Fact Check

Did Jerry Springer Leave Entire Estate to His 2 'Secret Children'?

The video of the supposed "will reading" was actually a 2020 fictional play.

Published May 16, 2023

Image Via @marcisenberg/Twitter
In May 2023, Jerry Springer left his entire estate to two secret biracial children he had out of wedlock.

On May 14, 2023, social media posts began to claim that former daytime talk show host Jerry Springer left his entire estate to two biracial children whose existence had been kept secret. This claim was false.

"That time Jerry Springer was my dad, died, and left me and my sister EVERYTHING," said a TikTok that was posted on May 14, 2023. "I can't believe I'll always have this. I feel privileged and blessed!" 

@c.l.briggs22 Throwback to the time when #jerryspringer was my dad, died, and left me and my sister EVERYTHING! I felt so privileged to be a part of this #jerryspringer #ripjerryspringer #throwback #reframedmarilynmonroe ♬ original sound - Carl Briggs

The video claimed to show Springer leaving his entire fortune to two children he had secretly had with a woman who was not his wife. The two children in the video appeared to be biracial, with a Black mother. The video claimed Springer said the reason he left his entire estate to the two children was because:

It is truly the least I can do, as I and this country have failed you, and hopefully one day America will do what's right as well.

At the time of publication, the Tiktok video had 2.4 million views. We found the video posted on Facebook and Twitter

We also found unrelated posts about the claim on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Reddit

"The best Jerry Springer episode ever is Jerry reading his own will‼️," a Twitter user posted on May 15, 2023. "He had 2 black children out of wedlock, wife threatens to expose, so he keeps it under wraps until he dies, then leaves all his money to the children he never met. What a legend." 

In addition, we found articles about the claim on several websites, some of which were linked in the social media posts about the claim.

The video of Springer wasn't real, nor was its central claim true. We found a clip of it posted on YouTube on Dec. 10, 2020. It came from a play called "Blood Money," which was part of a festival held in 2020 at Tulane University called "REFRAMED 2020: A Festival of New Plays on Social Justice." 

On YouTube, the play was described as:

Jordan and Meagan have signed on to a Zoom meeting with attorney Bradford Young, to hear their father's last will and testament... in the middle of a pandemic. Feelings erupt, ugly pasts get brought to surface, and these two sisters get much more than they bargained for with their inheritance.

Springer graduated from the university in 1965. The YouTube post described his appearance in the play as a "very special cameo from Tulane alum Jerry Springer."

In addition, Springer had one confirmed child at the time of his death, a daughter. There is no evidence he had any other children. If he had left his estate to "two secret children" like the posts claimed, reputable news publications as well as entertainment publications would have reported the news.  

The person who posted the TikTok video where we first found the claims was one of the actors in the original play. He later posted a video stating the clip was from the play, and that he was trying to share the moment with his friends.


Other social media posts about the claim also acknowledged the video wasn't real. "Right after I tweeted and before it went viral, I knew we had to do some research," the Twitter user who posted about Springer "reading his own will" said in a reply to the original tweet. "The Internet is forever, so I own it. Thankfully, it was just a skit and hopefully people had some fun with it."


"Blood Money" - Written and Directed by Lori Elizabeth Parquet. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON-ooAfpI2c. Accessed 16 May 2023.

"Carl Briggs on TikTok." TikTok, https://www.tiktok.com/@c.l.briggs22/video/7233596778405236010?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7220408007119865386. Accessed 16 May 2023.

Levitan, Hannah. "Tulane Alum Jerry Springer Dies, Age 79 • The Tulane Hullabaloo." The Tulane Hullabaloo, 27 Apr. 2023, https://tulanehullabaloo.com/63478/news/tulane-alum-jerry-springer-dies-age-79/.

"REFRAMED 2020." Tulane University Events, 14 Oct. 2020, https://events.tulane.edu/content/reframed-2020.

Sewell, Dan."Jerry Springer, Politician Turned TV Ringmaster, Dies at 79."AP News, 27 Apr. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/jerry-springer-dies-1430502c51d9d4603e786b2afc04581e.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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