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Is Britney Spears Mentally Capable of Taking the Stand?; Botox for a Kid
Aired May 16, 2011 - 21:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go now, Britney Spears` own mother claims she is not mentally capable of taking the stand in court. What`s going on there? Then, Botox for a kid. Tell me this isn`t child endangerment. Plus, parents lock up your pills and lay off your kids.
A former NBA star and heroin addict is here with words of warning. I`m also, of course, taking your calls so lets get started.
Tonight, Britney Spears` mother says the singer is mentally incapable of testifying in court against her former manager, Sam Lutfi. He is suing Britney`s parents for defamation and tarnishing his reputation. Lynn Spears, that`s the mom, wrote a memoir accusing Lutfi of drugging her daughter and controlling her, sort of brainwashing her. Lynn says Lutfi crushed up pills and actually slipped them into her food. I heard -- I think I remember him saying he was doing it to detox her. The whole thing sounds pretty crazy to me.
Britney`s family is actually afraid to put her on the stand if he asks for that. I have to wonder if it could trigger another unraveling of Britney. We`re going to talk about it later. You don`t want to miss it.
Now, we`re on to the topic of Botox. You`ve heard about adults getting Botox to smooth out their wrinkles but think about this. Would you give your child Botox injections? It`s so bizarre. Would you even given Botox injections to another adult friend? I mean, think how wild this is. Well, that`s what one San Francisco mother did with her 8-year-old daughter. Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A pageant mom who says she`s giving her 8-year- old daughter Botox.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That story that just floored us. The San Francisco mom who is injecting her 8-year-old daughter with Botox to get rid of wrinkles.
DR. PAUL NASSIF: The mother was injecting around the smile lines around the mouth.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the dumbest momma I`ve ever seen in my life.
NASSIF: This could actually kill or cause a problem with the child permanently. It is child abuse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This mom might have gotten more than she bargained for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Child Protective Services jumped in. They have taken little BRITNEY Campbell out of her mom`s house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Joining us to discuss this issue are clinical psychologist Lisa Boesky and dermatologist Ava Shamban, author of Heal Your Skin. Now, Ava, Botoxing an 8-year-old. Come on now.
AVA SHAMBAN, DERMATOLOGIST/AUTHOR: It`s shocking and it is so disturbing. In adults, we use it to reduce lines caused by motion so, especially the frown line. But, in a child, it`s absolutely appalling. I mean, frankly, I`m shocked.
PINSKY: Well, I -- I`m shocked on multiple levels. One is, did this woman have some kind of training or something where she felt it was appropriate that she could do it to anybody. I mean, could you imagine, let`s say, that mom just doing it to her adult friend. That`s a medical procedure she`s doing.
SHAMBAN: It`s a medical procedure, it`s completely illegal. She is an esthetician. She is not a registered nurse nor, obviously, is she a physician. But, I think for a mother, and you know this as well, for a mother to communicate anything other than you are the most spectacular beautiful little girl, any other message than that that you need to have Botox injected is disgusting.
PINSKY: Lisa, you agree?
LISA BOESKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely. You know as a psychologist and a mom I -- I -- I`m supportive of a variety of parental practices based on personal values and choices but this -- this causes harm. Any time a parental practice causes harm, both physical or psychological, and here the message is you are not ok the way you`re born and I feel like young girls today are bombarded from the external world, you know, as faulting their self esteem that we really look to our parents to tell us we`re beautiful inside and out, how we are, how we`re born naturally. And here is the mother saying, you need this, you need help, you don`t look the right way.
PINSKY: And this is the pageant world where there is already so much scrutiny and so many over the top messages. Good Morning America interviewed both the mom and the daughter last week about the Botox injections and why did they do it if there is an explanation. Let`s listen.
BRITNEY CAMPBELL: I do it but, it hurts sometimes but I get used to it.
KERRY CAMPBELL: We talked about it. She didn`t exactly ask me about it but I know that she was complaining about her face having wrinkles and things like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Then, that mom should have been concerned about that child, not intervening in that. Not only that, I have -- I`ve been seeing this procedure done many, many times for various reasons, for spasticity in muscles, a different dose of Botox for headaches and then, obviously, for the wrinkles as well and I`ve seen grown men hit the floor with this injection. Am I right? I`m sure you`ve done -- all the time. So, I mean, a child could bash her head in, who knows what could happen with that injection.
SHAMBAN: Now, what you want to do with an 8-year-old is you want them to wear sun screen, you want them to practice sun protective habits. You don`t want to tell -- you don`t -- does an 8-year-old really have lines caused by wrinkles? By moving her muscles?
PINSKY: But I`ve -- I`ve heard about teens getting these injections these days. Lisa`s shaking her head.
BOESKY: Well, not only that, we`re seeing not just Botox, we`re seeing an upswing in girls getting nose jobs for their graduation, boob jobs for their graduation, that it`s kind of a slippery slope. If you start with Botox is it then liposuction at 12 years old, is it breast augmentation at 15?
SHAMBAN: I mean, it`s beyond absurd to think that an 8-year-old needs Botox for any kind of wrinkles. You want that child to be able to express herself. What`s she going to do? Go to school and have a completely blank look? I don`t think so.
PINSKY: Right. Not be able to smile at all.
SHAMBAN: Well, you know, Botox is not used for the smile.
PINSKY: Well, they said -- I think they used it around .
SHAMBAN: They said they`re using it but she was not injecting Botox there. I mean, if she was, the girl would look like she was a stroke victim.
PINSKY: So, where were they injecting? That`s what I thought I understood that she just said, that something about the smile.
SHAMBAN: Well, she injected along her -- her brow line if she was indeed injecting there, which is appropriate for an adult but not for an 8- year-old.
PINSKY: I think there is sort of a bigger question here that begs addressing. I think it`s sort of in the background which is, are we just going wild with this stuff, generally? Lisa says yes.
BOESKY: Of course we are. I mean, we know that there are 3 and 4- year-olds getting spray tans. It could be in the pageant world, not in the pageant world.
SHAMBAN: Are you serious?
BOESKY: Yes. They wear what are called flippers, what are, you know, baby teeth don`t look as beautiful and pearly white when they smile so they wear flippers, which are fake teeth at 3, 4, 5 years old.
PINSKY: This is in the pageant world?
BOESKY: But I think it`s a slippery slope. I think a lot of parents, you know, see their beautiful daughter, they see these pop stars and they`re very few girls that actually become pop stars, actresses and models and I think in this looks oriented society it`s a slippery slope for some parents who can get really invested in this and the message it sends to the girl is kind of the opposite of Lady Gaga`s I Was Born This Way and it`s ok, it`s the opposite of how you were born is not ok and that`s the absolute worst message we want to be sending to young girls.
SHAMBAN: Yes. Well, what we`re trying to do with any of these beauty interventions, as we call them, is we`re trying to enhance someone`s self esteem rather than take it away. I like to think of it as enhancing someone`s looks not exaggerating features or taking away a normal function of a child, which is to be able to frown and to express herself and.
PINSKY: Boy, my greatest concern is that it -- it begs, again, another issue which is sort of the elephant in the room that I see over and over again with parents is that the child becomes an extension of the parent, that there`s no boundary between child and parent. You`re shaking your head Lisa. There`s the narcissism that`s gripped our parenting style.
BOESKY: Well, and I think a lot -- I mean, and -- and I think it`s true in a lot of parents, not just in this extreme example but I think sometimes parents` unfulfilled dreams are lived through their children and I think that can be somewhat healthy if not taken to the extreme but we see a lot of this where parents are living their fantasies through their daughters and I think daughters` self esteem is very fragile as it is and this is a really slippery slope that parents need to be very careful about.
PINSKY: That`s simply so sad. All right, well I want to thank GMA for that last bit of footage we saw where the mom and the daughter were being interviewed and I also want to remind people that Botox is short for Botulinum toxin. Just remember that word toxin. Everybody`s so keen to get toxins out of their system. This is a -- this is a chemical that is a medical procedure, it`s potentially dangerous, it needs to be done, used in trained hands.
Up next, we`re actually going to talk to a pageant mom. This pageant mom hates this kind of pressure that the pageants put on their kids so she actually started her own pageant. It sounds a little bit like an oxymoron but, we`re going to talk to her after this break.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You -- you do it. You`re -- you`re the -- you administer it because you`re an esthetician part-time. Where do you get the Botox.
KERRY CAMPBELL: I`d rather not, like, put that out there. I do have a trusted source where I get it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That was a clip from Good Morning America and the mom who gave her 8-year-old Botox injections. Psychologist Lisa Boesky is here and dermatologist Ava Shamban. They join us and also a pageant mom, Aftan Brown. She is in Chicago. Now, Aftan, you started your own pageant to prevent this sort of thing. Tell us about that.
AFTAN BROWN, PAGEANT MOM: Well, absolutely. I actually got my start in pageants, myself, when I was pretty young at about 5 years old and my mom never let me participate in pageants that required me to change anything about the way that I looked. So, a lot of no makeup was allowed in most of the pageants that I participated in until I became of teenage age. And, as I grew older, I saw a lot of the mainstream media was glamorizing some of a very small sector of the pageant industry that does promote little girls changing the way that they look and with the big hair and the big makeup and the sparkliest dress and that is really, in my opinion, not what pageants are about or what they should be about for the young ladies participating in them.
And, that`s when I sought ought to develop the Mid Star Image International Pageant. We do not allow makeup on contestants younger than 13 and we offer opportunities for these young ladies to be around other positive young ladies doing positive things. Can they become famous or a movie star? Maybe, maybe not. But, in the end, our pageants promote positive young women and positive role models. We award for volunteer service and academic achievement and we give the young ladies the opportunity to appear on stage and just -- just be beautiful princesses and let them know that the way that they are is simply beautiful, that they don`t need to alter or change that.
PINSKY: So -- so, in addition to your new sort of philosophy, I think you`re also saying that for you it was a positive experience. Did I hear that part what you were saying?
BROWN: Yes, absolutely. I had a great experience when I participated in pageants. I think I -- I kind of was the exception and not the rule in that I got discovered by a talent agent participating in a pageant and went on to pursue a career in modeling and acting. But, even, aside from that, at its core, what I did gain is some fantastic attributes that I still utilize to this day, interviewing skills, public speaking, which is people`s sometimes most biggest fear, number one fear is public speaking. And, I utilize those attributes to this day and I attribute that to pageantry.
PINSKY: Let me ask one more question about the moms that put their kids in this. Do you -- do you think they have a fantasy, the moms? I mean, that -- we -- we`ve talked in the last segment that maybe moms were sort of acting out some of their unfinished business, let`s say. But, it just occurred to me also I think I heard you say that some of the moms believe that it`s a way out, it`s a way to be discovered or something, which seems awfully unrealistic to me.
BROWN: It -- you know what, in -- in what the media is currently showing in TV shows like Toddlers in Tiaras and I do believe it is a fantasy and I do believe that they think something bigger is going to happen or they`re living vicariously through their child and they`re not trying to get some of the positive benefits that other pageant systems can offer. And, at the very least, if your daughter feels more confident and her self esteem is better and she feels better about herself and -- and being naturally beautiful the way that she is, those are some of the benefits that you can gain.
Can you get discovered? It can happen, but it -- it -- it`s a small chance but it can happen. But, what you see through the media, oftentimes, unfortunately, what`s showing on television right now is these people with these lofty goals and there are much better ways to pursue them. Pageants can be beneficial for other outlets and other arenas but becoming famous, it may or may not happen.
PINSKY: So, here we are now. To me, that`s sort of my worst fears are coming true here, hearing about how these moms are motivated.
SHAMBAN: Yes. And that is the optimal result for being -- for participating in a beauty pageant is that you end up with better self esteem.
PINSKY: Feeling better. Yes.
SHAMBAN: . feeling great about yourself.
SHAMBAN: .that you can go out and talk to your classmates, talk to your teachers. That is the goal.
PINSKY: As opposed to feeling less than. And Lisa you have experience with people going to extremes and actually sacrificing themselves?
BOESKY: Yes. There was actually a woman, I think she was 17 years old, a teenager, she went for breast augmentation surgery and her -- she was going for corrective reasons, but she died under the knife. And, so, it just reminds us that these are really serious procedures with risk factors.
PINSKY: Right. I mean that`s -- we as physicians, I`m not -- again, that`s what I can`t get over. People are looking at these cosmetic procedures the way they consider a haircut or something.
SHAMBAN: Absolutely, and for Botox now in children, there is a therapeutic indication but as a Botox therapeutic.
PINSKY: That`s for like kids who are with .
SHAMBAN: With spasms, cerebral palsy.
PINSKY: . right.
SHAMBAN: Botox cosmetic is only approved 18 years and up and it is certainly inappropriate to use it in a child.
PINSKY: So it even be illegal for a physician, at least it would not -- it would be outside of the labeling for a physician even to use it. How do you think she got this stuff?
BOESKY: Well, it sounds like the mother is an esthetician. She is neither a registered nurse nor a physician. You can only receive Botox legally by a registered nurse or a physician in an office, not outside of an office setting. And, so, this was not only irresponsible but completely illegal.
PINSKY: There`s some parallels here in the Propofol story, it just seems to me. Call me crazy, but, listen, any use of -- we`ve gotten so crazy with medication. We`ve gotten so casual with medications that -- that physicians use and -- I -- I -- you know, listen guys, I don`t prescribe to myself because it`s dangerous to do that and I know what I`m doing. Certainly, untrained people shouldn`t be messing around and certainly things that belong -- that should be in a controlled environment like a hospital should never be outside of those environments.
Aftan, let me ask you about your own daughter. She is a participant in these -- in these programs you have.
BROWN: She -- it -- it is new for her. I wanted to wait until it was a true interest of hers versus something she saw that I did when I was younger. So, she just got started this year. She is 8 years old and she`s having a good time with it. She -- she could be a little shy in front of other people and I`ve noticed within her these past few months even that she`s really blossomed and -- and really been more open to speaking and public speaking and interviewing. I do not let her participate in competitions that require her to feel that she has to alter the way that she looks or alter what she does. She just appears as herself.
PINSKY: Let me ask you something.
BROWN: She gets to dress up, you know.
PINSKY: Let me ask you, do you think the San Francisco Human Services Agency was justified in taking that child from the mom?
BROWN: I absolutely believe so. I believe that it was extremely reckless to even -- to even think of going to this extreme to win a sparkly crown. You could -- you could have bought it for cheaper than that. And I think she definitely could have put her child at risk and the child could have died. There`s so many implications here. I -- I think it -- I think it was very reckless of this parent.
BOESKY: Well, I think it`s easy to look at the San Francisco mom, the extreme, and to talk about pageant moms but I think we all have to look at ourselves and myself as a mom that, if you have your child`s hair it has to be a certain way or they have to be within this rigid weight requirement or they have to dress a certain way. Any time we send those message to our young girls there is a subtle message of they`re not ok as you are and I think as moms, every day, we have to be aware of the subtle influences that we have with our young girls.
SHAMBAN: It`s enough pressure from society in general. These poor girls they`re looking at all these emaciated models and princesses and fairies.
BOESKY: Yes. I mean, the pressure, it starts from very young.
SHAMBAN: I love the point that you made about natural beauty. Everybody has natural beauty and, as an adult, what my work is as a dermatologist is to enhance that natural beauty or to kind of turn back time. But, an 8-year-old, where are we going to?
PINSKY: Preach -- preach on ladies.
SHAMBAN: I mean, embryonic stage? I mean, come on?
PINSKY: I`m telling you, listen, the fact is, and I think there`s a natural tendency in women to take things on themselves.
SHAMBAN: Yes. We are so insecure.
PINSKY: Yes, you already take it on and you`re also very brutal on one another. So, to add.
BROWN: If I can interject for a moment. I think what`s important to know is that in the pageant industry, what you see on television as far as Toddlers and Tiaras and things that they show these little girls, that is a very small sector of the pageant industry. There are hundreds and thousands of pageants out there that they don`t teach young girls to lose weight, they don`t teach young girls to confine themselves to these rigid hair and clothing and that`s not what all pageants are about, that`s not what my system is about. We teach young ladies to get on stage and feel comfortable and have a great time being exactly who they are.
PINSKY: Gotcha. Sounds. I hope -- I agree with you. I hope it`s a good thing. I hope it ends up working out the way -- it sounds like a good thing. I hope it works out the way it sounds. Thank you Aftan for joining me. Thank you Lisa Boesky, thank you Dr. Ava Shamdan. I will certainly be hearing from you guys again. I believe you`re staying with me for something a little bit later too.
Britney Spears. We`re going to talk about her. Now, is she mentally stable. We`re going to talk about it. Also, an addict tells you how childhood pressure helped him become a junkie. Parents you have to hear this. But, first, I`m answering your calls about Botox and kids.
PINSKY: Hundreds of comments are pouring in tonight on our Facebook and Twitter pages to discuss the Botox mom, as we`re calling her, and some of you have called in as well. So, let`s get right to the phones. First up is Stacee in Kentucky. Stacee, you`re up first.
STACEE: Hi, Dr. Drew. I think encouraging a child to endure Botox and leg waxing is not only physical abuse but emotional abuse as well. I can only imagine the amount of therapy this child will have to undergo to regain self esteem in the future.
PINSKY: If they get access to that sort of thing. Gladimer in Massachusetts, what do you think.
GLADIMER: I think the Botox mom should be held responsible for the physical and psychological damage she caused her daughter. I also think this child`s pageant industry should be investigated thoroughly.
PINSKY: Hmm. Ashleigh in Florida, talk to me.
ASHLEIGH: This makes me so mad. She should let her child be a child. How would she not know that her kid could be allergic to the toxins in the Botox?
PINSKY: Anna in Pennsylvania, let`s do it.
ANNA: I just want to say that I feel sorry for this family. I hope this mother can weather this storm. She`ll go from pageantry circles where this sort of behavior is praised over to an agency where she may even face charges.
PINSKY: Yes. I -- I mean, I thank you Anna for that comment. I mean, it`s very easy for us all to look on and be outraged by the story. I -- I imagine very few of you are not. But, the fact is, to have a child removed from her family is extremely traumatic for the child. So, here we have a child that`s got some problems as a result of the mom`s behavior already and now we`re further giving her over -- I mean -- shattering experiences. This whole story is terribly sad.
Let`s go to a Facebook question. This is Marcy (ph) who asks, "Why do parents try to accomplish their dreams through their children?" And, listen guys, this is a big thing today. This is something that really gets me, which is, that, you know, we -- we -- a lot of people spent a lot of time saying, oh, we over-praise children and we give them prizes for everything and everyone gets a blue ribbon for, you know, no matter who they are on the team or what their level of achievement is and, you know why that is? Huh? Not because the kids are asking for it. It`s because of us. Because the parents not being able to tolerate any discomfort or frustration or disappointment in their children. Which, by the way guys, that`s our job as parents. That`s our job. Because, life is not always so fun and we have to just be there while kids come up against the frustration of trying to achieve and maybe not being able to. And, if they do, fantastic, God bless them, let`s give them the blue ribbons when they achieve it and they deserve it.
But, to give it to everybody, everyone`s special then no one`s special and that really says something about us because the kids aren`t asking for that. Finally, now, I`ve got a question from Barbara on Facebook. She asks, "Why do -- why do I think so many child stars have drug abuse problems?"
Well, I -- I`ll tell you what. That it`s actually more often than not has to do with their family of origin. We might say that the kind of families that perhaps put their kids into show business may have some liabilities. I don`t know that. That has to be studied. But, most child stars have issues. We`ll tell you that it was more about their family than being a child star. Though, certainly, it`s easy to say, look, they weren`t with their peers, they were leading adult lives too prematurely, they were sort of inflated in their sense of themselves. It`s an abnormal kind of a circumstance and they don`t go through the normal milestones of development.
We want to hear from you. Like us on Facebook at Dr. Drew HLN or Tweet us. It`s @Dr.DrewHLN. Now, Britney Spears. Is she mentally able to testify in court. Her mom says no. I`ll tell you what I think when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Britney Spears, she cleaned up, but her past still haunts her. Her former manager is trying to force her to testify in his lawsuit against her parents. Britney`s mom says no way. Is Spears unstable? Could this trigger another breakdown?
And later, before Chris Herren was an NBA star, he was a bright-eyed basketball prodigy, but great expectations and intense pressure spawned a crippling addiction. He started young with his parents` medicine cabinet. Sure, we want our kids to reach their full potential, but at what cost?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): All right. Now, on to Britney Spears whose mom says the singer is mentally incapable of testifying against her former manager, Sam Lutfi. He`s suing Britney`s parents for defamation after Lynn Spears accused him of secretly drugging Britney. Now, Britney`s mom is worried that the pop star can`t handle facing this gentleman in court. Britney has been out doing interviews to promote her new album. Lutfi wants to use interviews like this one with Ryan Seacrest to prove that she is stable. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF RYAN SEACREST, HOST: There`s so much to cover, but I want to start with how excited you are about all the songs you put together for this new album. Just talk about what you`re feeling and why you`re excited for everybody to hear it.
BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: Well, it`s definitely an album. I think it`s my best work yet. I love the album. I actually listened to it on the way over here. And it`s definitely something that you want to work out to. It`s definitely upbeat. Will.I.Am is on the album, and I`m a dancer. So, it`s definitely something I can work with, and it`s just going to be fun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: I`m a little confused how he`s going to use just the fact that she`s able to express herself clearly and rationally, why that determines whether or not -- maybe the family is just trying to protect her secrets from coming out in court. We`re going to talk about this. Joining me is Lisa Boesky. She is back with us. She`s a child psychologist. And I have the great Jen Heger, who is the legal editor for radaronline.com. Jen, fill us in on the details here. This whole thing is very, very confusing.
JEN HEGER, LEGAL EDITOR, RADARONLINE.COM: Last week, Sam Lutfi`s attorney filed paperwork in court in the ongoing lawsuit against the family in which he wants to have an independent medical examiner sit down with Britney, do a one-on-one consultation, since Sam claims that she`s been made unavailable to his lawyers to sit down for a deposition going forward going to trial. So, Sam wants an independent doctor to assess Britney to determine if she is incompetent, as her conservators, her parents claim that she is.
PINSKY: Is that something he can require her to submit to?
HEGER: No. This is not something that he can require her to submit to. The matter is currently under submission to the judge. There`s been no ruling on this. Her family, the conservators, are fighting against this.
PINSKY: I want to say something about the family, because I`ve said this before and I want to say it again here publicly, which is that we need to tip our hats a little bit to those parents.
PINSKY: It is exceedingly difficult to step in with an adult child with mental illness, which is what Britney is. She`s an adult child of theirs, and they stepped in. They followed the direction of a treatment team. They got a conservatorship, and she`s alive today. I don`t think would be alive myself. She`s alive today because her parents did something very difficult and potentially lost their relationship with their daughter to save her life.
Now, what bothers me, though, there`s been accusations that she`s an addict. Is anymore of that information coming out? I just don`t see any evidence that she`s in recovery, even though, her psychiatric problems are a lot better. I just don`t see the recovery part.
HEGER: I think a lot of that is left unknown and that`s because the conservatorship is in place, and there is a very tight bubble around the world that is Britney Spears and what goes on in her life on a daily basis. I think that Britney Spears that we are hearing on the radio, that`s very different than what is going on in her private life, and that is done for very deliberate reason.
There have been accusations about drug abuse in the past. This is something that Sam also wants this medical examiner to question Britney about if this is able to go forward.
PINSKY: Interesting. Lisa, listening to that audiotape of Britney, can we conclude anything?
LISA BOESKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: You can`t conclude anything, and it would be irresponsible for a professional to say whether she`s capable or incapable, which is even a strange term right there.
PINSKY: I`m going to stop you because when I heard about this, I`ve never heard of something other than being, you know, just incapacitated.
BOESKY: Or incompetent to stay on trial.
BOESKY: She`s not accused.
BOESKY: She`s not accused. But it makes sense that her family wants to protect her, and it will be stressful for her. It may even be traumatizing, but you know what, it`s traumatizing for a rape survivor to go into court. It`s traumatizing or stressful for a domestic violence person or victim of burglary or a victim of an attempted murder to go and face the perpetrator when they go to court.
So, what we know is, if she does have a mental illness, she will need more support from our friends and family and professionals during this time. But I can`t -- I really don`t think that having a mental illness is going to prevent her from testifying in court when she -- the accusations are about her. She is a key person to this case.
PINSKY: And yet, Jen, they seem completely hell-bent on keeping her out.
HEGER: Absolutely. I think this is what makes Britney different than anyone else that is battling with mental illness is that she can make absolutely no decisions on her own under the conservatorship. She has no control. She couldn`t go out and get married right now if she wanted to. She would have to have the conservators` approval in writing, and they would most likely have to go to court for that.
PINSKY: Let`s step back and speculate a little bit about that issue. The fact that she is still under conservatorship suggests that she is still impaired. Is that not true?
BOESKY: Yes or no. I mean, yes, they`re under the conservatorship because of that reason, but there`s a variety of reasons why people are under conservatorship. There are some people that are much more mentally ill than Britney who have chosen, I don`t want anybody to have control. Is it possible that she`s busy making music, living her life?
She`s got a new boyfriend. She`s got two kids. She`s got an ex husband. She doesn`t want to deal with all that stuff, and she`s happy to have her family take care of the business. That`s a possibility as well. We don`t know.
PINSKY: Jen, does that seem accurate?
HEGER: From what I`m told -- radaronline.com has done numerous stories about Britney`s well being. She is absolutely, if this conservatorship were not in place, I fear for her well-being. I think she is that -- her situation is that precarious and fragile that being under the conservatorship for four years may seem like a long time to the outside world, but I think given the severity of what the issues she`s had to deal with, it`s not abnormal.
BOESKY: But let me say something. Let me just say -- because I don`t know. I don`t know Britney. But the fact if she`s really that fragile, she probably shouldn`t be going out on the tour. That`s a very stressful life to be going on tour, making business, you know, being out there in the public. So, I have to wonder, because I, too think that -- I mean, again, I don`t know her.
I`ve never evaluated her, but there does seem to be something very serious going on with her, but you really can`t have your cake and eat it, too. To say, I can go out there and do all that, but I can`t do this.
PINSKY: Jen, last words.
HEGER: I think it`s a delicate balancing act. And I think her parents, conservators, they`re just trying to protect her, and this is going to play out in court.
PINSKY: Ladies, thank you. Lisa, Jen, I do appreciate your thoughts.
And again, let`s -- I want to -- for the record, hats off to her family for stepping up on behalf of their daughter. If she is chronically in trouble, it is very difficult to be a parent of an adult child with these kinds of conditions. Any of you out there struggling with this, hats off, keep doing the hard work. It`s on behalf of your child that you`re doing it.
All right. Now, we`re going to go on to an NBA player with a major drug and alcohol problem and addiction. Today, he helps other pro-athletes get sober. Also, he`s going to talk a little bit about how, perhaps, stressing him out as a kid contributed to his addictive pathology. so, again, back to kids and how much pressure we put on them, after this.
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PINSKY (voice-over): Chris Herren from childhood basketball prodigy to NBA star to down and out junkie. His talent and drive started young so did his addiction. And his first drug came from right inside his own home. Parents, listen up. This is for you.
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PINSKY (on-camera): All right. Now, with the NBA playoffs in full swing, memorable players such as my buddy, Dennis Rodman and Ron Artest come to mind. Off the court, they both admitted to struggles with drugs and alcohol, and they`re not alone. As the golden child of his high school`s famed basketball team, the pressure on Chris Herren to make it into the NBA and play for the Boston Celtics was so immense that it led to a near 20-year battle with addiction. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Chris Herren was a 12-year-old junior high student when he turned to alcohol for the first time. By the time he made it into the big-time, he was a full-blown OxyContin and heroin addict. His addiction was so severe he would shoot up with his seven-year-old daughter in the car. It wasn`t until he was nearly killed in a heroin-fueled accident that Chris realized he had to change. The alternative meant losing his children, his wife, and most likely, his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): Chris played with the Boston Celtics, I bet a lifetime dream, and the Denver Nuggets. He`s also the author of a just released memoir. It is called "Basketball Junkie," and Chris joins me now. Now, Chris, take me back to June 2008. That was a very special kind of event happened that day.
CHRIS HERREN, CHILDHOOD PRESSURE TURNED HIM INTO ADDICT: It was. It was the day that, you know, I decided to really look at myself and turn my life around. I was -- I had met a drug dealer and spent $30 and put it into my arm and overdosed. And by the grace of God, someone saw the accident and I didn`t hurt anybody. I crashed into a fence. And paramedics brought me back to life and brought me to the hospital and, you know, back then, it was the worst thing. I can look back today as it`s one of the best days.
PINSKY: I was talking to Steven Tyler the other day, and he said, he goes, some of my friends were lucky enough to hit a bottom.
PINSKY: The ones that aren`t lucky to hit the bottom either keep going or die. So, just to get this story right, I didn`t hear this part of the story. You were DOA.
PINSKY: You were dead in the car.
HERREN: Well, the police officer, when I came through, he said, you know, I was kind of aggressive in the back of the ambulance. And he said, listen, buddy, you were dead for some time, and they just brought you back to life, so keep your mouth shut.
PINSKY: Wow. How long had you been using at that point?
HERREN: Probably around 12 years.
PINSKY: Twelve years.
PINSKY: So, since you were a kid?
HERREN: Yes. You know, I got sober when I was 32, but I jumped into heavy drugs, meaning cocaine and OxyContin, in college.
PINSKY: Now, we -- I said something earlier that you took exception to during the commercial break that you were stealing meds from the medicine cabinet of your parents.
PINSKY: Which, by the way, is a really common practice these days, but that`s not something you did.
HERREN: I didn`t. No, not my parents.
PINSKY: Somebody else`s parents?
HERREN: As kids, you know, we were very naive. You know, and didn`t realize the pain beyond that painkillers could cause. And, you know, to take a couple of Vicodins and a couple of Percocets, that was acceptable.
PINSKY: You were just partying.
HERREN: Just partying. You know, and later on in life, it became a couple of OxyContin. And the pain that those little pills, you know, and the doors that opens, they couldn`t be shut for years.
PINSKY: And were you playing ball on heroin?
HERREN: I was. Oh, yes, absolutely. Overseas. You know, I went to go play in seven different countries. And I was able to score heroin in every country.
PINSKY: Is that when you graduated to heroin, was overseas?
HERREN: No. Right before I took off to overseas.
PINSKY: Was that the latter part of your career?
PINSKY: So, I`ve seen this happen when guys get screwed up and can`t manage themselves in the NBA because they have drug problems. They get hired overseas. It happens a lot, doesn`t it?
HERREN: Of course. You know, everyone tells me, you got to get away. You got to get away from Four River. You got to get away --
PINSKY: To a geographic.
HERREN: And I found myself with myself in every hotel room, in every country doing the same old thing. Until I was able to accept and forgive myself and surrender to it was when I was able to find peace.
PINSKY: I understand you had quite a habit. I read that you were -- how much were you spending on OxyContin per month?
PINSKY: $20,000 just on the OxyContin.
PINSKY: And then, how much heroin per day?
HERREN: Dr. Drew, I mean, whatever money could buy and whatever my body could take at times, you know? Obviously, I ran out.
PINSKY: I read somewhere over 100 balloons a day.
HERREN: 100 bags.
PINSKY: 100 bags.
HERREN: It`s different.
HERREN: Hundred bags a day. An obscene amount. You know, an obscene amount.
PINSKY: A lucky to be alive amount.
HERREN: Yes, absolutely.
PINSKY: Now, we talked about the car accident, and yet, while that was a wake-up call, my understanding is you went to treatment and left prematurely.
HERREN: I did.
PINSKY: And by the way, prematurely, you`ve already been there like three months or something, right?
HERREN: I was -- no, actually, I was there for about a month and a half.
HERREN: And my wife was giving birth to our third son, Drew. And against the advice of the medical staff there, they asked me to just go for a couple hours, and I didn`t take their suggestion. I went home and I was drinking within hours. And I went back to that treatment facility under the influence.
PINSKY: I`m going to stop you here because this is a really important point for people at home, and I hope you`ll back me up on what I`m about to say, which is that if you have somebody you love who`s in treatment or you, yourself, is in treatment and a staff says don`t do this, there`s a lot of experience behind that.
They may not be able to give you a specific recipe for why, but even when it`s just their instinct, it`s enough that you should never take somebody out of treatment when any member of the treatment team is saying, don`t do this, because they will use. Will you agree with that?
HERREN: Absolutely 100 percent, and that`s what happened to me. You know, I had to learn the hard way. And when I left my wife and the kids to go back, I went back under the influence.
PINSKY: You went back to treatment?
HERREN: Two days later, I went back. And, this counselor grabbed me, and he said, why don`t you do the most courageous, admirable thing that you can ever do and write your wife a letter saying you`re never going to see them again?
PINSKY: Meaning you`re going to die or you just want to get out of their life?
HERREN: Get out of their life. And I went to bed that night contemplating whether or not, you know, that was the best decision. And I prayed, I cried. And since that day forward, I`ve been fortunate and blessed. You know, to stay sober.
PINSKY: That`s nice.
PINSKY: And yet, it`s still a daily struggle.
PINSKY: Yes. That`s what people don`t understand.
HERREN: It is a daily struggle, but you know, I also want to emphasize the fact that it`s nowhere near the struggle.
HERREN: You know what I mean?
PINSKY: I mean, your disease is doing pushups, but you`ve been working every day, too.
HERREN: And there`s a certain sense of peace and happiness and I can deal with this type of struggle any day compared to what I used to deal with.
PINSKY: Are you still with your wife?
PINSKY: And that must have blossomed that relationship.
HERREN: It did. She -- she`s an amazing woman. You know, this book is a love story to her, you know? And, you know, I`m fortunate enough and blessed enough to be raising my kids today.
PINSKY: Did your coaches ever step in and try to do something?
HERREN: They did. They did. Plenty of people did. You know, my parents, loved ones, coaches, athletic directors. I just wasn`t ready. You know, I just really wasn`t ready. And I had many opportunities.
PINSKY: How do you -- how do you, for people at home, how did they come to terms with that issue? That notion of, I`m not ready when they`re struggling with somebody who may have addiction?
HERREN: It`s tough. It`s such a fine line, you know? When I see kids nowadays, especially with the harder drugs and people will come to me and say, what do I do?
HERREN: I mean, when you`re messing with heroin and crack, that`s Russian roulette. You know what I mean? Any day you can die. And, so, for me to -- see, in Massachusetts, they have the section law where you can take a kid and put him away.
PINSKY: You can hold him.
HERREN: Yes. So, I would recommend that any day.
PINSKY: So, do whatever you can.
HERREN: No doubt.
PINSKY: And I would say also a co-dependency program of some type.
HERREN: Of course.
PINSKY: Your wife did that?
HERREN: She did.
PINSKY: That`s one of the reasons you`re well.
PINSKY: And now, you`re being of service to other people?
HERREN: I am. I think that`s part of it.
PINSKY: What are you doing? Tell us about it.
HERREN: I have a company called Hoop Dreams, working with kids, teaching them how to play basketball, and you know, I do that as well as make it fun for them.
PINSKY: Okay. We`re going to talk more about that, and Chris will also have a message for, really, every parent that I want you all to hear when we come back. So stay tuned.
JOY BEHAR, HOST OF "JOY BEHAR SHOW": Check out my show tonight, Drew. I`ll be talking with CNN anchor, Don Lemon, who tells me all the different ways his life has changed for the better since coming out. You don`t want to miss this.
PINSKY: You are so right, Joy. That is an important story, and I`m really glad you`re doing it. And thank you for not taking a shot at me tonight. I appreciate that.
Now, when Chris Herren joined the Boston Celtics, he had fulfilled a childhood dream of playing for his favorite NBA team, and what kid growing up in Massachusetts doesn`t dream of that? But his addiction to alcohol, pills, and heroin turned his dream into a nightmare when he was released from the team.
Chris chronicled the story in a new book. It is called "Basketball Junkie." He`s back with us. Now, Chris, are there takeaways from your story that people at home can grab on to?
HERREN: I hope so. I`d like to think so. One being that, you know, no matter how far down, you know, you get, that there`s a way out. You know, that you can get back. You know, the other message is that for me, personally, is to be preemptive with the kids, you know, for this book, to make kids think twice before they jump into anything.
PINSKY: Are there specific things parents can do? I mean, we were saying that you were under such incredible pressure which God knows we put kids in a lot of pressure these days. Let`s say a kid is under pressure. Was there something a parent could have done for you that would help you get through it? I mean, I don`t think that you would have said I didn`t want to be a basketball player.
HERREN: I might have.
PINSKY: You might have?
HERREN: I might have.
PINSKY: So, let kids be kids.
HERREN: Let kids be kids.
HERREN: You know, I think once you take the fun out of it and, you know, when I walked between the lines, it became stressful. And once that became stressful, I looked for an outlet and that outlet was going out with friends, drinking, and being somebody different. I kind of led a double life. So, my message to parents would be, you know, let kids be kids.
PINSKY: And then, as far as finding a way out no matter how far down you go, there`s something incredibly powerful about that statement. And I think about spiritual solutions, when you say things like that. And that probably means different things to different people. What did that mean to you?
HERREN: Well, you know, I mean, I was able to get everything back. You know, I was fortunate to get my kids and be able to be their father, but for me, I have a huge spiritual side to this. You know, I pray every day. In the morning, thanking God, and at the end of the day, for staying sober.
PINSKY: And then, finally, tell me about the "Hoop Dreams Company."
HERREN: Hoop Dreams I started almost three years ago. It`s a basketball development company that we train kids, but we also try to inspire them to come back to the gym with smiles on their face and build self-esteem. So, you know, keep the fun in the game.
PINSKY: Chris, thank you so much for joining us. It`s very inspiring story.
HERREN: Thank you.
PINSKY: It`s funny, I don`t know if this goes through the television, but your energy, your presence --
HERREN: Thank you.
PINSKY: I`m sure changes people. Keep doing it, my friend.
HERREN: I appreciate it.
PINSKY: And for people at home, I would just say, you know, if you`re struggling with somebody with addiction, the only thing I`ve ever seen work in terms of returning people to a blossoming, flourishing, fulfilling, inspirational life like this is something called a 12-step program and complete abstinence. And Chris, to me, is an example of that. And so, never give up. Never give up on people with serious illness, and take care of yourself, too.
Remember that saying, that, you know, if your plane is losing altitude, you put the oxygen on yourself. So, the first thing to do is take care of your own needs, do your own program of recovery, whatever that might be, so you can be there to serve the person who is in need. Service, too, a very important point in this whole story.
Chaz Bono is going to be here with me tomorrow. I watched his documentary. It was fascinating. I cannot wait to talk to him. I know you`re going to love this interview. So please, I`ll see you tomorrow.