TELL-ALL: An interview with Samantha Geldenhuys reveals her feeling towards her mum who is in jail for kidnapping her.
TELL-ALL: An interview with Samantha Geldenhuys reveals her feeling towards her mum who is in jail for kidnapping her. SUNDAY NIGHT

How I feel about mum kidnapping me

SAMANTHA Geldenhuys lived a seemingly ordinary life on the Sunshine Coast until everything unravelled.

For most of her 21 years, she had no idea of her extraordinary past and how she was at the centre of American's longest running international kidnapping case.

Samantha was born Savanna, and as a baby, she was taken by her mother, Dorothy Barnett (known on the Sunshine Coast as Alex Geldenhuys), following a bitter custody battle with her father. She grew up in South Africa and Australia believing another man was her father but the truth finally came out when her mother was arrested and extradited back to America in 2013.

Sunday Night's Rahni Sadler is in Charleston, South Carolina, with Sam for her mother's trial and to find out whether she'll finally meet her real father.

Samantha Geldenhuys/Savanna Todd reflects to Rahni Sadler on her mother's actions all those years ago.

"I do know at that point in time she must have feared for her life or my life or something because it would take something drastic for her to do such a big and serious thing," Sam tells Sunday Night in an interview to air tonight at 7pm on Seven.

Ms Barnett has been in jail since police swooped on her Mountain Creek home in November, 2013.

Ms Barnett disappeared with Savanna in April 1994 after the courts diagnosed her with a "variant of bipolar disorder" and awarded father Benjamin Harris Todd III full custody.

It is alleged she first fled to Europe and then to South Africa, where she met and married Juan Geldenhuys, the man Samantha has always thought was her father.

The family moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2007.

The couple had separated and Mr Geldenhuys had returned to South Africa. He died from bone cancer a week before Ms Barnett's arrest. Despite discovering the truth of her past, Samantha reveals she has always supported her mum.



Shed full of fun to enjoy at open day

premium_icon Shed full of fun to enjoy at open day

Gladstone Men’s Shed offering something for everyone at its open day on...

Rescue in Pancake Creek

premium_icon Rescue in Pancake Creek

Round Hill VMR teamed up with paramedics to rescue a patient

72 HOURS: things to do in Gladstone this weekend

premium_icon 72 HOURS: things to do in Gladstone this weekend

There’s loads on this weekend, here’s just a few things...