'Lost Boys' Actor Fights Nasty Custody Dispute

Jason Patric went before an LA judge in an appeal to be recognized as his young son's father.
7:25 | 05/09/14

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

More information on this video
Enhanced full screen
Explore related content
Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for 'Lost Boys' Actor Fights Nasty Custody Dispute
Any body of a certain age, my age, will remember Jason Patrick, vampire fighting mullet sporting matinee idol from "Lost boys." Patrick is embroiled in a real life drama, an ex-girlfriend, a little boy and potentially a precedent setting court case about what it means to be a father in modern America. Here is ABC's Cecelia Vega. Reporter: A Hollywood custody battle royal. When was the last time you saw your son? 63 weeks ago. You were there one day? He said I'm missing you dad. I have never seen him again. Reporter: Those words must be haunting for you? Yes, because I lied to him. I said I would see you again I never showed up again. Reporter: Actor Jason Patrick in a bitter fight playing out in an Los Angeles courtroom being closely watched around the country. On one side -- that 80s teen heartthrob with the big hair who rose to fame as the the brooding older vampire brother in "The lost boys." I didn't invite you this time. And later in "Speed 2" and "My sister's keeper." She doesn't want to do it. Reporter: On the other his ex-girlfriend, Danielle shriver, the woman he met at the massage practice she runs. And in the middle -- the son they conceived through in vitro fertilization. So far the courts have sided with shriver who said Patrick offered to donate his sperm after they broke up. That she says makes him nothing more than a sperm donor entitled to zero parental rights. Fwut da but today, Patrick aappealed. Hoping to be recognized as Gus' dad. Celebrity fodder, sure, what's at stake here? This little buy's future. And potentially, what it means to bea family in America. What it means to be a father. It is a case that weighs into what has been called the wild west of reproductive rights. Sperm donation where the man's identity is not a secret. The child's right should be at the heart of the matter. That's what many of the experts in the field have been saying. Is that, for too long, fertility industry really doesn't seem to be taking into account the interest of the children. The interest of the children are being left out of this mix. I have to when this, you know. I have to win this for my son. I have to win this for -- for fathers and mothers all over the country. Reporter: The question -- did Patrick really plan on being a dad to Gus when he donated his sperm? Shriver told ABC news today that she and Patrick had a written agreement that his sperm donation would remain a secret to the public and that he would not be a father to or have any obligations rights or responsibilities for my child. She says he demanded his name not be on the birth certificate. But Patrick's ammunition in court -- this form he signed at the sperm clinic. Identifying himself as an intended parent. He and his lawyers say he planned on being a dad from day one. He is absolutely not a sperm donor in the most remote sense of the word. The evidence consists of money that he pro vided to her, expenses he paid to her, it consists of him being with Gus. ? Hey you've got to hide ? ? ? Reporter: But those cherished moments like Patrick teaching Gus to sing beatles' longs. Seen through two different lenses. Where is Dada? That's right. Patrick says home videos like these, where Gus and shriver know him as dad show he was present in the picture. Shriver says they don't snow what really happened. That Patrick never assumed the responsibilities of a parent. Tell me about the phrase, term, sperm donor. You don't like it. You don't feel it aplayplied to your case at all. Never amid to applied to me. I am not a dennor more than she is. They took the sperm, egg put it in a test-tube. Why, I am a man. Does that make me a donor? Definitely an area where technology is outpacing the law. And the law is trying, it is struggling, it is grappling to figure out a way to deal with these changing technologies. Reporter: It might sound like a he said/she said. The gray area the law. In California a man who goes to a doctor to donate his sperm has no parental rights unless there is a written agreement before conception. Patrick and shriver did not have that. But the law also says the man who essentially acts like a parent towards his child can be recognized as a parent. And that's H Patrick sees himself. I will fight with everything I have to get my son back. Reporter: After court today shriver would not talk to us. But she did send a written statement saying "I chose to use a known donor over a stranger based on Jason's expressed commitment he would not seek parental rights to my child. And the reason she no longer wants Patrick in Gus' life. I discontinued Jason's can tact with my son when his behavior became increasingly threatening, menacing and harassing to us. The battle turned this member of Hollywood royalty, the grandson of Jackie Gleason to a champion in the fight against parental alienation. As a father I wanted to leave a path for Gus to see the truth. I also want to teach him how to fight a noble fight. How to stand up for things that matter. He testified before California lawmakers, done the talk show circuit, and created an organization stand up for Gus that has drawn the support of a who's who of celebrities like Matt Damon, Sarah Silverman, and Keifer Sutherland. This is what you dream about at night? I dream about seeing hip. Scared seeing him. His mother pulls him away. He looks different. I've don't know what, 63 weeks is a long time for a 4-year-old. What his voice is like? What his hair looks like? Just your deep fears? Your bond and memories start to fade. Reporter: Patrick says his son's room remains untouched. He doesn't go inside. I haven't gotten rid of his crib. I want him to see it and go pick a bed out. Reporter: What do you foresee in five years out. Ten years out. When he is 18. God, I mean, I am going to get him back the I am going to win this appeal. And so I see him as a 4-year-old in my arms. I see reintroducing him to, to his dog, to his house, to his other little friends, to everything that was ripped away from his life. And then, trying to heal. I can't understand how any person would not want their child to have a loving father, especially, the father that for years and years and years, she wanted to have a child with. Reporter: Two parents who both say they will fight for their son and in this changing landscape, a warning for other modern families. If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do differently? For $100 I could have had a piece of paper written up that said I will be the father. You are going to be the mother. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Signed. Coming up here on

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":23651477,"title":"'Lost Boys' Actor Fights Nasty Custody Dispute","duration":"7:25","description":"Jason Patric went before an LA judge in an appeal to be recognized as his young son's father.","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"Default"}