It’s been a wild few years in both the political and celebrity worlds. Celebrity couples are getting engaged after knowing each other a few months; beloved 80’s TV Dad Bill Cosby has been found guilty of sexual assault; a Silicon Valley star was arrested for a fake bomb threat; an actress who grew up on the set of Smallville is allegedly involved in a sex cult; and the president of the United States is practically quoting George Orwell’s 1984: “Just remember: what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
Yet somehow, maybe the decade’s most bizarre turn involved John Wick star Keanu Reeves. At the age of 53 and after more than 30 years in the industry, Reeves remains one of one of the most resilient and popular actors in Hollywood, resurfacing in major cultural hits every few years in movies like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Speed, The Matrix movies, and John Wick.
While Reeves has suffered some major losses in his life, and has been the subject of urban myths, there is one seemingly unbelievable story about Keanu Reeves that is 100 percent true: He was once accused of being a shapeshifter and sued for millions of dollars.
The suit dates back to 2009, when a woman named Karen Sala alleged that she had known Reeves since they were childhood neighbors back in Toronto. However, the woman also alleged that she didn’t know him as Keanu Reeves; she knew him as several different names, including “Marty Spencer.” The woman further claimed that she later met Reeves at a McDonalds; that he was the father of at least one of her four children and that they were romantically involved before, during, and after the woman’s marriage to her ex-husband; that she and Reeves lived together; and that Reeves was present for the birth of some of her children. She also claimed that he had promised to marry her and take her to the Academy Awards.
The catch? Reeves didn’t appear as “Keanu Reeves.” She accused him of disguising himself as her ex-husband, and according to her wild allegations, Reeves had played the long-con, and Sala wanted monthly child-support of $150,000 dating all the way back to 1988 as reimbursement for raising their four — now adult — children (it should be noted that Reeves left Toronto for America to become an actor in 1986).
The allegations, while completely bizarre, were enough at least to compel Keanu Reeves — who said he had never even met the woman — to take a DNA test to prove that he was not the father of his children. In 2010, the DNA test proved that Reeves was not, in fact, the father, although Sala contested the results of those tests, as well. She claimed that Reeves had either tampered with the DNA results or used hypnosis to change them. “I do know for a fact that he is the biological father,” Sala — who represented herself — told the court. The woman, however, refused to produce birth certificates for her children and declined to have her ex-husband’s DNA tested.
Eventually, however, a judge tossed out the case, calling Sala’s evidence “at best, incredible.”
A year later, when Reeves was asked what was the craziest thing that a fan had ever done to Reeves, The Matrix star called back to the paternity suit. “Accuse me of being a father. I had to go to court. It was horrible. I didn’t do it. I’m not the dad.”