs, without helping his son at all.
Another compilation, seen below, shows Cody fighting with Alex, Heather’s son. In another disturbing video, Heather films Emma and Cody fighting.
2. In 1 Video, Martin Pranked Cody With Invisible Ink & Yelled ‘F**k’ at Him
Popular YouTube personality Phillip DeFranco, who has over 5 million subscribers, was among the many YouTube personalities who called out Martin. He talked about DaddyOFive in at least four videos. In one video, DeFranco points out a particularly disturbing prank Martin and Heather pulled on Cody. You can see the video re-posted by another YouTube user below.
In the video, the parents poured invisible ink on his floor to convince Cody that he ruined his bedroom. At first, it seems innocent, but it turns disturbing almost immediately. Heather yells, “What the f**k did you do?” Martin yells, “What the hell” repeatedly. Cody insists that he didn’t do it and is almost instantly brought to tears.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the couple uploaded around 300 videos of pranks and many had over 100,000 views. The DaddyOFive YouTube channel reached over 765,000 subscribers.
3. DaddyOFive Claims the Videos Started as ‘Family Fun and Entertainment’
On April 22, Martin deleted all the videos that had made him a YouTube star and replaced them with a single, three-minute apology video that also shows his wife, known as MommyOFive. In the caption for the video, which has over 1.7 million views, the couple claim that they started their channel as “family fun and entertainment” that “took on a life of its own.”
“Before we knew it, we were caught-up in our families popularity which led to some poor decisions,” the statement reads. “Upon reflection, we realize there were mistakes made that caused our family some pain; we offer our most humble and sincere apology to those we negatively impacted and offended, particularly our wonderful children. Our children are safe. Off camera and out of character, they are normal, happy kids who play sports and love being with their family and friends. Thank you for your understanding as we work through this difficult time.”
In the video, the couple claim that they were pulling “pranks” on their children, and that they were in on it. But before the apology, Martin used Twitter to defend himself as criticism from other YouTubers grew louder and louder. A few days before the apology video, Martin posted a statement, saying that they “do not condone child abuse in any way, shape, or form.”
4. Rose Hall Obtained Emergency Custody of Emma & Cody
Rose Hall and her attorney, Tim Conlon, appeared in the above video on May 1. They explained that they received emergency custody of Emma and Cody, her children with Martin. Conlon is an attorney at The Custody Place, a law firm in Maryland that focuses on child support cases.
In the video, the two credit the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department with helping them retrieve Cody and Emma to make sure they are safe.
Hall came forward last month in an interview with YouTuber Chambers of My Heart, claiming to be Cody and Emma’s biological mother. Chambers Of My Heart then raised $6,450 to pay for Hall’s attorneys. As The Washington Post reports, Hall lives in North Carolina.
Conlon told the Baltimore Sun that a hearing is scheduled for May 5. The sheriff’s department confirmed that it helped retrieve Cody and Emmy on April 28.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina told the Sun that Hall told them about the videos in October 2016. However, since the Martins live outside their jurisdiction, they couldn’t do anything about it.
In the video, Hall said Cody told her that he “hated” his biological mother and that “Mike and Heather told him that I threw him away like he was garbage and I didn’t love him.” Hall said none of that was true.
5. The Family Has Already Started Family Counseling
In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Heather said the family is already in family counseling.
“We’ve already begun family counseling immediately,” Heather told the Sun. “We did get a life coach that’s going to be able to help us, and just get an outside perspective, making sure [the children are] OK and that everything is good from here on out.”
She also told The Sun, “We just really hope that we can help other people not make the same mistakes that we have, and we hope that we can show that we’ve learned from the things that we’ve done or said.”
On April 28, the parents also spoke out on Good Morning America, where they insisted that the videos don’t represent real life at home.
“I am ashamed,” Mike Martin told GMA. “It started out as family fun. It started with me and my kids, but then it was just about making a video and then making the next video more crazier than the next.”
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and Baltimore County Police Department both confirmed to the Baltimore Sun that that they are reviewing the DaddyOFive videos to see if there were any crimes committed. The issue now though is that many of the videos are no longer public and only viewable thanks to third-parties, who may have edited them before re-posting them.