The biological mother of two children featured in “prank” videos their father and stepmother posted on YouTube, which garnered widespread backlash and allegations of child abuse, says she was horrified when she saw how her children were treated.
“It was very painful. I cried. I had an anxiety attack,” Rose Hall told ABC News’ “Nightline.”
Hall won temporary “emergency custody” of the two children, Emma, 11, and Cody, 9, after Maryland police launched an investigation last week into videos posted by their father, Mike Martin, and their stepmother, Heather Martin.
“He [Mike] is abusing my kids, hurting my kids and making them feel bad about themselves,” Hall said, referring to the YouTube videos. “He’s bullying the other kids to hurt my two kids.
“I’m glad I wasn’t in the same room as Mike and Heather at the time they did that to my children,” she added.
Watch the full story on “Nightline” tonight at 12:35 a.m. ET
The Martins rose to YouTube stardom by posting videos of their family on their YouTube channels, “DaddyOFive” and “MommyOFive.”
The “DaddyOFive” channel, which features the antics of the parents and their five children — Jake, 14, Ryan, 12, Emma, and Cody and Alex, both 9, — currently has more than 760,000 subscribers on YouTube and have received millions of views. The Martins said they were making money off the videos but declined to say how much.
Their videos caused a firestorm after some critics said the pranks they pulled on their young children went too far.
One video in particular that received intense backlash on social media depicts the parents dousing the floor of one child’s room with invisible ink and then angrily blaming the child for ruining the carpet.
As two of the children begin crying and screaming over the false accusation, the Martins continue cursing and yelling at them. Finally, Heather Martin breaks into laughter and Mike Martin says, “You just got owned,” but the children don’t reciprocate their…