THERE'S nothing certain in life except death, taxes, and the overwhelming surety that a single man with decent means is sure to be conned by a Jamaican woman trained in the craft by her elder female relative. So declares entertainment manager Henry F, who explained the extensive fabrications his ex went through to try to trap him with a child.
"My ex got me photos of everyone in her family tree to try to convince me that our son, who looked nothing like either of us, was mine," the 42-year-old said. "She and her mother said her grandfather had Maroon warrior blood, and that our son looked exactly like him. She even showed me pictures, and yes, I could see a slight resemblance. Though I had my doubts, I couldn't blame the baby, and I accepted him even though, as he got older, he looked more and more different. After my mother announced that she would be filing for all of us, that's when my ex asked if we'd have to do DNA tests, and when I said yes, she confessed. She knew all along that he wasn't mine, and I guess she didn't want the embarrassment of the test results, so she finally confessed. I still regard him as my son, and still take care of him though, because none of it was his fault."
There is little empirical data showing to what extent paternity fraud is an issue for Jamaica. But the perception that it is common is fuelled by anthropologist Dr Herbert Gayle's 2016 study finding that 25 per cent of Jamaican men were unknowingly raising children they did not father.
That perception was further encouraged by a 2019 report by Polygenics Consulting, a Jamaican company offering DNA testing, which indicated that 70 per cent of men it tested were not the fathers of the children said to be theirs.
And it's not only paternity that women have been known to fib about. In fact, a poll commissioned some years back by UK insurance company Privilege, with some 2,000 people, found that women were the biggest fibbers of all — and a shocking four in five women tell lies on a daily basis. Some women even admitted to doing so as many as 30 times a day—the equivalent of twice every waking hour.
These findings aren't shocking to the Jamaican men we spoke to though, who share the lies women have told them.
She told me she was pregnant and produced ultrasound photos and everything and kept me updated month after month on the twins' progress as, guess what, she was having twins! I was living and working abroad at the time, so she would send me and my family updates. The babies were born premature and she sent NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] pictures too. My mother bought a lot of stuff, and when I told her I was coming home, she went silent. Let's just say that she then made up another story that the babies didn't make it, devastating us all. It's only when I came back to Jamaica that I did my investigations and realised all of it was a lie from a crazy woman. My sister even did a reverse image search on Google and found the pictures and images that she had sent us.
I'm a Christian, have been one since I was a kid. This girl and I were good friends first, and she would stay at my house when she visited Chicago to shop. Things got intimate during one of those visits; it was my first time. It was a mistake because I was in church, and she had a boyfriend back home. Anyway, we talked and agreed that it was a mistake, and we were still cool. She visited again about six months after, and we had a 'buck up' again. I was tormented because I had messed up twice. Few weeks after she went home, she told me she was pregnant. I immediately got cold feet, and I'm ashamed to say that I cut her off because what would I tell my church? But some months after that I contacted her again to talk about what we would do, and she said she had the baby and gave it up for adoption. She wanted to continue our friendship like nothing had happened before, but things never got back to where they were. Years later she told me that she had made up the whole story because she liked me a lot. But how does a person even attempt to rebuild a friendship with someone like that?
This is my wife, and yes, we're still married. My story is that she told me she was pregnant and insisted that we get married because she didn't want a child out of wedlock. So we got married at RGD [Registrar General's Department], and then she told me that she lost the baby. I was devastated and traumatised. I followed her to the doctor, and she sat there and gave him all the details of her 'miscarriage'. He advised us when we could try again, and at home I pampered her while she mourned the loss of our child. We tried again, and again, and finally she was pregnant. We had our rainbow baby a year and change after the miscarriage. This child is four now. The other day we had an argument and she let it all out how she regretted all she did to marry me, and how I was her biggest regret. I asked her to elaborate and she told me how she had made up the pregnancy and miscarriage, and even lied to the doctor, and the 'loss' was just her normal cycle. She said she had tried to get pregnant and tweaked the dates, but her cycle came, and she had to make a plan. She said she felt that God sanctioned the marriage because, if he hadn't, she would have had her cycle before the wedding. This woman is an evil trickster, but she's also the mother of my child, so that's why I say that we're still married.