Jonathan Meijer, the serial sperm donor who became the subject of “The Man With 1000 Kids” docuseries, is planning to sue Netflix for slander on grounds that they spread misinformation about his life.

The documentary, which was released on July 3rd, features many interviews with the women who gave birth to his biological children. Through sperm banks and private donations, Meijer claims he ended up becoming the father of roughly 550 children across the world, rather than the 1,000 the documentary alleges.

The women, as well as the experts contacted, believe Meijer must be punished for potentially causing cases of incest, should the siblings not know they are related—especially in small places he donated a lot to, such as The Netherlands. They also accuse Meijer of lying to the families about how many times he donated sperm.

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In a YouTube video from last week, Meijer said he did tell families how much he donated in the early stages, but later decided to refrain from telling them the real number in a way he believes is justifiable.

“Technically I did not lie. I followed the guidelines of every large commercial international sperm bank that does not inform the recipients about the amount of offspring one donor will produce,” Meijer wrote in an email to NBC News. “I was doing a much better thing, I gave the parents an estimated number, this was better and more info than they would ever get at any clinic.”

But Eve Wiley, a “fertility fraud activist,” claims he could have fathered many more children if they used his “straws” multiple times. A mother in the documentary also indicts Meijer for potentially fathering 700-900 siblings without regard to what it will do to them psychologically when they learn about this.

Meijer retorts that he was doing the world a service and wanted to make himself “useful to others.”

His critics, however, have reason to believe Meijer broke laws with his practices. A Dutch citizen by birth, Meijer fathered at least 102 children in The Netherlands, according to the New York Times, as well as 80 through private donations, when the country only legally permits 25 children per donor at no more than one clinic in the country. Much of his sperm donations to women outside The Netherlands were accomplished through donating samples to banks within the country that were then sent abroad.

Meijer also says it is a “blatant lie” that he mixed his sperm with another’s to see whose would win out, which an interviewee in the documentary claims. Meijer says he will sue Netflix if the company does not remove this part from the show. In an email to NBC, he said he is already in the process of opening a lawsuit.

“[I do] not want to cooperate IN ANY WAY with Netflix and it is their responsibility to not use lies and slander,” Meijer told NBC.

In April 2023, Meijer was ordered by the Dutch government to stop donating his sperm and threatened with a fine of more than €100,000 should he disobey. He had already been banned by the government from donating sperm in 2017 when it was discovered he fathered over 100 children. “The point is that this kinship network with hundreds of half-brothers and half-sisters is much too large,” said court official Gert-Mark Smelt.

In 2019, it was revealed that a Dutch fertility doctor named Jan Karbaat had used his own sperm to impregnate women, resulting in him fathering 49 children. The family of Karbaat was forced to allow the prosecution to test his DNA for a match with the suspected offspring, which ended up proving their case.

A Zimbabwean man named Misheck Nyandoro has fathered over 150 children with his 16 wives, and intends to sire 1,000. He claims he is doing this to repopulate his country after the Rhodesian-Bushman War, which happened over 40 years ago. In a 2021 interview with a local news outlet, the 66 year old said he practices a strict regimen of four rounds of intercourse a night to keep his family line going.

“It is like crop rotation in farming. The next crop is a new crop, it brings new energy and new dynamics,” he explained. “I am not employed. My duty is to satisfy my wives. I know each of them personally and I satisfy them accordingly.” According to the news report, one of his sons is following his example, having married four women. Nyandoro has apparently received little pushback regarding his mass-fathering compared to Meijer.

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics and business for VT and a regular guest on The Unusual Suspects. Follow Shane’s work here.

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