Barrie woman seeks child support from Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves doesn't even know her, his spokeswoman says
by Bruce Demara
A Barrie woman has filed a request to an Ontario court to compel actor Keanu Reeves to provide a DNA sample as part of a bid to get support for herself and her four children.
Karen Sala, 46, who is acting as her own lawyer, filed notice on Monday in the Superior Court of Justice family branch. Legal papers were served on Reeves' business manager in Los Angeles two days ago. The first court date for the case is July 6 in Barrie.
"I'm pissed. I just want him to stand up and be a man," Sala said in an interview yesterday.
A spokesperson for the actor said Reeves denies even knowing Sala and strongly rejects her claims. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Sala said she has tried "privately" over the years to persuade Reeves to provide support.
She said she has known him since she was 9 years old and he was 7, and briefly lived with his family as a teenager after running away from home. She added that her brother once dated Reeves' sister.
With her children, aged 20 to 25, in post-secondary schools, Sala said she could use financial support to help them complete their education.
Sala said her children would like to know the truth about who their father is and she is launching the suit to seek "closure."
"They grew up with the ex's family always saying they weren't his, so they had to contend with that," she said.
In addition to the DNA test, Sala is seeking child support of $150,000 per month, retroactive to June 1988, as well as $3 million per month in spousal support retroactive to November 2006.
A Los Angeles spokesperson for Reeves issued a statement last night denying her allegations.
"Karen Sala's allegations are completely false and absurd. Mr. Reeves has no knowledge of who she is," Cheryl Maisel said in a statement.
Paul Knell, Reeves' Los Angeles business manager, questioned Sala's motives, noting that all four children are now adults.
"Before you disparage my client and lend validity to this, there's clearly something wrong with someone who claims child support after all the kids have grown. I'm just pointing that out," Knell said.
Knell said his client will undoubtedly become a target of tabloid speculation as a result of Sala's suit.
"He (Reeves) is a high-profile person in Hollywood so people come out of the woodwork. I'll leave it at that," Knell said.
Reeves, 44, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but lived in Toronto with his mother until he moved to Hollywood in the late '80s. His current address in the court documents is in West Hollywood.
Sala is the first to admit that she's no angel, claiming that she and Reeves had a sexual relationship before and during her stormy marriage. She also acknowledged she is not sure which, if any, of her children he has sired.
But Sala insisted that Reeves was aware that he might be the father of some or all of her children, noting that at least one of them bears a resemblance to him.
Sala said her relationship continued with Reeves throughout her teens and early 20s, saying Reeves has stayed in touch over the years and played a minor role in her children's upbringing. She contended that Reeves came to the hospital for the birth of her youngest son, who is now 20.
"He (Reeves) knows what the kids are doing. He used to buy them Christmas gifts when they were little. His mother bought Easter gifts and stuff like that. He did contribute back in the day when they were younger," Sala said.
Childhood friend Connie Harten, 49, said Reeves and Sala were close friends as teenagers and had visited her home together.
"She (Sala) used to come up and visit me, and she brought him (Reeves) with her a couple of times. They were very close. I got the impression something was going on. I didn't ask questions," Harten said.
Harten said she only realized who Reeves was years later after seeing him onscreen.
Sala said she met Hollywood celebrities like Sandra Bullock and Cameron Diaz while with Reeves.
"There's a lot of witnesses to the relationship."
Sala said she has a picture of Reeves when he was a teenager – though she was unable to produce it yesterday – and that she is hoping to get a photo from a friend of the two of them together more than 20 years ago.
Sala has what she describes as a sample of his handwriting, and said she has Reeves' phone number and current address in Los Angeles.