A mother who was told her son’s sperm donor had a near genius IQ and looked like Tom Cruise says her “heart just dropped” when she discovered years later that the donor was actually a college dropout who had been hospitalized for schizophrenia.
Wendy Norman has always been upfront about the fact that she had her 18-year-old son using a sperm donor. She recalled how she looked over the profiles of the available donors, carefully selecting a man identified only as “9623.”
“The profile was really interesting. There was such a wide range of interests,” Norman told Inside Edition.
His profile said he was 6-foot-4, athletic, resembled Tom Cruise, had an IQ of 160 and was pursuing a doctorate in neuroscience engineering. The Xytex Sperm Bank in Atlanta even shared a taped conversation with the donor, in which an employee told the donor, “You had a way above average IQ, I could just tell.”
“I appreciate that,” the donor responded.
He also said, “I know that I'm helping people. I'm helping to conceive a child, one of the greatest gifts in the world. I'm so honored just to even be considered for donor status.”
“It had been a source of pride for me, because you go back and look at this profile that says that your dad has this stupid high IQ, he's done so much, he has achieved so much,” Alex told Inside Edition.
But the donor’s profile was all a lie. Donor 9623 wasn’t a healthy, highly-educated man. He’s a college dropout named Chris Aggeles who has been hospitalized for schizophrenia and spent time behind bars for burglary. The revelation all these years later left the mother and son shaken.
“My heart just dropped,” Norman said. “First you're hit with the shock, and then you don't wanna believe it,” Alex said.
Alex now worries that like the father he has never met, he may be diagnosed with Schizophrenia, which is often hereditary. The teenager has struggled with mental illness since he was in first grade.
“He would snap and he would yell and he would, he sometimes threw things. I had holes in walls and broken doors and things like that—broken mirror, broken window in the house. It was, to say a rollercoaster, is an understatement,” Norman said.
Alex isn’t alone. The donor has fathered at least 36 children. He apologized on a podcast.
“I hope that the families involved, and particularly the children involved, can find it in their hearts to forgive me. I know that they must feel like I betrayed their trust. I feel terrible about it. I really do. I'm sorry,” he said.
Norman and Alex are suing the sperm bank, claiming consumer fraud. Xytex told Inside Edition in a statement they’re confident the evidence in the case will refute the family’s allegations.