Man who says he is Jaycee Dugard's father pleads for reunion [Updated]
Ken Slayton, who says he's the biological father of kidnap victim Jaycee Lee Dugard, pleaded with the girl's family today for a reunion and paternity test.
Slayton, 63, appeared with Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred at her Miracle Mile office this afternoon, where both read prepared statements.
Allred said Slayton had dated Dugard's mother, Terry Susan Probyn, who went by her middle name, for about a month in 1979 when she became pregnant, but she never told him she had the baby. When he later learned through friends that she had given birth, Slayton was unable to locate Probyn, Allred said.
A spokeswoman for the Dugard family said they have not been contacted by Slayton since Jaycee was found.
"This all comes as a big surprise," spokeswoman Erika Schulte said.
After Dugard was kidnapped at age 11 from her South Lake Tahoe neighborhood in 1991, FBI officials contacted Slayton, but he was not involved in the search, Allred said.
Dugard turned herself in to Bay Area police last month after living for 18 years with Phillip and Nancy Garrido, who have been charged with kidnapping and raping her.
"I have had many nightmares over the years wondering if I could have done more to find Susan and the baby," Slayton said through tears. "Now that she has been found, I want her to know that our hearts are open to her and we long to be the loving, supportive and normal family to her and her children that she has not had for 18 years."
Allred said Slayton wants to get in touch with Dugard or a family representative to arrange a private meeting and a confidential paternity test. If the family does not consent to the test, she said Slayton may take legal action.
She said Slayton and his family have been unable to contact Dugard, who has been living with her mother and other family in seclusion in Northern California, and that they do not want to profit from Dugard's publicity.
"He wants nothing from her," Allred said. "What they really want to do is love her."
She said Slayton wants to invite Dugard and the two daughters she had with Garrido to his home in Southern California, where he keeps horses.
Allred was flanked by Slayton and his wife, Jaime, whom he married in 1983. Behind the couple stood their daughters, Sarah Lee Slayton, 25, and Brittney Lee Slayton, 21.
Slayton brought two snapshots of Terry Susan Dugard taken during a camping trip to Lake Havasu when they met.
Slayton said he has never seen Jaycee.
Meanwhile, the Dugards announced this morning that they are going to be represented by Sacramento lawyer McGregor Scott. Scott did not return phone calls. [Updated at 7:05 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said that McGregor Scott was a former assistant U.S. attorney. Scott was U.S. attorney for California's eastern district.]
Probyn released a statement this morning saying she and her family "are doing very well under the circumstances."
"We especially appreciate everyone recognizing that what we need most right now is to be allowed to become a family again within a zone of privacy and security."
Schulte says Allred and Slayton did not invite her or the family to the news conference or provide them with copies of their statements. She said the Dugards are in seclusion without television and she is not sure if they were aware of the event. She said Scott, their lawyer, may release a statement later today.
Allred said she left a message for Dugard’s attorney but had not spoken with him.
Scott, of the Sacramento law firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, said he has met with Probyn and Dugard and is helping them get birth certificates for Dugard’s daughters, establish a trust fund for Dugard and the girls and possibly negotiate a book contract.
“Jaycee and her daughters are focused on a lengthy list of very real and definite issues they are confronting,” Scott said. “The concept of a paternity test is not even on our radar.”
He said the family is cooperating with prosecutors.
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Los Angeles
Photo: Ken Slayton attends a news conference in the office of attorney Gloria Allred, right. Standing behind him is his daughter Brittney Lee Slayton, 21. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times