2 Children Taken From Home of Couple Blasted for Controversial YouTube Prank Videos
Michael and Heather Martin gained hundreds of thousands of followers by playing pranks on their children, many that were seen as cruel.
The Maryland couple who gained hundreds of thousands of YouTube followers by pranking their kids on camera has lost custody of two of the five children in the home.
Michael and Heather Martin made headlines last month after posting a video to the account DaddyOFive in which they can be heard shouting expletives while accusing the two boys of spilling ink on the floor, leaving the children in tears.
The parents defended their videos as all in good fun, but 9-year-old Cody and 11-year-old Emma were, at least temporarily, taken from the home by Frederick County officials and put in the custody of their biological mother.
The mother, Rose Hall, posted a YouTube video of her own on Wednesday in which she appears with her attorney and claims she got "emergency custody" of the brother and sister.
"Emma and Cody are with me," Hall said. "They're doing good. They're getting back to their playful selves."
The Frederick County Sheriff's Office, meanwhile, has confirmed they helped carry out the children's removal from the home per a court order.
The department's investigation, and that of Child Protective Services, remains ongoing.
In a statement, an attorney for the Martins said, "All information will be presented to the court at the appropriate time" and did not comment further.
As outrage over their video spread, the couple recorded a public apology and told Inside Edition, “We got carried away in the moment."
"We really never meant for any of this to be taken this way," Mike Martin said.
In the video, Heather Martin can be seen holding a bottle of disappearing ink.
“I'm going to squirt it all over his carpet and start flipping out,” she says.
And that's exactly what she does, while screaming for Cody.
“What the [expletive]!” she screams in the video.
When Cody runs in, he insists he had nothing to do with it. At that point, his dad joins in, demanding to know why he spilled the ink. They then address the second boy, asking why he did it.
It doesn't take long for both children to be left sobbing.
After three minutes of torment, the parents finally reveal it's all a prank.
“We got you both!" says Heather. "You were innocent bystanders."
“You just got owned," Mike adds. "It's just a prank, brah."
The kids were clearly not laughing, and neither was Mike's YouTube audience when he posted the video, even with the disclaimer, "No child was harmed in the making of this video."
"This video made me shudder," one comment read. Another called it, "Mental abuse... Just as bad as physical abuse." One Inside Edition viewer called the prank "sick."
After they were bashed online, the couple admitted they may have gotten carried away, but insisted they meant no harm.
"He wasn't really traumatized, that's the thing," Heather said. “Honestly we were all just having fun. After everything, we had a good laugh."
They insisted the children were not emotionally harmed by the prank.
"If we saw signs of anything like that, we would get help immediately," Mike said.
The parents later took to YouTube again, claiming the children were acting and had been in on the prank the whole time.
"They over-exaggerated," Mike says in the clip. "Some videos are scripted."
Trending on Inside Edition
Alex Murdaugh Returns to South Carolina Amid New Accusations He Worked With Satterfied Family For Payout: SLEDCrime
Dogs Can Exhibit Human-Like ADHD Behaviors, New Study RevealsAnimals
California Motorcyclist Says He Won't Stop Lane Splitting Even After Scary AccidentInvestigative
This Is Why Hungarian Immigrant Bela Lugosi Was Hollywood’s Best Dracula, According to Author Koren ShadmiEntertainment
The Killing of Ahmaud Arbery: Murder Trial Begins for 3 White Men in the Shooting Death of Black JoggerCrime