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Tennessee man has over 20 kids; owes child support to 15 women

Posted at 1:53 PM, Jun 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-15 13:42:19-04

MEMPHIS (WREG) - A Tennessee woman said she was simply floored after she discovered the father of her child sired 20 other children.

Latoya Shields said she was so taken aback that her knees buckled and she had to sit down when a prosecutor told her Terry Turnage had 20 other children.

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“During the whole relationship, I only knew of four children,” said Shields. “At that time, three years ago, my child was the twenty-first child. Yeah, that would be overwhelming for anybody.”

Shields said after spending almost eight years with Turnage, she had no idea what he what he had been up to.

Turnage had filed a petition there to lower his child support payments for 15 different women, but he was a no show at the hearing. Some of Turnage's family members told WREG-TV that he was not in court because he was in the hospital.

Additionally, Shields said that Turnage has not been an active participant in his relationship with their daughter.

“She calls him and it`s a ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ [and] ‘see you later’ type of situation.”

Even more confounding, Shields said that Turnage typically does not pay her child support. But she said that when he has in the past, the monthly checks have ranged from just $6 to $9.

Shields thinks Turnage was likely splitting the cash between the 15 other women.

Shields said Turnage has been ordered to pay her $259 a month in child support, but she has yet to see that kind of money.

And regardless of the money she is owed, Shields said that this really comes down to a daughter who just wants a relationship with her father.

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