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Student Suspended Over Facebook Threat

Aired May 20, 2011 - 21:00   ET


DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Is 13 too young for Facebook? What about 11? The world`s largest social media site may be too hot for your kids to handle.

Then, a CNN anchor says, "I`m gay, so just get over it."

And Real Housewife Danielle Staub breaks down right here. She has a breakthrough.

Plus, judgment day is upon us very soon. So let`s get this thing started.

Details continue to emerge about former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger`s infidelities. It is clear that this is an affair we will always remember. It continues to produce more and more true lies -- God, I`m such a comedian tonight. It`s awesome.

Well, the fact is, this is a story that has become almost laughable. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New information about Arnold Schwarzenegger`s alleged mistress today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to reboot his movie career.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t expect to see Arnold Schwarzenegger on the big screen anytime soon. The action-star-turned-California-governor has placed his movie comeback on hold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have put their former mansion on the market. And it`s not that clean, though, because they had a maid, but she was always busy doing other stuff.

JIMMY KIMMEL, TALK SHOW HOST: Somehow he`s managed to parlay that embarrassment into a terrific business opportunity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: HastaLaVista Baby makes child concealment convenient and affordable. Place your baby inside. Order now.


PINSKY: All right, Kimmel, it`s funny. And it is healthy for us to laugh at these things. But I want to kind of bring us back and keep reminding us that these things, while they`re hard to understand, I get it, but this is serious stuff.

And it`s sad news for that family. It`s sad news for the kids. And ultimately, please, let`s laugh, but remember it`s not funny.

We all have to understand that when we make choices, our actions have consequences, and those consequences sometimes affect not just ourselves, but the people we love. And in this case, potentially an entire culture here, guys. Let`s remember that our kids hear these stories, so please digest this with them. It`s OK to laugh, though. All right.

Kimmel -- woo.

Now on to a story that is getting a lot of heat. School authorities suspended a student for threatening a teacher online.

Shayne Dell`isola, she`s a 13-year-old eighth grader. She posted a disturbing message on her Facebook page last week.

Here it is. It says, "I wish Osama bin Laden had killed my teacher instead of 3,000 people in the twin towers."

Now, her mom says her daughter, of course, shouldn`t have posted this, but also shouldn`t have been punished by the school. We reached out to the middle school and they did not get back to us for a comment.

Shayne and her mom, Kimberly Dell`isola, are joining us from New Hampshire. There they are.

Also with us is Lori Getz. She is with the Cyber Education Consultants.

And prosecutor Wendy Murphy. And I believe she`s in Boston at this time.

Now, Kimberly, I want to start with you and ask, were you surprised that they suspended Shayne?

KIMBERLY DELL`ISOLA, DAUGHTER SUSPENDED OVER FACEBOOK POST: I was when I found out -- when I found out that it wasn`t something that had happened at school in any way. Originally, the thought was she had somehow taken this to school, shown it off at school, said it at school, something to that effect. But when I was told that it had nothing to do with school, that it was actually brought into school by the principal, as opposed to Shayne, then I was very surprised, yes.

PINSKY: What do you think they should have done?

DELL`ISOLA: I think they should have called me, actually. It happened at home, and I certainly would have responded to it appropriately and had a discussion with her. My first concern was, why was she so upset?

It was unlike her to say something in that kind of manner so aggressively. And so my first concern would have been, what`s wrong with my child? What`s happening here with this teacher that she feels this angrily towards her?

PINSKY: Have you had those kinds of conversations since this all came up?

DELL`ISOLA: We did immediately, yes, when she came home.


All right. Shayne, I want to go to you now, because I certainly -- I was 12 and 13. I can remember hating teachers. I can remember wishing horrible things on them.

But I want to understand -- when I was 13 or 12, there also wasn`t an Internet and a Facebook. So I want to understand what it looks like to you. What made you think that -- I don`t know, that that would release some of that anger but nobody would notice? Is that what you were thinking?

SHAYNE DELL`ISOLA, THREATENED TEACHER ON FACEBOOK: Well, I just figured people would kind of laugh at it, and I never thought I`d get suspended or anything for it, or end up here. And I just figured it would -- like any other status, it would just be said and then it would go away.

PINSKY: So do you now understand this differently, that hateful language can really have an impact?


PINSKY: I`m curious by you thinking that it`s funny. Do you -- again, I`m just fascinated by people your age and how the Internet is perceived. When people say horrible things on the Internet, do they think it`s funny?

S. DELL`ISOLA: Well, it wasn`t funny, but, I mean, I didn`t mean it, so -- I don`t know, I guess I just didn`t think anything real big of it.

PINSKY: So you didn`t mean seriously you intended to hurt somebody.

Lori, do you think the school should have suspended her?

LORI GETZ, CYBER EDUCATION CONSULTANTS: Well, I think that the school has the right to suspend a student when they create an atmosphere where a teacher feels threatened.


GETZ: So, yes, they do have the right to do this. You know, it`s kind of a murky area because we don`t have clear guidelines. And schools need to really kind of let parents know what they expect of their students.

PINSKY: And Wendy, how about you? Do you ring in on the same side of this argument or do you disagree?

WENDY MURPHY, FMR. PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, on the one hand, I think schools do need a great deal of discretion in dealing with all kinds of disciplinary issues. And schools that think they always can or always cannot impose discipline because the bad thing happened in cyberspace, beware.

The legal test -- and it is changing, it`s evolving, and it`s getting clearer, which is a good thing -- the legal test is very simple, Dr. Drew. It`s this: we don`t care where the bad behavior happened, we care where the effects land.

So if there`s a harmful effect from something that happens on MySpace or Facebook or anywhere in cyberspace, but the harm is felt in the school community, schools have a duty to act. Not only a right, but a duty to act, although I feel for Shayne, and she sounds like she has a great mom who cares about doing the right thing.

So schools have to use their discretion. Let parents help.

My goodness, let parents help, because sometimes they don`t even know what`s going on. And if they could help, they would. It wouldn`t escalate. There would be no suspension.

This child deserves an education. I could go on. This, I think, went too fast, too far.

PINSKY: And Wendy, just as I`m interested in Shayne`s perspective, I`m interested in yours as well, because you`re sitting at sort of the fulcrum of all this legal action in regards to these same behaviors.

And what direction are we going here? Are we going in a direction where people are going to have to build a bunch of laws just so people behave civilly on the Internet?

MURPHY: Yes, of course. I mean, for now, the Internet is the Wild Wild West, where we don`t have lots of regulation.

There`s to question in the future the Internet will be heavily regulated. We`re not there yet. And so lots of really bad behavior happens on the Internet because, well, it can. People can get away with all sorts of horrible things because they know they`re not going to get in trouble.

Schools, I think, do have a special responsibility. The law is clear that schools have a special responsibility. We`ve certainly heard lots of stories about bullying, whether it`s texting or on the Internet and social networking, causing suicide.

We need to step it up and then some, if you ask me. I`d like to see more regulation on the Internet. We`re definitely moving in that direction.

And, you know, look, you know you can`t make jokes at the airport, right? You have to be careful if you`re a kid making jokes and it could affect your school community. It`s kind of like being at the airport. You might think it`s funny, but you might be suspended.

PINSKY: Well, I wonder if one day either this kind of bullying kinds of behavior that we see so commonly on the Internet are going to continue, or if years from now, we`re going to look back and we`re going to look back and go, God, can you believe how people used to behave on the Internet? I hope it`s the latter.

But Shayne, I want to go back to you and ask how you felt when you went back to school and you had to kind of face this teacher, right?

S. DELL`ISOLA: Well, I didn`t have to face her. I just got back to school today. And there was actually -- we talked to each other this morning, and we apologized. So everything`s fine with us now.

But I didn`t have to face her in math because there was a substitute. So in the morning was the only time that I had to face her.

PINSKY: How were you -- first of all, why the big delay in going back to school? I think it`s been a while. It`s well beyond the suspension. Were you suspended, right?

S. DELL`ISOLA: Yes. I --

PINSKY: And so why the delay going back? And then how do your peers treat you? How do your peers see this whole thing?

S. DELL`ISOLA: Well, I`ve lost a few friends over it because their moms said that I was a bad influence.

PINSKY: Wow. That`s got to be painful.

K. DELL`ISOLA: For the most part she`s gotten support.

PINSKY: OK. I mean, that`s got to be very painful for her.

Shayne, I`m sorry that this has been such a problematic experience for you, but I hope you will share with your peers what you`ve learned.

Because, I mean, let`s face it, Lori, this is the generation that`s going to have to lead the way through this wild west of the Internet.

GETZ: Well, what`s so interesting about this is that here our kids are actually making the rules in cyberspace. We, as parents, we need to step it up as parents. We`re so used to parenting in the physical realm. We make rules for everything.

PINSKY: I`m going to interrupt you. I think Kimberly said that she did. She watched something slip through. It`s hard. It`s hard to watch your kids.

GETZ: Sure. But it`s not just about watching them all the time. It`s about setting the props rules for them so they understand what their expectations are.

PINSKY: Shayne, are you OK? I hear you in the background kind of --

K. DELL`ISOLA: She`s upset, yes.

PINSKY: What are you upset about, Shayne?


PINSKY: What happened?

K. DELL`ISOLA: Well, this is the issue that we`ve been dealing with. This is a child whose Facebook was completely locked down, whose principal heard about this through a phone call. It didn`t infiltrate her school in any way.

She didn`t take it to school. She didn`t speak of it at school. She didn`t have access to Facebook at school. She has no text messaging at school. She has no phone at school.

But her principal took this information and brought it to school for her instead of being a responsible person and making sure that her rights were protected. These are good laws that are put in place to protect children, but instead these laws were used to persecute a child who made a mistake. And that`s inconsiderate, to say the least.

The teacher wasn`t even aware of the post, and he brought this to school, he disrupted her education. He disrupted that teacher`s class.

PINSKY: Shayne -- I get you, Kim. I hear you, Kim.

Shayne, I just want to make sure you`re OK. Do you want a chance to talk here?

I am so sorry this has been so hurtful for you. I really am. And for the most part, you do feel supported by people? Is that true?


PINSKY: OK. Are you crying about something particular right now?

S. DELL`ISOLA: I`m just -- I`m just crying because I`m -- this -- like, I`ve got people who are on my side and people who think I`m just a brat who deserved to be punished. But you don`t even know me and you don`t know my story, and that`s not fair.

And I`ve lost three of my very best friends over it. And it`s not fair to judge me when you don`t know the story.

PINSKY: I completely agree with you. I completely agree with you.

And it actually makes me a little sick, this whole situation, that, again, the Internet is a dangerous place. And this is a cautionary tale. And just because somebody has said something or they look like they`re victimizing another person doesn`t mean that they, themselves, can`t turn out to be the victim in these interactions.

Shayne, I`m so sorry you`re going through this.

And Kim, in no way are we singling you out and say you haven`t done a good job. As I told Lori, it sounds like you have done a good job, but stuff slips through. And that is the nature of the Internet. It`s a dangerous place going both ways.

Wendy, do you have any concluding comments for us about how parents can protect themselves?

MURPHY: I`m very angry that this child is this upset, because this is an area of expertise of mine, and I can tell you a story about a young girl, a similar situation, who was harassed on Facebook. People calling her names, calling her sexual slurs. And when she went to the school to ask them to punish the bullies at the school who were doing that to her, you know what they said? We can`t get involved, that`s off campus, that`s free speech, sorry.

So what I really dislike about this story is that this poor child, who did almost nothing when you compare to what other kids have suffered, who end up taking their own lives because they get bullied in that same environment, they end up committing suicide. This poor child is crying.

Schools need to get it together and punish when it`s appropriate and back off when it isn`t. Is it worth it? I bet that school feels pretty bad right now.

PINSKY: Well, Shayne, thank you so much for sharing the story. I really appreciate it. And maybe you and I can get together on the phone a little while and talk about how you`re feeling and make sure you`re OK.

All right?


PINSKY: And thanks, Kimberly.

K. DELL`ISOLA: Thank you so much.

PINSKY: Thank you, Wendy.

And Lori is going to stay with me a little bit.

We`ve been talking about a girl whose Facebook post has obviously caused a bunch of pain.

Straight ahead, we`re taking that discussion to another level.


PINSKY (voice-over): On Facebook, our kids face potential danger. How young is too young? Threats lurk everywhere. That`s why there are restrictions.

Next, we`re talking to a 10-year-old girl and her mother who are breaking those rules. Acceptable or irresponsible?



PINSKY: If you`re just joining us, we`ve been talking about the dangers of the Internet. And if you heard what Wendy, the attorney, was saying about schools` approach to the safety of that environment, I`m just reminded of something that happened to my own kids back maybe about five or six years ago.

They were telling us how many hours they needed to sleep, how many hours of television, how many hours of homework. And I said, I have got a daughter that spends a lot of time on the Internet. How much time should be there?

Every family should make that decision on their own. That`s a very personal thing. And I thought, wow, I value my kids` school, I value every educator they`ve been involved with. But I thought the one place I really don`t know the answer, I need some help, is how to deal with this Internet thing.

So we really do need to come up with a consistent way of dealing with this. And the schools have to help us or lead the way in this.

Now, Facebook says you have to be 13 years old to have an account, but more than seven million kids under 13 have them. So why are parents letting their kids break this rule?

Lori Getz of Cyber Education Consultants is back with us. And we have Nirvana Martin and her 10-year-old daughter, Tiphanie Swain, join us.

Now, Nirvana, you let your daughter have a Facebook account even though she is only 10. Explain that to us.

NIRVANA MARTIN, UNDERAGE DAUGHTER ON FACEBOOK: Yes, a couple of years ago. She`s had her Facebook for two years now.

It started out that she wanted to play some games with me via the Facebook, so I went ahead and created her an account. And in the very beginning, that`s all she did, was play the games.

It wasn`t until about a year later -- she got the Facebook at 8, she was 9 when she started noticing that, hey, mommy, you know, you can have friends, and how come you have so many friends? I want to talk to my friends and family.

And it was a whole year later before I started adding her friends and family for her to communicate with. So she`s had the Facebook for two years now.

PINSKY: Do you have any concerns about the safety of that environment?

MARTIN: No, I do not, because Facebook has done such a great deal with their security measures. They`re so well at blocking anything you want to block, from anybody you want to block it from.

If you don`t want anybody to search for your name, they can`t search for your name. They don`t even know you have a Facebook. If you don`t want anybody to see a picture of you --

PINSKY: All right.

Tiffany, let me ask you, do your friends have Facebook pages?

TIPHANIE SWAIN, UNDERAGE ON FACEBOOK: Yes. A couple of my friends from my school have different types of Facebooks.


Well, Lori, let me bring it back to you here in the studio.

Should mom be concerned about this? I mean, what`s the reality here?

GETZ: I do think mom should be concerned about this. You know, there`s a few things that are going on.

And first of all, Nirvana, I know that Facebook has done a great job of letting them have security measures so things get blocked and you don`t have to show everybody pictures. But information leaks out.

PINSKY: We just saw that.

GETZ: Exactly. We just saw how she posted something, she thought it was funny, no one would see it. And then the principal sees it. So none of your information that you put out there online should be thought of as private. It`s not.

PINSKY: Well, not only that, but a 10-year-old, even a 16-year-old, and certainly a 13-year-old -- we just heard the story -- doesn`t have the cognitive development, we call it, to be able to predict and understand the consequences of their actions.

GETZ: They don`t. And they`re not going to understand that until they`re in their early 20s.

And so they make choices and they do things that they may regret later. And sometimes they feel victimized. In the case with the young girl that we just saw, she felt as though she was a victim. And she does not understand the consequences of her actions.

She thought that it was funny, no big deal, and yet here we see she got suspended.

PINSKY: But it`s dangerous.

GETZ: It is.

PINSKY: The Internet is dangerous. We have just a few seconds. Tell people at home, how dangerous is this, what do we need to do?

GETZ: You know, I can`t say that it`s dangerous just like that. I have to say that it`s the behavior that can be dangerous. I have to say that how we use it can be dangerous.

PINSKY: We`re not very civil. I think that`s the biggest problem.

GETZ: No, we`re not. And we have got our young people making the rules, and they have no idea, no guidelines, no frame of reference.


PINSKY: And there`s nowhere else in life that we let young people make the rules, is there?

GETZ: Never.

PINSKY: OK. I think that`s a good, important point.

Lori, thank you very much.

GETZ: Sure.

PINSKY: Tiphanie and mom -- I`m blank -- I`m sorry, mom, Nirvana, thank you very much for joining us as well. I appreciate it.

CNN anchor Don Lemon is going to join us later for an open and honest discussion about his homosexuality.

But first, we`ve been swamped with your calls. So I`ll answer your questions next.


PINSKY: Before I get to your calls, I just want to apologize to Tiphanie and Nirvana. We just ran out of time in that last segment. Their story was very important, and I want to try to get them back and continue that conversation.

I want to get Lori and Wendy here as well. The issue of cyberspace and the dangers to our kids and the lack of civil restraint there and civil behavior, that`s a story that will just not go away. And I want to keep addressing it and see if we can maybe push people to change a little bit in their relationship to the Internet and how their kids are acting there.

All right. Now, a just-released study shows that Americans are putting off tying the knot. They`re waiting longer to get married, and most married people have wed just once.

We have got a lot of reaction to this, so let`s get right to the phones.

I have got Kim in Louisiana.

Kim, what`s up?

KIM, LOUISIANA: Hey, Dr. Drew.

I believe marriage just doesn`t have that same fuzzy feeling about it anymore. I think nowadays, living together is acceptable in society because people don`t want the hassle of marriage just in case it doesn`t work out.

PINSKY: All right.

And Kristina in Michigan, what do you have to say?


Personally, I don`t feel the need to marry to be fulfilled. There was a time when I was younger I wanted to. But now, in my later 30s, I see no reason.

PINSKY: Well, I have a couple reactions to that.

One is, there are so few good models of happy marriages out there, I understand that people are questioning whether this is an institution that they want to be a part of. I`m going to tell you, it`s certainly -- people have a right to make their own decisions about these things, but there`s a lot to be gained from this institution.

And always think in terms of our family system and our children. There`s a tremendous amount of stability in this institution that our kids benefit from.

I can only share with you personally that I was stunned at how much of an impact getting up in front of God and everybody and making a commitment, how much different -- how different that felt, how different that really felt. So think about it.

All right. Here`s a question from Maria. "What are some of the top reasons that people get divorced?"

All right. Well, listen, many surveys and polls come to the same conclusion.

The number one reason tends to be infidelity -- you know we`re hearing about that in the news these days -- and money. So it ends up being money, kids and infidelity.

Number two is usually abusive behavior, physical or emotional. That`s a good reason, frankly.

Number three, they call it sort of a change in life priorities or transitions.

And number four, often addictions figure in.

So isn`t it interesting that these phenomenon -- addiction, cheating, mental health issues -- come to bear on people`s marriages and are a very, very common reason for divorce? I will tell you that I deal with lots of couples that deal with these things, and when they work it through and get help with it, they can end up in a very healthy place and in a happy marriage.

OK. Facebook again.

Janet: "Do you see couples who wait to have sex until marriage as happier couples?"

All right. Very interesting question, actually. And I have dealt with a lot of couples who say that they`ve achieved something special.

They feel like they have something unique by waiting and just being for that person sexually and no one else. I can`t say that they`re happier couples. I can`t say it`s a mistake not to do that. But I have talked to a number of couples who have done this that feel like they`ve been able to achieve something rather special, and that`s very meaningful to them.

All right. Straight ahead, he`s a news veteran, larger than life, and a master at reporting the story. But his most recent story is about himself.

These details are pretty personal. CNN anchor Don Lemon is coming out, talking about that, and battling the demons of his past. More stories of abuse. Such a common problem.

That, after this.



PINSKY (voice-over): An award winning journalist with two decades of reporting under his belt. CNN anchor, Don Lemon, has been in the public eye for years, but his latest story intensely private coming out as a gay man in black America and revealing demons from the past that haunted him for years.

And later, Danielle Staub, you`ve seen her on "Real Housewives of New Jersey," but you haven`t heard her real story. She`s telling it to me exclusively, and you will be shocked.


PINSKY (on-camera): CNN anchor, Don Lemon, has reported on big news like the death of Michael Jackson, hurricane Katrina, and the election of Barack Obama, but tonight, Don is sharing a more personal story, his own story. Don announced live on CNN that he had been a victim of sexual abuse.

We`re going to talk with him about how he put the devastating chapter behind him and what made him finally publicly came out and what it means to be gay in the black community. Don`s new book "Transparent" is in stores, and he reminded me also on Amazon on June 16th. We can pre-order on Amazon right now, and Don, welcome to the program. It`s good to see you.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you. It`s good to se you again.

PINSKY: People don`t know that Don and I were sort of positioned on the Larry King set one night while he was interviewing --

LEMON: Michael Jackson. He was at Neverland Ranch with Jermaine, and we were here just in case --

PINSKY: In case there was a mechanical failure of some type, and we could just going to go on with conversation.

LEMON: We became best friends. Yes.

PINSKY: We did, and I`m inspired by you and this story. What made you decide to want to come out publicly?

LEMON: Well, really, the book was a catalyst. Someone approached me to write a book, Dr. Drew. And I said, I went back and forth. It was supposed to be a book about how to be successful. And I said, there are enough of these books around, and as I started writing. I started writing about my childhood, I started writing about the abuse, and then, it got to the point where, how do I talk about this sexuality thing or not talk about it?

Do I dance around it? And I decided to use the same rules that I use for myself as a journalist, that no question is off limits, and I had to be transparent. So, I put it in, and then, after Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student jumped off a bridge and killed himself because of a sexual encounter with another man was streamed on the internet, I said, leave it in, and now, I`m here. Here we are.

PINSKY: Did you expect it to be one of the focal points of your book?

LEMON: No, you know, I don`t talk about it that much in the book, but that`s what people have picked up on, that and the abuse. And I`m smart enough to know that`s what people will pick up on. And since people have picked up on it and I have the opportunity to talk about it, I may as well talk about it and own it, right?

PINSKY: I totally get it. Now, being gay and being African-American has special significance and being public.


PINSKY: I mean, that`s a -- I mean, you`re going to become an important figure in that battle.

LEMON: Yes. I`ll ask you, and I`ll ask the viewers what I ask everyone.


LEMON: Name five high-profile African-Americans who come out in the last ten years.

PINSKY: It`s unusual.

LEMON: And who, you know, I`ll give you one. I`ll say I give you one and it`s Wanda Sykes, who`s an entertainer, a comedian, and who`s a woman. Very brave, but it`s also quite different for a man, especially a black man.

PINSKY: Well, it`s so hidden in the African-American community that the CDC, for instance, had to develop a separate category called men who have sex with men, not gay.

LEMON: Yes. But, you know, it`s prevalent in every community, but for the black community, it seems to be more hidden, and you know, they call it the down low and that sort of thing which is a game that I have never played. It`s because of the culture, I guess, probably the vestiges of slavery, racism, segregation, and all of that that we need to talk about as a group and people will say, oh, you`re throwing African-Americans under the bus by airing dirty laundry. I`m not.

PINSKY: How would you be? How would that --

LEMON: Well, first of all, they forget, I am black.


PINSKY: I think there`s something to that.

LEMON: I live in this skin, but no, I`m not. We need to talk about those things. You know as a psychologist that we need to, in order to heal anything or fix anything, you have to talk about it. You have to get it in the open.

PINSKY: Well, and I`ve noticed that the African-American -- can I -- I don`t even know what terminology -- African-American, black same?


PINSKY: OK. In the black community, I`ve noticed that there`s a generally a little bit of distrust of sort of mental health treatment and you kind of -- any personal matters are kept personal. Isn`t that generally the case? This is part of that whole --

LEMON: It`s part of that, but it`s also the church is a big part of it as well, because you are taught that whatever problems you have, I remember when I was going to go to therapy as a young man --

PINSKY: Did you go?

LEMON: Yes, of course.


PINSKY: You seem so at ease with all this, and that doesn`t come easily.

LEMON: No, it doesn`t. A lot of that has to do with therapy, but people will say, you don`t need therapy. Go to church. Talk to your pastor. Talk to god. And you will be fixed. You will be healed.

PINSKY: I wish that were enough.


PINSKY: It`s very helpful.


PINSKY: But it`s not enough.

LEMON: It`s not enough.

PINSKY: Does the African-American clergy understand that or they resist that as well?

LEMON: Well, I think that they`re starting to come around, but there`s still be -- let me say this. It`s not all African-Americans. It`s not all churches.


LEMON: It`s a big part. There`s enough of people who believe that way, enough people who believe that way and who act that way that it is an issue and it is a problem. And people believe that you can pray the gay away. That it is a choice.

PINSKY: We`ve done shows about that. Yes.

LEMON: And you already know. And even I read about as a kid, kids know way more than you think they know. And I remember saying my prayers as someone who went to a catholic school, who grew up Baptist, who studied with a Jehovah witness partner, bible partner. I knew enough about the bible as a kid and about scriptures and about doctrine and all of that, so I would say my prayers, and then, silently I would pray that I would change and not have crushes on boys

I didn`t know what it was because I was a kid, so I didn`t sexualize it, but you know that you`re different, right, but you don`t know what it is. When you hear people around you saying you`re going to go to hell --

PINSKY: Oh, boy. That makes that really --

LEMON: So, I would pray. I try to pray up until I was a adult.

PINSKY: I`ve heard this story over and over again. Now, you actually came out on the air. We actually have a clip where you revealed on air that you were a victim of sexual abuse. So, let`s look at that little clip.


LEMON: What kind of toll is the bishop scandal taking on members of its church and do they continue to stand behind Bishop Eddie Long?

What got my attention about this and I`ve never admitted this on television. I am a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid, someone who was much older than me. And those are the things that they do. The language. This doesn`t make you gay if you do this. So, when someone starts to say that, you start to perk up and go, four people have said the same exact story and using the same buzzwords.


PINSKY: What do you think as you watch that?

LEMON: I think that I`m glad that I said it. And I -- I think it was tough to hear because I was living it as I`m living this interview and I`m talking to you. I`m aware that the cameras are there. I`m not stupid. And I`m aware that there are people in the studio, but when I`m talking to you, I`m talking to you.


LEMON: And I was talking to those kids who said, well, the bishop isn`t a pedophile, the bishop isn`t an abuser, and let`s hope he`s not.


LEMON: And that`s no judgment on the bishop whether he`s guilty or innocent. But people aren`t always who they present themselves to be in public. No one walks around with an "A" on their forehead for abuser or a "P" for pedophile or "M" for molester. And so you have to be aware of your preacher, your uncle, your older brother, the man down the street. You have to be aware of those things, and you can`t be that naive.

PINSKY: Can you speak to the anger I just see behind your eyes there?

LEMON: About?

PINSKY: I just see flickering, real anger there.

LEMON: Well, I think it is the anger -- and I don`t know if it`s anger or if it`s just that I feel some angst about it, because it`s still really tough to talk about. And no one would want to reveal, especially a man, and especially an African-American man, a minority, that day were the victim of abuse by another male. That`s something --

PINSKY: Do you feel it diminishes you?

LEMON: You feel, somehow, it diminishes you because of what people are going to think about you. And as a child, you think that it was something that you brought upon yourself.

PINSKY: I think it`s the residual of that. I think people are going to admire you for being so honest because it`s such a common problem.

LEMON: Here`s what I have to say. If we don`t talk about it, it`s child abuse by not talking about it. If we tell people there`s something wrong with him, it`s child abuse. And as long as we don`t address it, it will never be corrected.

PINSKY: I have 30 seconds. How does your mom feel about this? Thirty seconds.

LEMON: It`s about everything? All of it?

PINSKY: The whole thing? I know the importance of mom.

LEMON: It`s tough because she`s having to deal with her family and people who, you know, who loved watching me on television, but she supports me 100 percent, but it`s tough for her. She definitely supports me.

PINSKY: All right. Now, Don`s book is called "Transparent." I want you to look at it here. Get me this camera. There we go. See it? Be out in June. Preorder on Amazon, right, Don?

All right. And when we come back, Danielle`s demons. A real housewife`s story of abuse. Another story of abuse. Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you. I really appreciate.

PINSKY: Pleasure.


PINSKY (voice-over): Danielle Staub, the fire brand outsider in "Real Housewives of New Jersey." There`s more to her than fights and spites, but what you don`t know will surprise you.

And later, apocalypse no. Most of us scoff at predictions of the world ending tomorrow, but the CDC is taking it seriously. Sort of.



PINSKY (on-camera): Reality TV star, Danielle staub, has been all over in the news lately. Racy photos of her stripping leaked on to the web. Now, she`s no stranger to drama. Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was an exotic dancer, myself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Had my mouth shut.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) enough. Don`t you ever (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You throw something at me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pay attention, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am paying attention.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, tables need to be thrown at me, seriously?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you`re not familiar with the table flip, you`re probably not from New Jersey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow. To my car, right now. That`s not even my extension. That`s my hair.

And I`m in pain physically and emotionally.


PINSKY: She reached out to us wanting to talk about a problem that`s been haunting her. Now, I want to be sure to point out that I am not functioning here as her doctor. She told me of something very personal and very important that does, indeed, explain, it goes a long way, in fact, to explaining some of the bad decisions you see on "Real Housewives of New Jersey" as well as what you read about on the gossip blog. She`s been called crazy, delusional, and detrimental to her daughters, and was pushed to leave the show allegedly. I don`t know any of that thing is true. Isn`t true?

DANIELLE STAUB, REALITY TV STAR: Well, no, I wasn`t pushed to leave the show. I`ll dress (ph) backwards if I may.

PINSKY: Please, bring it in.

STAUB: I left the show because clearly as what little you saw --

PINSKY: People throwing tables at you.

STAUB: Well, they`re pulling at me, tearing at me, chasing me, and it became a little bit abusive. And that brought up some things from my past that I don`t deal with well.

PINSKY: Like what?

STAUB: As far as the prostitution, no. I addressed all of what I did in my Miami days in my book. Prostitution is a little different from what I did.

PINSKY: What`s the book called?

STAUB: The book is called "The Naked Truth," and it`s my memoir.


STAUB: And I was -- I did not kidnap anybody as well. So, all of this is cleared up in records. This is just people that saying what they do. I own what I did. What I did, what came out, I definitely did this, but it was a lot of things leading up to that. And I just want to say, this deal was done. This deal was done in January and dead. I was not going forward with this.

If you can tell, I`m clearly not in my right mind, and I will leave it at that and let the powers that be, the people figure it out such as yourself and professionals that this was something that I`m not proud of, but when I`m seeing this now, it`s not something that I wanted to address ever. I`ve been pushing this away.

Even when I was with Simon and Shuster (ph) writing my book, they asked me, please address your childhood past, address your abuse, and I was being paid to do so, and I still pushed it away. But now, I`m here confronting my demons have staring me in the face. And, you know, they`re affecting my children. And I`m a mom, period. I`m a mom.

And if Sugar Ray Leonard can come out and own up to what happened to him when he was a teenager and help inspire me, perhaps, it`s time that I help inspire others. I`m 48 years old. I`ve been sexually abused and molested since I was a child.

PINSKY: Was it a long period of abuse, like a chronic abuse?


PINSKY: Have you had any treatment for that?


PINSKY: Have you contemplated that?

STAUB: Not when you`re trying to push it aside and pretending that you`re strong enough to deal with everything on your own. This is about trauma. This is about abuse, a lifetime of abuse. It started when -- I don`t know how many people can recall being a toddler. I recall every moment of it because I was so abused. I just -- I felt everything.

PINSKY: I understand. Now, I want to say something for people at home. This is common. Trauma is really one of the problems of our time, as I see it, and the mistreatment of children is -- I think anyone who watches me knows it`s a passion of mine, and I`m sorry, you didn`t deserve that as a child. Even though as a child you start to feel responsible for it. And what every trauma survivor does is two things, and you`ll relate to this.

Maybe you already know this. One is, you`ll push it aside and say, I dealt with that, I`m stronger. It doesn`t bother me anymore, but the reality is it affects your brain. And then, you start repeating the traumas over and over again. Is that`s what`s happening?

STAUB: It`s exactly what`s happening. And I`m not going to blame any of my behavior or my actions on anybody or anything. I`m just going to say I am a victim of circumstance, but I`m also victorious if I sit here today and say, I want to be -- I want to deal with this, and I don`t want it to repeat itself.


STAUB: Again, not just for me but for my children and people that love me and believe in me because I don`t want to be put in these circumstances. I don`t want to put myself in these circumstances. I will own everything up into this point that I played a part in, but what you did was hit the nail on the head. I have been pushing it, and I get called, like, so strong. People think I`m really, really strong. I`m broken. I`m very broken.

PINSKY: Somebody stole your childhood.



STAUB: You don`t get that back.

PINSKY: People don`t even think of it as trauma many times. Until later, they start thinking, oh my gosh, that was, you know, another child something did something to me or a neighbor did something to me or I was hit with an object and that really affected me. People, we pushed it aside. You will inspire other people. I`ve had many other people I work with talk about these things on television, and you will be inundated with people who admire your courage who then themselves get the courage to speak up.

STAUB: I hope so.

PINSKY: But you have to get treatment. You have to get some kind of treatment. And I will recommend some things to you when we`re done here.


PINSKY: Is that what made you come out today? Is that`s what this is all about?

STAUB: I came out because I really felt like I needed to do this. Like, again, I`m going to say it`s for me and it`s for my children, and my demons are staring me right in the face now. I have no choice but to address them, but I also -- I`m a mom, and I have to take responsibility for being a better person even though I`m 48, it`s not too late. And I don`t want to repeat any of this and I want love in my life. I`m not able to have love if I keep pushing it away.

PINSKY: It`s hard to have a relationship with anybody when you expect abuse.

STAUB: It`s impossible.

PINSKY: It`s impossible.

STAUB: It`s impossible.

PINSKY: Well, there`s a lot of people that can relate to this and varying degrees. You know, this is something -- I really see the broken intimacy in our world as the problem in our country. I mean, when somebody that, you know, any adult that you would have trusted shatters your trust so thoroughly, it`s hard to trust anybody after that.

STAUB: And I was never really taught how to love. And what`s supposed to feel good.

PINSKY: But you love your kids.

STAUB: That comes organically.

PINSKY: OK. you love your kids.

STAUB: That`s naturally --

PINSKY: And I also believe that doing the kind of thing you`re wanting to do will pay dividends for your kids. It will help them in their relationships.

STAUB: I don`t want them repeating this. I don`t want them seeing me. I don`t want them mirroring me and saying, you know, your relationships are broken. You don`t have love, so I won`t risk my heart getting broken.

PINSKY: They have not had what you had to endure, for sure. You know that. And I want to thank you for -- I think you will help maybe thousands of people, and I really admire you for that.

STAUB: I would love them to contact me if they have been affected by it.

PINSKY: Maybe, we can come online. We can give information how people can contact you. Don`t get overwhelmed by it because you got to take care of yourself.


PINSKY: But I`m going to give you some suggestions of what to do, who can help you, and how to go about this, because there`s a lot of people that can really help. And I really admire you. Thank you for joining us. Appreciate it.

STAUB: Thank you, and thank you for having me.

PINSKY: And I got to be clear, I`m not treating Danielle, but I did give her some referrals, and I hope she gets the treatment that she clearly needs.

Coming up next, is the world ending tomorrow? I`m going to tell you about a CDC guideline for dealing with the living dead. So, stay with us.


PINSKY: All right. So, what are the takeaways from tonight`s program? First of all, the ongoing Arnold Schwarzenegger story, it`s OK to laugh, as I said, but, we got to remember there`s really, really nothing funny about lying, cheating, hurting one`s children and family and having such a profound effect on normative cultural tone. This is a serious issue. I`m cool with laughing about it. Kimmel was very funny there, but let`s keep in mind, it`s a serious thing.

Also, Facebook and age. Parents, come on now. Use common sense. If the rules say the Facebook users has to be 13 or older, there`s got to be reason for that. You have to play by the rules. If you have to break the rules, then you`ve got to be prepared for the consequences. If you saw our segment we did on this, poor little Shane who had not really been able -- does not have the cognitive development to understand the consequences of sending something hateful out on the internet, she becomes one of the victims, having been the perpetrator, she also as a victim.

The internet is a dangerous place now for your children for a multiplicity of reasons, this just one of many. Some of them are more obvious. And it`s a place where people haven`t yet learned to behave civilly. So, it`s us, it`s incumbent upon us as the parents to participate with our kids and not to throw our kids in there prematurely. We surely don`t do that anywhere else in the kids` lives. This is not a place to be doing it either.

And also, Don Lemon. I just thought that guy was great. He apparently was sort of a lonely and isolated kid. There was severe trauma, sexual abuse in his youth, but he got treatment. He has overcome this, and now, he`s here to influence others. Now, look, his being gay, that suffers enough scrutiny, but as Don says, being black and gay makes him a double minority.

He is really the personification of courage, and I just admire him for stepping up and telling his story. I really think he`s going to have a profound impact in elevating this conversation.

As well, Danielle Staub, I want to thank her for being so open and honest. I hope both of them tonight have been inspiration for other people who are suffering with this so very common issue. Abuse. It is one of the big problems of our time.

And one last thing before we go. Check out these zombies, from AMC Studio`s "The Walking Dead." Now, you may wonder why I`m showing that footage. Well, it`s the rapture, ladies and gentlemen. The rapture is tomorrow. Forget about your vacation, forget about cleaning you apartment. The world is coming to an end tomorrow, just in case, you didn`t know. Just thought you ought to know that.

Armageddon is scheduled for Saturday. Perhaps earthquakes, typhoons are going to set it off. So, you can look forward to that. Now, the CDC has taken this prediction and asked you to use it as an opportunity to remember to be prepared. God knows we`ve seen a lot of catastrophes in the news these days. Their website, preparedness 101 zombie apocalypse. Their site actually crashed earlier this week because so many people were checking it out.

It`s a good reminder that we should be stocking up on water, food, medication, other supplies, should there be a disaster. Well, I`m sorry, did I say should there be a disaster? When Armageddon comes tomorrow -- do you, guys, know what time that`s going to be? Two o`clock. Thanks, Matt, well done. I don`t know about you guys, but I`m doing a little bit of planning because I plan to go to heaven. I don`t know about any of you all, and I`ll meet you there.

My concept of heaven, I really enjoy doing television and communicating, so I`ll be doing a television show in heaven. So, I got to plan for it. So, I`ll be working on it across the weekend and continuing to do my work. The rest of you may have a different idea of heaven. It may include more leisure activities. So, you can just take it easy this weekend. Thank you all for watching. I`ll see you Monday if we`re still here. But if we`re not, I`ll see you -- just saying.