When I first spoke with Jonathan Baker, I simply wanted to ask him a few quick questions and let his words speak for themselves. However, after a few minutes of in-depth conversation, it became clear to me that he is something everyone thinks he is – opinionated – and something few want to give him credit for: a caring and devoted father.

As you’ll see in his words below, his faults (which he owns up to) are all human, but his genuineness and paternal instincts are inherently human as well, in the best sense of the word. Truth be told, I really liked the guy, and I think the rest of America should too.

Most of you probably know Jonathan as the rambunctious antagonist from Amazing Race, pushing his then wife Victoria around and showing little compassion for her feelings. His reputation has come under fire even more lately, ever since ex-wife Victoria appeared as Kendra Baskett’s nanny on the Kendra show. In the episode “Victoria’s Secret,” Victoria implies strongly that Jonathan is an abusive father and perhaps even a belligerent person. He wanted to set the record straight, and I am happy to oblige after hearing his side of the story.


I caught up with Jonathan after he attended the Hamptons International Film Festival. In case you’re interested, he was blown away by Michelle Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, insisting she will “definitely be nominated for an Academy Award.” He also implored me to keep an eye out for Elizabeth Olsen, who may ultimately outshine her famous twin sisters.

When asked about the recent episode of Kendra, he shared this:

I would like a voice and I’m hoping that the voice gets heard. In short, it comes down to this. My wife is going on TV saying I’m an abuser. Being loud is not abusive. Being forceful is not abusive. I’ve never hit anyone in my life. I’ve never hit a woman. What she’s saying is happening to her has worked for her all along, because people feel sorry for her. She’s playing the victim card.

In actuality, I want to point out as the “abuser,” that nobody on this planet has ever said that I’m an abuser.

He reflected on past reality television experiences with her:

On “Fear Factor,” it looks like I’m a loud person, but that’s because I was sticking up for her. I stood up for her and got into a fight with Joe Rogan, but because I’m so loud, it outshined even her punch to another person, which I thought was mind-blowing. I know this is Reality TV, but I think it’s a little bit warped and a little backwards.

Reality television, we all know, is part reality, part script. At the end of the day, I’m a seven-day-a-week father. We trade off every week.

On Victoria’s parenting:

I will go on the record and say my wife is a good mother but a very bad parent. I think that your heart speaks, I think action speaks, and I think what she’s done on TV in the last couple of weeks, it’s almost laughable. Getting a makeover, it’s almost comical. 8 million people have watched it, 8 million people have commented one way or the other. If she were to say, “this is what I want,” I’d work around that and do something else. She is not capable of dealing with things without being scared, and it makes me come off as the abuser.

His best point, however, was this:

If she is the nanny, why is she not taking care of her own child of almost the same age? Why is my child with another babysitter or another nanny so she can be a nanny for a famous person? Doesn’t seem logical to me.

Nor does it seem logical to me, and this is where Victoria’s credibility really has to be questioned. Does Victoria need the money? Is she so skilled and trained as a nanny that Kendra and Hank needed to hire her? Let’s not kid ourselves: Victoria is on Kendra to get famous, and she’s neglecting her own child – the one she claims Jonathan abused – to achieve that fame. There really is no other way to spin it, and viewers should be sensible enough to see through this obvious façade.

When asked about the way he remembers his marriage:

The person she is isn’t the person I married. Every relationship I’ve ever had, when you fall in love, love is a drug, and then you come out as an adult at the end of the relationship. Unfortunately, I’m older than a lot of the people I date. I loved her, but she’s just not the same person she was.

I’m blown away that you can be with someone for 12 1/2 years. She never wanted a child. She only wanted a dog. It took me 10 years in the marriage to get her to have a child. When she was in labor, she said, “I don’t think I want this baby.” She’s a good mommy. She knows how to caretake. She’s a good nanny. That’s about all she’s capable of doing is being a nanny. To her own child and to Kendra’s child.

On his Amazing Race controversy:

(Paraphrased) I wanted to win. I didn’t feel that she came to win the million dollars. I was in there to win at every cost, and when I competed, I was fighting a pulmonary disease. It was like jumping in the ring with Mike Tyson. I ran towards the light. She ran away from the light. I thought the million dollars were in front of me and ran towards it. She thought the million dollars were in her pocket, that it would be taken away from her. She’s the same way with the child.

Everything I’ve done, all the TV shows I’ve been in (almost 20 shows), what happened was different from how it appeared on television. At the end of the day, the public sees through it. My downfall is that I’m too loud.

Jonathan admitted to me that he wished he had behaved differently in some situations, such as the incident with the backpack on The Amazing Race. Still, he urges you to realize how much of it is out of context, with controversial moments magnified to increase ratings. Pair a loud, passionate guy with a woman who likes to play victim and you can see how the story would play out in her favor.

Lastly, when asked about his daughter:

My daughter’s my mini-me. Most parents have a child. That’s their child. For me, my child is my soulmate. I mean, she’s truly my soulmate. She’s my favorite person of everybody. I mean everybody I’ve touched on the planet to date.

I fight so hard to be a present parent, because I know what the consequences of not being a present parent are. Whatever it is that will make her a better person, my wife fights against, because she’s so afraid of losing control.

On numerous occasions, he stressed how much his daughter means to him, and I’m inclined to believe him. All his actions seem to back up his statements, and it’s a shame a decent – albeit blunt and straightforward – parent has been dragged through the mud.

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