Ben Rinder | Son of Mike Rinder

Benjamin Rinder was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer shortly after Rinder abandoned his family. Ben says that during his treatment, from beginning to end, Rinder didn’t contact him once, offer to pay the medical bills or ensure he was getting the best treatment.


I was diagnosed with cancer and that’s a rough time for someone especially—I mean, you sit down in a room with five or six doctors and they diagnosed you that you need to make some serious decisions about your life right now, because in five years you’re not going to be alive. And to sit in a room and then have to think about that and think about the decisions and then not have like a father figure there for you is—I find it maybe selfish on his—maybe I'm selfish, but selfish on his part that there’s absolutely nothing like your child is literally told he’s going to be dead in five years. Nothing. So nonetheless I dealt with that and we figured out and did a lot of research and my mom and sister researched a lot. I went through the whole procedure and it’s been eight, seven, eight years and I’m not dead and I think I can attribute that to my group. And actually recovered better than I should have and he wasn’t there for it at all.

So during my cancer treatment, the whole cycle from beginning to end, he did not contact me once. He didn’t offer to help pay the medical bills, he didn’t maybe ensure that I was getting the best treatment that we could get. He did nothing. He was not involved at all. So I could have died. He wouldn’t have even known.

I was in the sauna and two policemen come into the sauna, “We need to see you.” So I got up, went out of the sauna. Basically said your dad is at the front of the building and he wants to see you, he’s waiting for you. And for a moment you can think “Oh maybe there’s a bit of compassion there” or care. But then you think “Well wait a sec, what’s the only reason he would be standing in front of the Fort Harrison with a camera crew trying to come and get me, getting the police involved?” He is just trying to make himself right maybe or prove a point like “look how bad they treated us” and to create a fabricated story or something. And I said “I want nothing to do with him, I don’t want to talk to him, I don’t want to see him. I want nothing to do with him. I'm living my life and I’m figuring it out, and he can live his life and he’s on his own with that. I want nothing to do with it.” And they said, “Okay. So you want nothing to do with him?” “I want nothing to do with him.”

He doesn’t care about me, he doesn’t. If I had died five years ago, it would have just been like “Shoot—I need another angle now to cause trouble or whatever.” I'm perfectly happy with him not knowing anything about me. I don’t care. I don’t live my life trying to prove something. Doesn’t matter to me.

It’s absolutely a stunt, for sure. If he cared about me, he would have shown that maybe 25 years ago or 20 years ago or whatever. It was definitely a stunt.

When he left, he didn’t contact me once. Other than showing up at the front of the Fort Harrison, he has never contacted me. I don’t think he’s ever called me in my life. Like I’m not talking about just since he left, I’m saying I don’t think he has ever called me.

He’s totally separated himself from us and we are all in touch. We are all doing what we’ve been doing, moving on with life.

We were all in the same space. Like here’s all of us in this circle. We are all still here except for him. He’s the only one that moved out of this hypothetical space. I think that defines disconnection. We’re all doing exactly what we were doing, what we’ve always been doing. We’re doing better and we’re totally fine. And I think he’s the odd one out.