Dad Responds After His Daughter Accuses Him Of Abandoning His Family When She Was 5 To Become An Amateur Breakdancer

"I was not a deadbeat dad at all,” he claimed.

man breakdancing Edslan Silva / Pexels 

Comedian Madi Hart creates content that focuses on dating, attachment styles, and finding lightness in dark situations. She recently posted about how trauma can sometimes be funny, sharing a story about her own childhood that revolved around her dad leaving to become a breakdancer when she was 5 years old.

She shared the story of how her father abandoned the family to become an amateur breakdancer — and he responded with a video of his own.

“My dad abandoned my family when I was five years old … And then pursued amateur breakdancing," Madi shared. "And he got really good. He blew up. He became a D-list celebrity-status viral breakdancer. He became the oldest actively competing breakdancer in the world.”




She laughed as she showed footage of her father dancing on morning talk shows, noting, “This guy wouldn’t pay my medical bills.”

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“There was no split custody or anything, like, he just left four kids to do that,” she explained. 


She referred to that part of her life as “actual funny ha-ha trauma,” highlighting that sometimes the best path toward healing is finding humor in the hard things. Madi joked that the "worst part" was how good he was at breakdancing. "He should not be able to move his body like that," she exclaimed. "It's impossible, it's beautiful."

Madi made sure to issue a warning to viewers in the caption, writing, “Please don’t bully him btw you just have to laugh!”

Yet it seems that people didn’t let Madi’s father off the hook. He responded after he was called out online for being an absent parent.

Madi’s dad, Ben Hart, issued a response on Twitter, saying, “My daughter has posted a TikTok video trashing me.” He claimed that he received “hundreds of comments calling me a deadbeat dad, a child abandoner, and all manner of other insults.”


Ben referred to his daughter as “a big social media influencer with millions of followers,” which Madi later noted wasn’t accurate. 

He took it upon himself to “correct a few statements,” saying, “I can see that as a 5-year-old, Madi would see her dad as having abandoned the family: One day I was living there, the next day, I wasn’t.”


“That will look like abandonment to a child, but married couples do get divorced about half the time in America,” he continued. He then detailed his version of the financial arrangement made in the divorce proceedings, saying he gave Madi’s mom “$2 million at the get-go… Plus, I was paying her $18,000 a month in child support and alimony.”

Madi’s dad maintained that he paid for health insurance and medical costs, and “put $600,000 into the kids’ college fund.”

“In other words, I was not a deadbeat dad at all,” he exclaimed, acknowledging that Madi herself didn’t say he was, just that he wasn’t present in her life. “I saw the kids all the time,” he continued. “No abandonment, just a divorce.”

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But the fact that Madi’s dad felt a need to justify his behavior on a public forum suggests where his allegiances lie: To himself and his reputation.

While her father didn't see the divorce as an abandonment, Madi seems to have interpreted it as such, which is entirely in her right to do. Divorce is a loss, even if it’s the right move to make. As a 5-year-old, Madi’s entire daily structure shifted, and one of her primary caregivers was no longer as present as he had once been.

Madi’s dad interspersed his commentary with footage of himself breakdancing, as though he was trying to prove a point that seemed to matter solely to him: Whether or not he still had moves at age 66.

Dad Responds After His Daughter Accuses Him Of Abandoning His Family When She Was 5 To Become An Amateur BreakdancerPhoto: Deep Das / Pexels 


He did acknowledge that “her video certainly is true, from her perspective,” which sounds a little like the quintessential non-apology: “I’m sorry that you feel that way.” He went on to say that the storyline Madi told was great, even if “not quite true, factually.”

Ben ended his defense with more footage of himself breakdancing, which served to underline Madi’s initial point: Her dad was less interested in showing up as a father than he was in pursuing his own artistic endeavors. 

Madi made a follow-up TikTok about her dad’s post, saying, 'I like to laugh at my trauma instead of being super sad about it.'

“My video was sanitizing the situation and poking fun at the lightest parts of that childhood trauma,” she said. “Obviously in real life, it was a lot more complicated and traumatic, and it was really hard.”



She called his response “obviously kind of hurtful and weird, but we don’t really have a relationship, so at the end of the day, it doesn’t have a huge effect on me.”


She also called out his so-called corrections, noting that her family doesn't know "if he actually believes his own narrative or if he's lying on purpose."

"Bottom line is, this guy was a completely absent father," she clarified. "He truly had no hand in raising us at all."

So many of our truths are based on the emotions we feel, which, at the core, aren’t at all facts. They’re how we interpret the world around us, and how we process what we’ve been through, which is its own sort of truth.


If Madi felt abandoned by her father, then that's her truth and he is in no position to invalidate those feelings.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture and all things to do with the entertainment industry.