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Day Four of Casey Anthony Trial
Aired May 27, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: All right. Here we go now.
The Casey Anthony trial. I`ll tell you what I`ve learned in the first few days of testimony and what you might want to watch for in the coming weeks.
Then, want to know what a sex addict thinks and does? You`re going to meet one in a minute, and I think you`re going to be surprised.
So let`s get started.
And tonight is day four of the Casey Anthony murder trial. Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Casey Anthony murder trial is back under way. We`re starting to focus on some of the evidence, like her car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the spot. Right here is where Casey Anthony left that car.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you notice whether or not there was any odor emanating from that area?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, but it was parked next to the dumpster, so --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Huge testimony going on. Simon Birch is on the stand.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Johnson`s Tower had received a `98 Pontiac Sunfire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did notice a fairly strong odor, consistent to what I smelled in the past when it comes to decomposition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Renew our motion for mistrial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The motion for mistrial will be denied.
PINSKY: Casey`s high-powered attorney begs the judge for a mistrial, saying the state is only introducing testimony that shows Casey`s lack of character and nothing else. The judge, as you saw, just shoots that down.
Plus, there`s emotional testimony from Casey`s soon to be sister-in- law. That`s right, the fiancee of Casey`s brother Lee says Casey was an amazing mother. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALLORY PARKER, LEE ANTHONY`S FIANCEE: Casey and Caylee had a very special bond.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever see Casey strike or torture or punish Caylee in any harmful way?
PARKER: No, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the best way that you can describe their relationship would be amazing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Remember, this case is based on the evidence, and this is evidence. Lots of crazy things happening today, but I want to focus on this one. Take a look.
Mother and daughter, happy, laughing, smiling. Now, witnesses are saying that they had a "special bond." Now, this is a little girl who people are testifying was not neglected. This is a little girl who seemed to be loved by an extended family.
And we have some exclusive HLN video of Caylee`s birthday, the last birthday she had before she was murdered. Look here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There it goes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There you go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, Caylee. Your 2nd birthday. Here`s a song for you.
(singing): Girl, you`ll be a woman soon
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: So what is happening here? What is going on?
The family, the grandmother, the grandfather, Casey -- Caylee looked to be loved by all, but as we all know, the surface is only that, the surface. And there can be lots of stuff hiding underneath.
One theory that someone might float is that there was jealousy and family rivalry. And how might that lead to murder?
Well, straight out to my guests. Here in the studio is psychologist Wendy Walsh. She is joining me obviously in the studio. And I have also criminal defense attorney Jayne Weintraub. And host of "ISSUES" on HLN, Jane Velez-Mitchell, is here with us.
And then, finally, Ryan Smith. He is host of "In Session" on truTV. He joins us from outside the courtroom in Orlando.
First off, Ryan, what is the latest today?
RYAN SMITH, "IN SESSION," TRUTV: Well, Dr. Drew, right now, George Anthony has become the focus of the case, because this afternoon he was called back to the stand to talk about the car. Now, this is the car that Casey Anthony allegedly left at a check-cashing place. It was eventually towed to a facility. And you played testimony there of Simon Birch, who smelled, he said, decomposition coming from the car.
George Anthony walked upon that car, and he said in court, "I said to myself as I was walking towards that car, please don`t let this be Caylee or Casey," because he smelled decomposition coming from it. He said that was even before he walked to the trunk where the odor became very strong.
And his testimony was emotional, Dr. Drew, because he is on that stand describing the fear he felt as he thought maybe something would have happened -- maybe something happened to Caylee, maybe something happened to Casey. And now the defense is questioning him, trying to get to the bottom of why maybe he didn`t respond fast enough, or was he trying to hide something?
They have been contending that he knew all along that Casey -- Caylee died accidentally and he`s been trying to cover it up. So we`re seeing this battle play out again in court. George Anthony, making the point that he didn`t know his daughter was gone and he was just terrified to think that something might have happened to little Caylee.
PINSKY: Thank you, Ryan.
I`ll go out to Jayne Weintraub.
Jayne, do you think the defense can blow holes in this somehow?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I do think so. I don`t find George very credible. And I think that as far as I`m concerned as a defense lawyer, I would be asking questions such as, if you were so concerned and you were overwrought, why didn`t you go right to the police station? You`re a prior police officer.
Why didn`t you have this examined? What did you do? Did you call your wife right away? Did you break down crying like you`re crying now? Those things didn`t happen in court today.
PINSKY: Yes. It seems like he is assailable on many levels. Who`s lying more, is my question here.
Now, most people who knew Casey say she had a very strained relationship with her mom, Cindy. Friends say Casey was jealous of her mom because the mom actually ended up being the primary caretaker of baby Caylee because, well, you know, Casey was busy partying.
Let`s take a look at this video of them at a birthday party, see how close Caylee and grandma, in fact, are. Doesn`t look like Casey is even there. Yes, there they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, Caylee. Your 2nd birthday. Here`s a song for you.
(singing): Girl, you`ll be a woman soon
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: There is some rumor that the baby even called Cindy mom.
Now, Jane Velez-Mitchell, what do you know about this? You adhere to this theory that there was jealousy there, no?
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST, "ISSUES": Yes, and the prosecution has to establish that as a motive. Even though they`re not technically required to provide motive, it would certainly help them win their case.
We`ve heard reports that when little Caylee was born, the first person to hold the child was Cindy, not Casey. And it`s believed that at that very moment, this friction began over really almost a tug-of-war over the affections of this child.
And so what I see developing in this trial is that as Casey wants to spend time with her boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro, we hear testimony that little Caylee didn`t sleep over at the boyfriend`s house. So, as she wants to spend more time with the boyfriend, is the little girl spending more time with the grandmother, getting more and more attached, and so Casey`s conflicted?
If I follow my wishes and spend time with the boyfriend, then my daughter`s going to become more attached to her grandmother, which is precisely what I don`t want. What is a mother to do?
The prosecution contends that that`s when she decided to murder her child.
PINSKY: I don`t know, Jane. That`s a tough one for me. I have got a psychologist in the studio with me, Wendy Walsh.
I don`t think jealousy -- and we see this a lot, particularly with teen moms, all the time. In fact, teen moms are sort of relieved when the grandmother steps in. I mean, they get jealous and irritable, and they start feeling resentful and shameful that they`re not more present. But they don`t want to kill their child because of that.
WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, we don`t know Casey`s psychological makeup. Was she, in fact, some kind of a sociopath who -- or a narcissist who needed mommy`s attention, and when mommy`s attention went over to her child she sort of disassociated herself from her own child, so to speak, because she was missing her own mommy?
PINSKY: But to the point where she wanted to kill the child?
Jane, I`ll give you the last word on this. I`ve got a minute.
Do you really adhere to that theory of jealousy being a motive for murder here?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, as the shrinks say, often things are multi- determined, meaning there are many, many factors that go into a decision like that. And that could be one factor.
The other factor could simply be she`s a young girl and she wants to go party, she wants to live "The Beautiful Life," which was exactly what she got tattooed on her body after the defense now admits she knew her child was dead. What mother would get "The Beautiful Life" tattooed on their body knowing their child is dead?
PINSKY: OK. Now, Jane, thank you. I want you, Jane, to put on your addict-thinking cap for a second, because I have a theory I`m going to float in the next segment.
All my guests stay with me.
More on the Anthony family dynamic, what it is, and what role it might be playing in the trial. And my own little theory. And I`m going to challenge Jane on this one. I think you might kind of agree with me on this, but we`ll talk more about this after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S FATHER: I didn`t want to believe what I was smelling to a point. I was trying to not think too much ahead of myself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The odor that you were testifying a moment ago that reminded you from your past, was that the odor of a human corpse?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Day four of the Casey Anthony murder trial.
Now, what I`m wonder is, what happened, who`s lying more? A witness testified today that Casey and Caylee had an amazing and special bond. Family videos look like they`ve got something going on, an entire family that certainly surrounded that girl, at least on the videos.
You know, I`ve seen plenty of things that look good on the surface and not so good underneath. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY: But you just want to control everything. You`re the one --
CASEY ANTHONY, DEFENDANT: No, I -- dad, please. I completely --
G. ANTHONY: Sweetie, I`m not trying to get you upset. I`m trying to talk to you.
C. ANTHONY: No, but I am upset now. I`m completely upset. One, the media is going to have a friggin` field day with this.
G. ANTHONY: No they`re not.
C. ANTHONY: I wasn`t even supposed to take this. But let me say for a second -- Dad, I let everybody talk.
G. ANTHONY: OK.
C. ANTHONY: They`re not releasing it? Well, I hope not. I`ll keep saying whatever I have to about the police, so they don`t let it go.
G. ANTHONY: OK. Here`s mom. Hold on one second.
C. ANTHONY: Can someone let me -- come on!
CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S MOTHER: Casey, hold on, sweetheart. Settle down, baby.
CASEY ANTHONY: Nobody`s letting me speak. You want me to talk, then give me three seconds to say something.
CINDY ANTHONY: All right. I`ll listen. Go sweetheart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: I don`t know. The relationship with the father seems a little bit enmeshed and codependent. And certainly people -- you know reminiscent of people that live with addicts.
What do you think, Wendy?
WALSH: I think they`re sort of negotiating some kind of deal there with subtext of what they`re saying -- you wanted me to take it. Or was she manipulating knowing that this was recorded?
PINSKY: Right. Well, of course they both knew that, for sure.
PINSKY: I want to take a look at the relationship between George and his daughter, Casey.
Take a look at this. This was at Caylee`s memorial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
G. ANTHONY: I miss my daughter Casey. Do not form any judgments, because I`ll tell you, you don`t want to be in any of our family`s shoes no matter what it is.
Casey deserves prayer. She deserves understanding. She deserves love. She deserves letters.
Take the time to write a letter to her. You could just say, "Hi, Casey. I`m thinking about you today." If you can do it for me, I would love it. If you could do it for my son, for Cindy -- if you can do it for Caylee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: All right. Now, when I watch him, I`ve noticed that he seems to get more emotional when he talks about his daughter than his granddaughter. That`s when he really gets choked up. And I kind of have a little theory. I do.
I mean, we know Casey is a drug addict. She just is. I mean, that`s with all the evidence.
Drug addicts lie. Drug addicts appear to be sociopathic. One drug that I`ve not heard anybody talk about is methamphetamine very much, but I know that when my patients do methamphetamine, they kill.
I mean, for instance, like O.J. Simpson`s story, that was a great --
WALSH: You mean they have absolutely no impulse control at all?
PINSKY: They become violent. Amphetamine is the drug of violence, and they kill people unintentionally or intentionally. It happens all the time. In fact, the old aphorism "speed kills" was developed to note the fact that not that speed will kill you, but the people on speed kill. I talked to the guy that came up with that.
WALSH: And quickly and out of nowhere. It`s not like this young child was abused for a long time.
PINSKY: It might have been just shaking her in a rage while you`re on amphetamine. Who knows what?
And then maybe George, seeing how emotionally he`s talking about his daughter, maybe he`s co-dependently involved and sort of covering this up on behalf of the daughter because it was an accident and it was just the drugs.
Jane, you`ve been following this case for a while. What do you think of my little theory here?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think there has been evidence reported on that she may have dabbled. I don`t know if she was a hard-core drug addict. I think we would have heard a lot more about that in the trial had that been the case.
But we know that she went and bought beer at one point after her daughter disappeared. We`ve heard reports of her smoking pot. I`ve heard some other drugs mentioned. Again, it`s not the main theme here, but it`s very possible.
Dr. Drew, if that is true, I think you have to combine it with her relationship with her parents. To me, the parents are the worst enabling codependent doormats that I`ve ever seen, and they have stuck up with her and put up with her lies for so long, they really encouraged her to lie. Because at a certain point, she decided, they believe anything, I can get away with anything.
And that`s what I think this story is about, the tragedy of just enabling your child to become a monster.
PINSKY: Yes. I think that piece we`re both seeing the same way at least, that George -- do you agree with that, Wendy?
WALSH: He`s protecting and defending her. And my favorite definition of codependency is nobody can remember whose problem is whose.
WALSH: They`re like so fused together that it`s one big family problem. Did you hear how he spoke at the funeral?
WALSH: "You wouldn`t want to be in the shoes of anybody in this family," like the family is just this one single unit.
PINSKY: Correct. It`s all -- there`s no "me," it`s just "us."
PINSKY: It`s "us," and if somebody is in trouble, we`re all in trouble. And, you know, it`s -- I don`t know. It`s a concern.
Listen, Jayne Weintraub, do you put any credence in any of our theories here, or would they be helpful to a defense?
WEINTRAUB: I don`t think there`s evidence of any drug abuse whatsoever. And it certainly hasn`t been brought forth by the prosecutors at all, so I would discount it.
But when you talked about George Anthony and the dysfunction in this family, Dr. Drew, I would focus in on George Anthony`s demeanor and the way that he comes across, and the way he turns on and off these tears. And then think about while he was at the memorial, he had just told his mistress the week before, as she testified years ago, that George Anthony confided to her in an intimate moment that Caylee died in an accident that snowballed into something bad.
And that is what the original evidence was. That`s what I focus in on, and it`s not all about George, as George wants it to be.
George is an expert witness. He was a cop. And what cop leaves being in the police department after nine years to go into a family business that he never worked at before? I just see so many red flags.
And remember, it`s the state`s burden of proof to prove that she murdered -- first-degree murder -- that she murdered her child. And there`s no cause of death and there`s no manner of death. And all the theories and suppositions is not evidence. That`s not how we put someone to death in this country.
PINSKY: Jane, do you have any response to that, Jane Velez-Mitchell?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think this poor man has been put through hell, and now they`re trying to put him on trial. He`s lost his granddaughter, his daughter is behind bars. And even though you heard him at the funeral defending her, and seeking compassion for her, what does she do? She turns around and tries to blame the whole thing on him.
I just absolutely have tremendous compassion for George, and I really feel that he is being martyred in this situation. If it`s not true, if he didn`t sexually abuse her, if he didn`t put his private body parts in her mouth when she was 8 years old, then this is one of the most heinous accusations I`ve ever heard, to just completely try to destroy your own family to save your own scalp.
PINSKY: But, Wendy, the way we`ve been talking about this family, though, it makes perfect sense that he would do that.
WALSH: It`s one big wheel. And whether we`re talking about her pathologies being hereditary, that she inherited them from her dad, or learned them through a family system, the point is everybody has a piece of this, whatever happened.
PINSKY: But none of us are saying that Casey`s not a liar. She is a liar.
WALSH: Right. Clearly, she`s a liar by the testimony this morning.
PINSKY: And even if it was an accident -- I think we`re all kind of coming to the same conclusion, that it might have been an accident. I`m saying maybe a drug-induced accident.
PINSKY: Both the Janes I think were saying it might have been an accident, but that Casey still is a culpable. But is it premeditated? Is it first-degree murder? Is there evidence to that?
WALSH: I think the crimes that happened, happened after the child died.
PINSKY: Oh, the cover-up?
WALSH: The covering up, yes.
PINSKY: Well, there`s no doubt that what looks decent on the surface here -- listen, you`re as sick as your secret, we say, in family systems. And this is a family with lots of secrets. There`s mistresses and secrets between him and the mistress. I mean, this is --
WALSH: And her with all the boyfriends and the lies about what she did for a living.
PINSKY: And the drugs and the not drugs. And maybe she`s not a full- blown addict. Maybe I`m going too far by saying that.
It doesn`t excuse any of this. I understand when people get so outraged and angry at Casey and Casey`s behavior. It`s very frustrating to watch. But I think we`re seeing a family that`s very tightly bound, like you`re saying, Wendy.
Thank you, both the Janes. I appreciate you guys for your input.
And thank you, ladies.
WEINTRAUB: Thank you.
PINSKY: And Wendy, of course, as well.
And we`re taking your calls about Casey Anthony and the trial, next.
PINSKY: Now, many of you have taken a great interest in the Casey Anthony trial and have flooded our e-mail, Facebook and Twitter pages with your comments and questions. So let`s get some phone calls in.
Estella in Arizona, go ahead.
ESTELLA, ARIZONA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
What I don`t understand, if Casey was abused, how on earth does she have so many boyfriends in her life? From what I`ve read, when someone is sexually abused, they tend to isolate themselves and may feel uncomfortable being in the relationship. How could she have gotten pregnant if she was so traumatized of sexual abuse?
PINSKY: That`s a good question but a misconception. In fact, women that are sexually abused are at risk for sex addiction.
They tend to have very promiscuous relationships. They feel uncomfortable and withdrawn from real intimacies and stable relationships, because that`s where it`s threatening, where they`re vulnerable. But they will act out sexually in ways very, very familiar to Casey.
I mean, that sort of looked like -- it wouldn`t be unusual for somebody with a history of sexual addiction to behave the way she did. Drug addicts behave that way, too, so it doesn`t have to be sex addiction necessarily. And sometimes people who weren`t abused behave that way. So it`s not necessarily evidence.
Now, Julie writes, "Can certain family dynamics create for a personality disorder?"
For sure. There are obviously genetic liabilities for personality disorders, as there are with any mental health issue. There`s always a genetic component there. But absolutely.
Things people grow up with and trauma, sexual abuse, physical abuse, being very, very common these days. Let`s call it an inciting influence for personality dysfunction. And, of course, family systems where there is people acting out in traumatic ways on children tend to not be the healthiest of families.
Methan wants to know, "How do you or is to possible to treat a sociopath?"
Let`s kind of tell people what a sociopath is.
It really is somebody who just doesn`t appreciate that other people exist as autonomous agents. In other words, for a sociopath, another person is sort of just there for their, let`s say, pleasure or amusement or exploitation. They don`t really feel like other people have feelings, and particularly in certain moments, they can`t empathize at all with other people.
So that makes it very difficult to engage them in any kind of therapeutic process where you can change. And like anything, you have to want to change in mental health treatment in order to change. And for sociopaths, they don`t want to change. They see anything that`s happening to them as a problem with the world, not with them.
Narcissists are this way, too.
Sometimes they will hit bottom and be willing to change. Again, not all of them. And it`s very, very difficult and takes a lot of time.
In my world, drug addiction often coexists with sociopathy, or a sociopath. And 12-step does go a long way to helping with that stuff.
All right. Donna asks, "Have you ever seen a case where a sexual abuse victim is healthy and well balanced later in life?"
Yes, actually, I have. I`ve certainly -- just because you`ve been sexually abused doesn`t mean it`s a death sentence to your mental health, but it certainly leaves a residual. It always has some effect. But it may not be profound.
Now, if you are at all curious about the life of a sex addict, I want you to stay with us. We`re going to talk to a sex addict. He`s actually a physician and an internist, just like myself, whose sex addiction nearly ruined his marriage.
He then got very involved in treatment, as did his wife. And she has got a new book out. And she`s actually who we`re going to talk to first. And the treatment that both of them engaged in actually made their relationship stronger. It`s in fact the case that when there`s a sex addict, the couples often stay together and often end up in a very, very good place, as you will see in this story coming up.
PINSKY: You hear about sex addiction all the time, but have you ever met a sex addict? We`re about to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): We`re talking about a couple about what it did to them, how they survived it, and why it made their marriage stronger.
And later, we`re going to talk a little bit about Jeff Conaway. He had severe addiction, and he died earlier today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): This is something that affects, believe it or not, about 5 percent of the population. It is sexual addiction. It`s one of the most rapidly increasing diagnostic categories, particularly, internet porn sexual addiction. It can wreck lives and marriages, especially when left untreated.
Tonight, we`re talking to Maurita Corcoran, who has been married to a sex addict for 28 years. Maurita has written a book, just published about her experience called "A House Interrupted." The book chronicles her pain and the pain caused by her husband`s double life. Now, later in the show, Maurita`s husband, Ben, will be here. First, we`re going to talk to Maurita about this book and why you decided to write it.
MAURITA CORCORAN, AUTHOR, "A HOUSE INTERRUPTED": The reason why I wanted to write this book was because in the area that I live in, in a very small coastal town on the coast of South Carolina, this is happening. It`s actually an explosive problem in our community. And, 14 years ago, when this first happened, I thought I was the only one.
And after three years of getting into recovery and not meeting anybody that had been -- had stayed married to a sex addict, I finally was able to have the opportunity to meet another woman that came forward that was dealing with her husband`s pornography. And so, together, we started a group, a local group of esinon.
PINSKY: Well, hold on. I know you`re ahead of my viewers on this, because I know exactly what you`re talking about, but let`s sort of lay out how this happens and what the recovery process is like, and also point out, you know, a lot of men in the news today, we got Schwarzenegger, and we got John Edwards, sounds awfully familiar to you, doesn`t it?
CORCORAN: Yes, it does. Very much.
PINSKY: Yes. I mean, what is your perspective on those guys? And I think most viewers would wonder that and how your husband got away with this.
CORCORAN: Well, the -- talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger, for instance, the only thing that I would have to comment about that is the betrayal of --
PINSKY: Which is something you experienced.
CORCORAN: Which is something that I experienced. Just must be astounding and -- as the mother of four children as well, I just wish her the best. I know that she has a wonderful family and great circle of friends.
PINSKY: Do you think she should -- I mean -- this is something I think people would be surprised about at home that I`ve treated a number of couples like you over the years, and most of them stay together and most of them end up in a very good place after they get treatment because they both contributed to the process. Not that there`s, you know, not somebody who was betrayed, somebody was betrayed.
PINSKY: But you contribute, right? And you both get better and end up in a much more stable intimacy when you get treatment. Is it sad to see the Schwarzeneggers break up?
CORCORAN: That`s one thing I`ve learned in dealing with a lot of women that have come forward dealing with all different types of sexual addiction. As you said, the internet addiction is explosive. So, I think that that`s every woman`s choice and every woman`s right and choice to come to that conclusion whether they want to stay. And the key point for me, the reason why I stayed was because my husband was very willing to take an honest look at himself and to do the work that was necessary to change his behavior.
PINSKY: Excellent. Now, tell us what -- how you found out and then what you did.
CORCORAN: OK. Fourteenyears into my marriage, my husband`s behavior started becoming more erratic. He`s a very successful physician in town. And he started being very disrespectful to me, not being where he was supposed to be. He was unaccountable with his time. which is a problem with -- which is very easy for doctors to do. And I found out when we were out at a wedding out in San Diego, and his behavior was absolutely out of control.
He was lusting after a bridesmaid at a wedding that we were at. And I had just had a enough. And I said, you have to two go -- you`re out of the house. I`m not going to have you in the house like this. And he did get help. The counselor that he went to, the therapist said, you are in serious trouble, and you need to go away. And I was shocked. I had no idea. I thought that he was just flirting. There was no big drug or alcohol use. So, I had no idea what was -- that he was living a double life.
PINSKY: Did he come clean at that point?
CORCORAN: He did not come clean. He told the therapist that we went to a little bit, and the therapist knew -- had done some training in sexual addiction. And he knew that he was in trouble. So, he sent him away, and my husband eventually went to Menninger in Topeka, Kansas, and he -- about three days into his treatment program, he called me and told me to read a book called "Out of the Shadows" by Patrick Karnes.
PINSKY: Patrick Karnes is sort of a grandfather of the sexual addiction field. "Out of the Shadows," excellent book. I recommend it. A good book. And for people like, maybe like you too, some of the Pia Mellody books, is that right?
PINSKY: Some of the Pia Mellody stuff. So, yes. It`s very good books for people at home thinking that they may be related just have somebody with this in their lives. So, he recommended this book. Did he come clean then?
CORCORAN: Well, he called me. I read the book, and I was stunned. Now, this happened 14 years ago, so sexual addiction was not as talked about as it is today. So, he called me back two or three days later, and the only thing I could remotely think that he was doing was masturbation because he had talked about that with his friends, joking around.
PINSKY: Internet porn?
CORCORAN: No, I didn`t even know about the internet pornography. The only thing I guessed was masturbation. Dr. Karnes categorizes sexual addiction in three different categories. So, when my husband called me, he said -- I asked him, I said, so what stage are you? And he said one, which is where the masturbation was in that category. So, I was relieved, although, I thought that`s kind of weird.
How do you get addicted to masturbation? But -- so I said, well, what part of that category are you -- have you been dealing with? And he said almost all of it. After that statement, you know, that changed my life forever.
PINSKY: Your heart just sank?
CORCORAN: Yes. I think a part of me died, definitely. That -- I fell to the floor and I just -- I think I went into shock. And I definitely -- everything -- my whole world changed. Everything that I thought of was not true. I mean, my whole life was a lie.
PINSKY: So, everything you thought about who your husband was, what your relationship was, what your family looked like, just vanished right in front of your eyes?
CORCORAN: Right, gone.
PINSKY: What a betrayal.
CORCORAN: It was a terrible betrayal. And so, the book starts right after I find that out. And that -- I have written the book surrounding my journal entries that my therapist encouraged me to write about.
PINSKY: Let`s get right to that because we have just about a minute left. What is it that you -- so you`re the one betrayed? So, he`s the identified patient. You needed to do some work, too, it turned out, right?
CORCORAN: I sure did.
PINSKY: What is that work? Spell it out for people in a minute if you can. I know it`s years of work, but in a minute.
CORCORAN: I immediately started going to a very competent therapist. The therapy was absolutely critical because he really knew about how to deal with trauma. He knew how to deal with shock, co-dependency, and sexual addiction.
PINSKY: Did you go to 12-step? An Al-Anon or Esi-non?
CORCORAN: I went to Al-Anon first, and then later, Esi-non, and then, I also -- he also said, you need a spiritual foundation. So, get a spiritual mentor.
PINSKY: Give people a thumbnail of what these co co-dependency 12- step programs are like because people just don`t -- I recommend those all the time and people rarely go. Just the thumbnail.
CORCORAN: They force you to take the focus off whoever is the problem in your life, and they force you to look at yourself.
PINSKY: With other people who`ve done the same.
CORCORAN: Other people have done the same.
PINSKY: OK. Next, we`ve got Maurita`s husband. He`s going to join us and talk about why he lied to Maurita about his sexual addictions and what it was like to finally get help. It`s going to be very intense, and I applaud them for coming forward to this. Hopefully, some of you out there will be helped by this. And if somebody tells you to go to a Al-Ananon or an Esi-non program, go, get a sponsor. If you`re not part of the solution, you`re part of the problem.
PINSKY: All right. Welcome back. We`re here talking with Maurita Corcoran who wrote a book. It`s just out. It`s called "A House Interrupted." It`s about her years living with her husband who has come forward as a sex addict. Joining us is, in fact, Maurita`s husband, Ben, who has been treated for sexual addiction. Now, Ben, my first question would be, why go public with this?
"BEN," SEX ADDICT: Well, my life`s been so radically changed by getting healed and my giving back. And again, I work with people both professionally and personally in the field of addiction, sexual addiction, in particular. And we feel so strongly that this is such a powerful, such a humongous problem that we`re willing to stand out and be visible and talk about this.
PINSKY: Before you -- I`m fascinated by that. Before we hear your personal story, what do you see the scope of the problem? I think every day when we look at the press, you`re hearing about sex addicts. Do you agree with that?
BEN: It is epidemic.
BEN: I mean, just in our small community, it is epidemic. I would not be surprised if one in three men, and maybe similar statistics in women, based on what we`re seeing and what we`re hearing, so it is a huge problem. Shrouded in secrecy. Shrouded in denial --
PINSKY: And shame.
BEN: And shame.
PINSKY: What is the basis for all of this do you think? Is it all the trauma in childhood? Is it the sexualization of our culture? Is the combination of these things?
BEN: I think it`s a combination of things. In my particular situation, I think it was a shame core. I found an outlet very early on, and it worked for me. It was a way of medicating myself in isolation. And I lived in a culture that promoted those things. And it took on a life of its own.
PINSKY: How bad did it get? What happened?
BEN: Well, I mean, my life had evolved from adolescence into adulthood with masturbation. Multiple sexual partners. Even as I was dating and even into our marriage, you know, I had anonymous sex, had gotten into prostitution, definitely got into internet pornography when that --
PINSKY: Can I stop you? Maurita, how do you handle hearing this even now?
CORCORAN: I have to tell you that 14 years later, the pain is not there anymore, and it`s because that I have, first of all learned, about this and accept this as a disease. I believe truly that his problems are a disease. And the fact that his disease was so long and started manifesting itself really in medical school, I had only known him a year before that. So, I was able to see that this did not -- this was not about me.
PINSKY: It`s nothing to do you with you.
CORCORAN: It had nothing to do with me. This man has a very serious problem.
PINSKY: And Ben, you`re a physician. Like myself, you`re an internist. And you mentioned to me during the break, there`s something you thought that we mentioned together, Maurita and I, that was important.
BEN: Yes. Marriages can survive.
PINSKY: Do, often, right?
BEN: If everyone does the work.
PINSKY: Yes. What does that mean? People may not understand what that means out there because work, they feel like they can read a book and that`s the work. Work is experiential.
PINSKY: It`s hard to describe. can you take a crack at that? No pun intended.
BEN: In our situation, it was both of us willing to look at ourselves and take responsibility for what role we had to play in this process. And I had done that. I did not want to lose my marriage and family. My life had unraveled. As good as my life appeared on the surface, financially and with all the trimmings of living, you know, a very good life, I had this double life that I was leading that was in the darkness, in the shadows.
And it got to the point where I had so much crash and guilt, shame, anxiety, and depression. Then, when it all came crashing down, I welcomed the idea of getting help. So, that self-discovery process for me was very powerful.
PINSKY: Was there a bottom for you?
BEN: Bottom for me was losing my family, losing everything financially. Things that unraveled to the point where I was about to lose everything that was important to me.
PINSKY: I understand that was a relapse along the way, which is so typical of addiction. Can you tell me about that?
BEN: Relapse happened at about five years of recovery. It happened because things were going great. Things were going well. I began to accept this notion that maybe I`m cured. I started backing off meetings. I started backing off all the things that were working for me, working with other addicts, working with people who were support network. I started backing away from that, backing away from my spiritual program.
And low and behold, the ideas and the intrusive thoughts came back. And once I started to entertain those thoughts, I thought maybe I could dabble in those thoughts. And before I knew it, I was right back in it all over again.
PINSKY: The anatomy of a relapse is kind of interesting because it`s something usually promotes you or gives you the sort of justification for pulling away from your program. Was something going on in your life that you weren`t attending to?
BEN: Well, again, I got back into the feeling and belief that I knew it was best for me.
PINSKY: I`m normal.
BEN: I`m normal. I`m cured.
PINSKY: Again, so people understand, I`ll give each of you a chance to talk about this. Is this something you have to work on on a daily basis?
CORCORAN: I believe so. We did this through -- when we say hard work, I`m talking about grueling therapy sessions.
PINSKY: Together or individually or both?
CORCORAN: Little bit of both but mostly separately especially at the beginning.
PINSKY: What does that mean, grueling therapy? What do you mean?
CORCORAN: We had a therapist that was just -- would not let us off the hook. That really -- and I`m so grateful that he was like that because --
PINSKY: Give me an example of what you mean by that. Was there some emotional issue that you just didn`t want to address and he insisted he could feel it there?
CORCORAN: Well, he would insist that -- for instance, he wanted me to find a spiritual mentor. And part -- when Ben talks about shame, how shame based sexual addiction is, it`s also very shameful, at least, I was very ashamed to be married to someone like that. Married to a man that I fathered children with who would do that. So, the women that I wrote this book for, hopefully, will se that we do not have to be ashamed.
It`s not our shame to carry because we didn`t even do it in the first place. So, -- so, finding a spiritual mentor was very humiliating for me because he asked me to find -- it happened to be my senior pastor`s wife.
PINSKY: But she ended up being delightful, I`m sure.
CORCORAN: She was wonderful.
PINSKY: It`s your shame.
CORCORAN: It was my shame.
PINSKY: Yes. Not her judgment of you. Your shame.
CORCORAN: That was right. That`s right.
PINSKY: Ben, similar program?
BEN: Similar. I have had just wonderful opportunities to be challenged by men, both spiritually and in my professional life with therapy and counseling. And, again, it`s imperative that I do an active program every day. I`m still involved in 12-steps. I`m still involved with talking to people. I`m still involved with accountability. I`m very involved with my spiritual program. We`re very involved with our church.
PINSKY: And I bet if we were to talk to you ten years ago as opposed to now, we`d find you quite a different person, because people are very transformed by these experiences.
BEN: Dramatically different.
PINSKY: Where did your shame come from? I understand you`re ashamed of being a sex addict, but usually, as you said, there`s a shame core that you`re medicating. Can you talk about where the source of that shame was? Even if not personally, at least, in generality. If somebody at home is managing shame, they can understand that connection between usually trauma and shame.
BEN: Yes, I`m not sure specifically where it came from for me, but at a very early age, I felt that I just was worthless, broken, inadequate. I felt embarrassed. My whole life has been designed to try and overcompensate for that. I was an athlete --
PINSKY: Is it narcissism? Was that part of the core?
BEN: There was an element of that. So much so overcompensating for the inadequacies that many ways I felt entitled. And, you know, I`ve been a very fortunate person. I`ve lived a very comfortable life. And I`ve taken liberty and luxuries that, again, I felt entitled.
PINSKY: It`s such a common thing now, the narcissistic shame-based core that people have. And a lot of people that go into careers like ours or in positions of power and authority, and then, when they behave badly, people go, how`s that possible? I think this story is very, very common. These very feelings are the ones that people are compensating for, would you agree?
BEN: Definitely, and what makes it even more difficult is professionals, clergy, and others, that I know and work with, we`re in a glass bubble. It`s even harder to come out.
PINSKY: It`s not supposed to happen to you.
BEN: It`s not supposed to happen. So, now, we have to hide it even to a higher degree. The shame goes to another level.
PINSKY: I get you. And I appreciate you having the courage to come out and talk with my viewers about this. It`s a very important story, and I wish you the best on the book. Thank you, Ben. Good luck on the work.
BEN: Thank you very much.
PINSKY: Hopefully, we can communicate over the upcoming months.
When we come back, I`m going to have a few words about a patient of mine, Jeff Conaway, who passed away today.
PINSKY: All right. I am -- this is kind of emotional for me because the patient of mine died today. Someone I`ve worked with for many, many years, and someone that we all loved. I`ve had the great -- the great good fortune of getting to know his family through all this. They were there at vigil, at Jeff Conaway`s side throughout his medical illness. Jeff was a severe, severe opiate addict with chronic pain, one of the most serious and dangerous combinations of problems you can possibly interact with and one I see all the time.
And we live in a time when opioids and opiate pain medication is so available and so readily passed out, but for somebody like Jeff, who is a severe drug addict, he never seemed to be able to get away from it. The pain seemed to keep motivating him back to the opiates. I told him for years that it was going to kill him, and what happens is, like with most opiate addicts, eventually, they take a little too much, not much more than usual, often, and they aspirate, some of what`s in their mouth gets into their lungs.
That causes a rapidly progressing, an overwhelming pneumonia that they usually don`t know they have because they`re sort of too out of it because of the drugs. And then, by the time they get to the hospital, it`s too late. That is what happened with Jeff. He went into from overwhelming pneumonia to septic shock. They induced a coma, initially.
There`s no evidence that he ever intentionally overdosed. And then, when they lightened the coma up to see if he would come out, there was really not much left behind. And by then, the sepsis, the overwhelming infection through his body have been present for so long that there was just no coming back. Mike, did you meet Jeff?
MIKE CATHERWOOD, DR. DREW`S "LOVELINE" CO-HOST: No, not personally.
PINSKY: He`s somebody that everybody loved. I mean, it`s hard not to love that guy. But, you know, we deal with this all the time. You`re a recovering addict.
CATHERWOOD: Right. And as someone who is an addict and is a proud member of the recovery community, I`m so concerned for the problem, the plague that is --
CATHERWOOD: Opiate-based painkillers.
CATHERWOOD: I never, in a million years, thought that it would reach this level. When I first started toying with the idea of getting clean about ten years ago, I was surprised to meet someone at a meeting that was dealing with opiate addiction.
PINSKY: Pills. It was mostly cocaine and heroin.
CATHERWOOD: You know, the standard, cocaine, methamphetamine, booze. And now, when I go to meetings --
PINSKY: The rest is old-fashioned now.
CATHERWOOD: I know. I have to search out people that aren`t dealing with pill popping. It`s become an American plague, and I -- knowing firsthand the workings of an addict`s mind, I can fully understand how someone can convince themselves -- as an addict you`re already defensive and you justify your use to begin with.
CATHERWOOD: Now, you put a doctor`s signature on that and a stamp of approval --
PINSKY: It`s game on. And if you have pain, you have some legitimate pain needs, somebody says this is the only way you`re going to be OK.
PINSKY: With addicts, too, the pain amplifies with the use.
CATHERWOOD: That was my question, Dr. Drew is that at what point does that become psychosomatic and you start inventing the pain only to feed the addiction?
PINSKY: It`s not psychosomatic. It`s that the misery of pain is amplified by opiates. It does an affect of component of pain but the misery of it that`s deeply amplified by use of opiates in the addict brain, and so, the drive goes up and up with time, and it`s just -- I just want people to remember, opiate addiction is a deadly disease. It kills people all the time.
We are dealing with a fatal illness more likely to kill you than the vast, vast, vast majority of cancers. That is the fact, and I lost a patient today. And frankly, I`m sick of it. I`m tired of it. it makes me angry almost more than anything else. So, please, if you know somebody with opiate addiction, get them to care. Go to a meeting, raise your hand, and let`s say a prayer for Jeff and his family. Thank you. See you next time.