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Amy Winehouse Dead at 27
Aired July 25, 2011 - 21:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go. Amy Winehouse, the death everyone expected but few were prepared for. Why do we keep hearing this tragic story?
And later, the trial is on for so-called polygamous prophet Warren Jeffs. The prosecutors say he impregnated a 12-year-old girl. Sickening, but the parents are letting it happen to their own daughters. How is this even possible?
Let`s go figure this out.
Amy Winehouse dead at 27. A five-time Grammy winner, but as big as her talent there was something bigger, her addictive disease.
Her death is untimely, senseless but unfortunately not shocking, not surprising. Because addiction, we have to remind ourselves, is a fatal condition. Her parents knew it. That`s why they went public with the disease in 2009, in an attempt to help her.
Now I feel I really need to say something to her parents if you guys will permit me for a second. And that is this I have to something to her parents to all from which is this is not your fault.
It`s no different if your child had cancer or other fatal conditions, it a nature of this disease She was a sick person with a fatal condition. It is not your fault.
Amy unfortunately resists accepting that the disease was fatal. She attempted treatment, but left early in June, went back out on the road again. And for an open addict like Amy Winehouse, recovery takes years, not months and it has to be practiced on a daily basis. This is why the prognosis for opiate addiction is worse than for cancers. Remember that.
Robert Downey Jr is alive because he left his career focus on one thing, his recovery without concerning himself on when he`s going to comeback.
All the struggles of famous addicts like Amy Winehouse makes the news but there are millions across the country in the grips of addiction. It is the problem of our time.
So let`s use Amy`s death as a reminder just how difficult this disease is and how desperately its victims are in need of help.
All right. Only a matter of time. Those are the words from the grieving mother of Amy Winehouse who died this weekend of addiction.
Watch this. Then we will talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Breaking news from London where Grammy winning singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The gifted singer Amy Winehouse found dead in her home. She was just 27.
RAJ KOHLI, SUPERINTENDENT, UK POLICE: I am aware of reports saying the death is the result of a suspected overdose.
AMY WINEHOUSE, SINGER: My management stepped in at this time thinking they`re strong arming me into a rehabilitation center. But just didn`t really need it.
MITCH WINEHOUSE, FATHER OF AMY WINEHOUSE: I knew one thing. That was love. Her whole live.
(END VIDEO LIP)
PINSKY: Sadly that song we all loved and propelled Amy to superstardom, rehab added an ironic twist to this death. As the world continues to speculate on the precise cause of her death, a police inspector from London provided this cautionary statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KOHLI: I am aware of reports suggesting the death was a result of a suspected drug overdose. But I would like to reemphasize that no postmortem examination has yet taken place. And it would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of death.
(END VIDEO LIP)
PINSKY: You know what? I have to say it`s not inappropriate because she had a fatal disease. 27-year-olds don`t just die. And if she ends up having pneumonia or her heart stopped or infection or whatever it is you know overdose or suicide, this is all secondary to addiction. That`s the fatal disease. The primary cause may be something else. But 27-year-olds, when they die, when they have addiction it`s at least related, deaths to the addiction.
Discussing this with me is a claimed actor Tom Sizemore. He apparently is a friend of Amy Winehouse.
Also, I`ve got Henry Meller. He is here and Amy`s former boss. He knew her for ten years.
And Melanie Bromley is the West Coast Bureau chief of "Us Weekly" magazine.
Melanie, do you have the latest foe us I mean on her death?
MELANIE BROMLEY, WEST COAST BUREAU CHIEF, "US WEEKLY" MAGAZINE: What we know at the moment is there is going to be a funeral tomorrow. It`s just been announced. And her parents were very kin to be able to say their good-byes as soon as possible.
But obviously we`re still awaiting the toxicology reports in the UK which won`t be for another month.
PINSKY: At least right?
BROMLEY: At least.
PINSKLY: They did an autopsy yesterday?
BROMLEY: Did an autopsy today actually. So we`ve got to just wait for the results to see what the final conclusion is as far as her death.
PINSKY: OK. Again, as a physician I can speculate. And this is not to make light of Amy`s death or be disrespectful in any way. But when you don`t find a specific cause and somebody`s an addict you wait for the toxicology and that`s usually what it is.
Let`s be fair.
BROMLEY: What we actually do know was that the police have sources within the metropolitan police that say there were no drug proscenia things found with her body.
Now, that something that you know you might have like felt that would be a different kind of result because you know that very interesting notion that she was alone.
But also, that`s what we know reports suggest that she had had a medical the day before she died on the Friday.
PINSKY: Well, that frightens me even more because what happens to my patients more often than not is they get pills from doctors and then that`s what kills them.
Tom, I`m going out to you. Do you have any thoughts on this, what`s happening here and speculation?
TOM SIZEMORE, RECOVERING ADDICT: We won`t know for sure I`ve been told by a friend until October. But I think you`re right. 27-year-olds don`t just fall over especially when she had an enormously big drug problem. I mean --
PINSKY: Well Tom, and that`s the part that the public gets their head around.
SIZEMORE: I know when I`m with one because I am one who`s in recovery. But I was one not in recovery, so there`s a shared -- like with bob forest who you work with. When I met him, there was a shared I`m a dope fiend and so I am and we should know each other.
She had that look in her eye. She had a big drug problem. Real big one.
PINSKY: And Tom, let me just say this. I`m going to interrupt you. Because I think the part that kills me about these stories is how the public doesn`t understand how unbelievably difficult it is for an addict to stay sober.
Can you please address that? They want to blame the addict. They want to blame the disease. It is such a difficult task to stay sober.
SIZEMORE: It`s the hardest thing I`ve ever done. And I have two years and 53 days today and that`s not a lot of time actually. I only got today and - I`m all is saying is that I could it. I thought I could do it.
I`m a very willful person. I woke up years ago and I said I`m not doing this today. No dope. And it was cocaine first, then heroin, then meth, whatever.
Every time I said that to myself, I wasn`t able to do it. Within 20 minutes to an hour, I bought myself some drugs. Even though I had with an open heart and sincere heart said tomorrow I`m not doing it. I couldn`t stop. I didn`t know how to stop. I was an addict. It`s a self-diagnosed disease. You don`t want to admit you have one.
And it`s a self-diagnosis disease. You know what when you have one and when things are working like when you`re a famous person like she was and like I was. Making a lot of money and - in the beginning you can fool people, have people helping you fool people.
Then one day it just, boom. Something happens. You`re arrested. Something happens and the walls -- holes develop in the walls of your bull- shit are facade. It`s out there like it was for me.
It happened real fast for her. Everyone knew it was out there. She was just so young you kind of thought like with Lindsay -- I`m 49 years old. I`ve only been clean two years in miracle on earth. And these gals are going to use the way they`re using now, they`re going to die. Hands down.
PINSKY: Yes. That`s exactly right.
SIZEMORE: And a lot of other people we don`t know that aren`t famous are going to die. That`s the way it goes.
PINSKY: That`s right. And one of the ways I know that Tom and people like Tom`s careers are doing well, you see them start to blossom. And Tom`s going to be in this fall he`ll be in Hawaii five-O.
I want to say this about Amy Winehouse`s death had it had tremendous impacts on artist all over the world. And here`s some celebrity tweets.
Fellow Grammy winner Leann Rimes tweeted "RIP Amy Winehouse. So sad to see such a talent gone and her life end in tragedy."
Elton John tweeted "she was one of the most seminal artists this country has ever produced."
And Amy`s good friend, Kelly Osbourne tweeted "I can`t even breath right now I`m crying so hard I just lost one of my best friends. I love you forever Amy and will never forget the real you."
Henry, reports say Kelly and Amy were really good friends, talked on the phone even the night before the death. Do you know about that?
HENRY MELLER, AMY WINHOUSE`S FORMER BOSS: I know her and Kelly went through things of feeling like they were outsiders in the British press. I think they certainly became good friends over the last few years. That sounds definitely possible to me.
PINSKY: And she worked for you as your assistant?
MELLER: Yes. She was supposed to be my assistant, my secretary ten years ago. And she was just only 17. She was kicked out of school, to be young out of school and --
PINSKY: For using drugs?
MELLER: No for constant rebellious behavior, refusing to listen to teachers. She pierced her own nose at one point that caused commotion but just general being a rebel. Not drugs at that point.
PINSKY: How was she as an assistant?
MELLER: Both wonderful and terrible at the same time. (inaudible). She was terrible at what she was supposed to be doing which was taking messages and making calls more something but she made it an incredible place to work because she`d walk around the office, belting out this Billy Holiday songs and she mimic about. She had an extraordinary talent.
PINSKY: Melanie, you`re shaking your head.
BROMLEY: Well, just you know she was a girl of extremes. That`s what we know about her. Is she was somebody who was always like very up or very down. And actually always had this great talent. Knew she had a great talent and it meant everything to her.
But, yes, I think the Serbia concert when she performed and sadly it went so badly wrong. I think that was a very low moment for her and really started a period of sadness for the girl.
PINSKY: Interesting. Thank you, guys.
Up next, British singing sensation Estelle is a close friend of Amy Winehouse. She shares memories of Amy when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEP CLIP)
MITCH WINEHOUSE, FATHER OF AMY WINEHOUSE: Let me get it straight. I can`t tell you what (inaudible). It really makes this easier for us. I knew it`s about one thing and that was love. Her whole life was devoted to her family and friends and you guys as well.
So we`re devastated. Thanks for coming.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: please accept our condolences.
MITCH WINEHOUSE: Thanks very much.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEP CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Grammy goes to Amy Winehouse.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That was Amy Winehouse at the 2008 Grammy awards where she won an incredible five Grammys.
I`m back with Tom Sizemore who will soon be starring in Hawaii Five-O on CBS.
Also is joining me here is Shelly Sprague. She is a Chemical dependent councilor and my resident technician on celebrity rehab. She herself also recovering cocaine and heroin addict.
With us on the phone now is Grammy winner Estelle. She was a close friend of Amy Winehouse.
Estelle, please tell me about your friendship with Amy.
ESTELLE, FRIEND OF AMY WINEHOUSE (via telephone): I knew Amy; we all came up on the scene together in London. So you know close friend isn`t probably the best description, but she was definitely somebody that we all come out together you know we were on the same stage. We were at the same shows and same parties and hung out in the same places.
You know I know and I respect her as an artist. As a human, she was just a nice girl. You know she was a really cool girl.
PINSKY: Do you have any sense of why she was so resistant to really get into recovery and getting through the addiction?
ESTELLE: I think none of us can ever even begin to understand that. Unless you actually a musician and this is something you`ve lived through and gone through, no one can begin to understand to prepare for the amount of exposure that happens when you become an artist on that Grammy train that would want you know just giggling and say you know but its underground. It just come a whole juggernaut.
So, there`s no real way to -- I don`t think anyone can really talk about you know why she was this or she didn`t want to do this or why she did this. All I know is it`s a very individual experience.
PINSKY: But I do have to ask the question over and over again. Here we go again. I mean, here we are, another celebrity, another great talent.
I mean, how long is it going to take before public gets their head around this that we`re able to intervene more effectively? What do you think?
SHELLY SPRAGUE, RESIDENT TECHNICIAN, "CELEBRITY REHAB`: Well, unfortunately what I see is that people cannot understand the severity of the disease of addiction. And I think the denial system in the whole family helps that process.
PINSKY: looks like - but we have denial in the entire country, the entire world. People look at this and say it`s Amy`s fault or they don`t understand it or how is this possible.
We`re doing these stories all the time now.
SPRAGUE: The distortion of drug addiction and the distortion of the patient themselves or the user themselves and the way they come across, they try to hide it. Cover it. Hide it. Then other people get involved like Tom was saying. Helping you hide it. And that whole system breaks down. And what you have to do to get clean and sober is change everything. Give yourself an entire year, year and a half, two years of no business, no stage, no nothing but people aren`t willing to do that.
PINSKY: Listen to this. Her death at the age of 27 puts her in something that is being called the "27 club", a tragically growing number by chronic musician who died at the age of 27. It includes names like Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix.
And Shelly, we worked to a lot of musicians, you and I over the years. Why do you - Do you have any speculation why 27?
SPRAGUE: Well, I think its ten years from the onset.
PINSKY: That`s what I said. Don`t we see a lot of poly-drug addicted people started in their late teens, pope its primary, they die at 28.
SPRAGUE: 27, 28. I think that`s what exactly what it is. It`s poly addiction.
PINSKY: And some get into recovery and they`re able to extend it out for a few decades. But if they don`t really stay in recover, they don`t see 50. That`s how it works.
SPRAGUE: No. Exactly.
PINSKY: So like every disease, there`s a predictable pattern to it.
SPRAGUE: Yes, there is a very predictable pattern. Also aren`t you saying - also the 25 mark where the brain starts to function together -
PINSKY: Yes, that`s another feature too cause brain develop in all that may have something to do with it.
Tom, you had something to say?
SIZEMORE: For our audience, define terms. Is it - and for me too by poly addiction. You don`t mean addiction to two different drugs. You mean a psychiatric condition like bipolar addiction combined with drug addiction? Right? Like I was addicted to meth and heroin. Is that poly addiction?
SPRAGUE: Poly substance abuse is usually starting with alcohol and cannabis then moving to some sort of speed or cocaine to correct that then over to opiates to correct that. Then the combination of everything in the early 20s ends usually in either getting into recovery out of desperation and being on death`s door or the inevitable death as we`re seeing here today.
SIZEMORE: Shelly, I didn`t know that. I was that. I was a poly substance abuser. I fall into that. And ten years, you say at 17 or 18, ten years is sustained use.
SPRAGUE: You have one or two choices.
PINSKY: Tom, I`m happy you`re not one of the other choices. I`m happy you`re the good choice.
But Estelle -- I have to interrupt you Tom. Shelly and tom is going to stay with me return later in the show.
Estelle I`m going to lose you. So I just want to know is do you have final thoughts for us on Amy and how she should be remembered? I hope it`s not just her addiction that she`d be remembered for.
ESTELLE: No. That is the one thing I don`t want to do that. I hope that people get and understand that music is music and we live what we do. And I hope that people really truly get and understand that I don`t want Amy to just be remembered for her addictions and problems. But for the music and the things she spoke about.
PINKSY: Than you Estelle. Thank you, my dear.
And thank you. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMY WINEHOUSE: When the club seen (inaudible)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: The death of Amy Winehouse illuminates on going the problem of addiction in our society. And many of you have some fascinating questions. Let`s get to it.
Becky in Alabama, you`re first up. Go ahead.
BECKY, CALLER, ALABAMA (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew. I think addiction is misunderstood. I was wondering if you could address the ridiculous belief that addicts are completely in control of their situation and can easily help and cure themselves if they want to.
PINSKY: Yes, the simplest way I can answer that for people that have gross misconception is that addiction is a brain disease. And we have a difficulty in this country understanding that things can affect our brain that affects our thinking and free will. And that is the nature of this disease; it`s the disturbance of motivation priorities
So the thing that the addict starts thinking is appropriate, they believe, they deny, they distort. And that keeps them in their disease. It`s not until they`ve been sober for quite some time and they begin to have insight and that motivation for sobriety usually comes from a dire event we call hitting bottom. It`s difficult to reach them before that. They are not in control of their will. It`s broken.
Richelle in California, what`s on your mind?
RICHELLE, CALLER, CALIFORNIA (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew. Fortunately, I had a few people get upset with me when I called my drug problem a disease. They tell me it`s not a disease. It`s not cancer.
People with cancer can`t turn it off or on. Can you tell me why people feel this way?
PINSKY: Yes. People have great difficulty getting their head around things that affect the brain. You know ask them and you know really challenge them.
What is a disease then? What thing is a disease? How do we know disease when we see one?
A disease is a complex relationship between the biological makeup of the individual and the environment that result in abnormal state of biology. We call that Pathophysiology. And in case of addiction, it something the goes on the brain that`s where the symptoms and the history comes from an abnormal physiology in the brain.
But challenge them. They don`t have a concept of what a disease is. And you`ll see if you define disease, addiction fits under the umbrella definition.
Caly on facebook asked why you think some people, like Amy Winehouse, would make a mockery out of their addiction.
PINSKY: Well, it helps support their denial. Look, they keep on pushing away the treatment with their disease. Remember, fundamentally the disease is hijacking the brain`s survival system. So the brain feels it`s though threatened with its life if you take it away. So, of course it a great strategy to keep people away.
Back quickly to the phones. Shawn in Canada. Go ahead.
SHAWN, CALLER, CANADA (via telephone): Hi, Dr Drew. I was wondering if an addict knows when they hit their bottom or if their bottom is death.
PINSKY: Well, It`s the lucky ones that hit bottom. It`s the unlucky ones that don`t like Amy Winehouse. Of course that moment of clarity is a moment they believe they`re going to die if they don`t do something. And in fact, that`s when they become willing to do something. There are other moments of clarity under near death experience, but that certainly is one that will change the direction.
Accused of sexual assault, polygamous leader Warren Jeffs was in court today. Several associates of Jeff`s have been convicted or pled guilty to similar sex crimes.
So what will happen to Jeffs himself?
We`re going to switch gears and talk about that and find out next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Warren Jeffs, to his polygamous followers, he`s a prophet with a direct line to God, but to prosecutors, he`s a child rapist who forces girls as young as 13 to marry men in their 50s. Sickening, right? But the girls` parents actually sign off on the dirty deal. Would you do that to your little girl? Of course not. It violates every maternal instinct for protection. How can these mothers do it? I`m answering that question right now.
And later, my thoughts on the tragic death of Amy Winehouse. Could we have done more to save her?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Jeffs, did you rape those two girls? Mr. Jeffs, what about the white bed in the temple?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): Accused of sexual assault, that was polygamous leader, Warren Jeffs, arriving in court today in San Angelo, Texas to stand trial on charges stemming from his spiritual marriages to two young girls ages 12 and 14 at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in West Texas. Now, although, the West Texas ranch was raided in 2008 by authorities who believed young girls were being forced into polygamous marriages, those girls were eventually returned to the ranch due to insufficient evidence.
However, other evidence collected during the raid proved enough to charge Jeffs and 11 other men with crimes including sexual assault and bigamy. Out of those 11 men, five have already been convicted, and two have pled guilty. Jury selection began today and will probably last about a week before the trial gets underway.
Joining me to talk about this tonight is Loni Coombs, a former Los Angeles county prosecutor, KTVK investigative reporter, Michael Watkiss, and we also have a former member of the FLDS who attended school where Warren Jeffs was the principal, Kathy-Jo Nicholson. Kathy-Jo, can you tell me about your affiliation and your experience with Warren Jeffs?
KATHY-JO NICHOLSON, FORMER MEMBER OF FLDS: Well, I grew up from -- I would say the age of ten having daily contact with him as my shepherd. He was the shepherd over the flock of the young. He was the principal of the school, but he really touched our lives in every aspect. The children, I mean. So, from I would say 10 to 18, he really had a huge profound influence and impact on my life.
PINSKY: What did you see him doing?
NICHOLSON: Well, at school, he was our role model. He was our dictator. Actually, if you could be more specific --
PINSKY: OK. I will. You say he`s our dictator? My understanding was you had seen him actually be physically abusive with the males. I was wondering if that`s true. And, did you ever see any sexually inappropriate behavior with the females?
NICHOLSON: As far as the physical abuse with the boys, absolutely. It ranged from physically painful, I`m sure, abuse to little boys up through young adult males to humiliation like turning someone upside down by their ankles and shaking the evil out of them in front of the congregation of the young (INAUDIBLE).
As far as the sexual abuse, we really -- looking back, I can say yes. Absolutely. I saw that on a daily basis. In a very -- well, it was inappropriate. It was a minor. Things happened behind closed doors, I`m sure. But, we really didn`t have any kind of a -- at that time, I didn`t realize what was going on.
PINSKY: I understand. You were a little kid. Of course, I understand. Now, Jeffs was incarcerated back in 2007 of charges of accomplice to rape shortly before he was -- before that he found guilty of those charges, he renounced his prophethood in this jailhouse video. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN JEFFS, POLYGAMOUS LEADER: Tell the family I will not be calling anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you. This is a test. You are the prophet.
JEFFS: This is not a test. This is a revelation. Who is never his servant. I say farewell again to all who qualify for Zion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Michael, what was he up to there? Why would he do that?
MICHAEL WATKISS, KTVK INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: I think Warren Jeffs has gone through his ups and downs while he`s been behind bars, but make no mistake about it. He is very much the leader of this community that`s at least 10,000 people strong. They continue to have ties to him, give him great amounts of money. They will follow him unquestioning. And, Mr. Jeffs is still the guy in the driver`s seat of the FLDS community.
And it`s a community whose long track record -- for someone like me who`s been covering this as long as I have, the frustration is the rest of the media starts taking note when we have a big even like this. But these guys have been marrying underage girls for generations. And, we`ve been trying to tell these stories. And it seems that only when we have an explosion of a raid -- this story did not start with the raid on the YFC ranch. It`s not going to end with the prosecution of Warren Jeffs.
The media, in some ways, just being stupid, has been complicit because they`re not really calling him out. Thank goodness, the Texas prosecutors have built cases against 12 of these men including Warren Jeffs, but it really is high time to recognize that this has been going on for decades. And until we sort of understand, you were saying that why do the mothers do this? I think a lot of the activists who have been involved in this for many years think that prosecuting a handful of men is only -- it`s a good first step, but it`s only a first step.
And I know that many of the CPS workers who worked on this case, initially, think that the mothers are every bit as culpable. But because the media from Oprah Winfrey on down went on to that ranch after the raid, and basically, oh, you know, they`re nice women in their pastel dresses. You know what? The parents are guilty of -- and I don`t want to be crass about this, but pimping their children out to get brownie points with the prophet and brownie points in heaven.
It`s good they`re holding Mr. Jeffs accountable. They`ve already tried seven of these guys. Texas juries have not found these guys amusing at all. They`ve given them very significant prison sentences. Jury selection began today in what promises to be the most high profile of these trials, the trial of Mr. Jeffs.
There seems to be very good evidence that he, himself, while on run from the law in Utah and Arizona, came down to his little shin dig over in El Dorado, Texas, that temple he built, to get away from the pressure in Utah and Arizona that activists and a few reporters have brought on him. He went down and took two underage brides at that location. He`s now on trial for that.
PINSKY: Well, thank you, Michael. Loni, what do we do with this? Michael is critical the way media is covering this thing. It`s a huge story. It`s a disgusting problem. It`s almost like the entire community is its own little Stockholm syndrome where people bought into this way of thinking about -- what do we do?
LONI COOMBS, FMR. LA COUNTY PROSECUTOR: I mean, you can`t underestimate it, and it`s all cloaked in this religious fervor. They believe that having their children marry the prophet is an honor and a privilege. And so, it`s not just the children. The parents are pushing it. They`re encouraging it. They`re telling their children they need to do it. The problem in the past is to actually prove this in a court of law has been difficult because nobody would come forward and testify.
PINSKY: From within the community?
COOMBS: Exactly. This raid, as much as people were upset about it because uphold all these children out, actually gave the authorities the evidence to be able to go after these people. It`s the thing that`s cracked this wide open. We`re going to find out a lot more about what`s really been going on and has been covered in secrecy for all of these years.
PINSKY: All right. So, hopefully the legal system will begin to chew on this.
PINSKY: We will try to be smart about this, continue to report it. Michael, so, I appreciate your criticism, but we`ll try to continue report about this in a way that`s smart, because frankly, I`m disgusted by it, and I think it`s something that`s worthy of our attention. Kathy-Jo will remain with us. We have, up next, a rare audio recording of Warren Jeffs telling the men in his congregation how to train their wives. That collective delusion I`m talking about. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREG ABBOTT, TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL: The issue for the people of the jury to consider is whether or not Warren Jeffs sexually assaulted a minor. We already have five convictions and two other people who`ve pled guilty for similar crimes and similar activity at the YFC ranch. We believe that we will be able to prove that Warren Jeffs is just another one who assaulted a minor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIE E. JESSOP, FORMER JEFFS FOLLOWER: And he said he`s a very wicked man, and he confessed to doing some very terrible things including molesting his daughter and sister and others. And, I think his own words described himself more than I would care to characterize it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And we are back talking about former polygamous leader, Warren Jeffs, and the possibility he could spend the rest of his life in jail if convicted on charges of child sexual assault. As head of the FLDS polygamous sect, Jeffs had multiple wives and could also pick brides for other church elders. In this audio recording, Jeffs talks about first-time brides -- you got to listen to this -- and how the women of his congregation need to be submissive. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFFS: Many young men when they receive their first wife who is just so untrained. The woman if she`s not careful will be overbearing and always ask permission to what she wants. And ladies, build up your husband by being submissive. That`s how you will give your children the success. You will want your children to be obedient and submissive to righteous living.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Wow. With us to talk about this are two women who both grew up in polygamous households, Kathy-Jo Nicholson, who is a former member of FLDS and Laurie Allen, a former member of the LeBaron polygamous sect. And of course, Loni Coombs still here with me, a former Los Angeles County prosecutor. Kathy-Jo, was this the kind of thing Jeffs told members of his congregation often?
NICHOLSON: Every day. And when you mentioned earlier that he had many wives of his own and he could select wives for other men, that was actually -- he would. There was no question. You could not choose your own mate. It was up to him.
PINSKY: Wow. Laurie, I want to go out to you. Why did you end up leaving? How`d you get out?
LAURIE ALLEN, FORMER MEMBER, LEBARON POLYGAMOUS SECT: Well, I actually jumped out the second-story window on to a flat bed truckload of pigs. One of my uncles had kidnapped me, and we were living in Central America. He was kind of like Jeffs. He was an outlaw, and you know, running from the law. And so, it was quite an ordeal escaping From Central America when I was 16 and not knowing where I had a single relative on the outside.
When I finally got a job as a live-in nanny, basically, in Florida, they paid for my flight to the United States. And when I got here, it took me nine months to find a relative on the outside and didn`t (ph) know where anybody was.
PINSKY: Laurie, I got to say. I am so outraged by the underage bride and then this disgusting demeaning attitude towards women. I mean, do we not live in a time when women`s rights mean something and our country is supposed to protect them? How do I understand that this goes on in our country?
ALLEN: You know, Dr. Drew, it`s mind boggling. You know, that women -- children. I mean, children, there`s no protection for them whatsoever. And, you know, one of the things Elaine Jeffs says in my film, this is Warren Jeffs` sister. They take children from the time they`re born and they just strip them of all their emotions. Like babies, for example, they water board them. When the baby starts crying, they`ll hold its face under water so that it will stop crying.
PINSKY: Oh, God.
ALLEN: In my family, what they would do is they would cup the baby`s mouth with -- and nose with the hand. So, when they baby can`t breathe, then it stops crying. Then, in a few seconds, after you take the hand away, it`ll start crying again, and then, you cut its breath off again. They do this over and over and over again. And after a few months, the baby just stops crying. And they do this --
PINSKY: Go ahead, Laurie. I`m sorry. Finish.
ALLEN: No, that`s OK. I`m just saying that they strip you -- from your -- of your emotions from a very young age, and that`s how they get these people to do this and just be zombies and go along with what the (INAUDIBLE) says.
PINSKY: And Kathy-Jo, you said you witnessed some of this stuff at the school where he was the principal. Is that the kind of abuse that you were talking about here?
NICHOLSON: Well, on that level, yes. But with the babies, I witnessed that inside of homes. Not mine, thank God. But yes. Every age, there was some -- that form -- I guess metaphorically -- of stuffing emotions back down, covering up your mouth and your nose until you couldn`t breathe. I mean, it`s hard to describe. You know, it`s not even always physical, but it`s always there.
PINSKY: Well, I know this is a hard thing to talk about, but let me ask you this. You mentioned seeing the young boys punished in painful procedures. What`s the worst thing you saw? Give us a sense of what we`re talking about here.
NICHOLSON: As far as physically painful, general practice was beating them with a -- literally beating them with a stick until it broke. It just -- he had paddles, just more of -- and if the boy didn`t respond or react or ask for forgiveness or whatever the demand was that day, show enough remorse or show that they had been broken, he would just keep beating.
NICHOLSON: Splinters, you know, would fly.
PINSKY: It`s so disturbing to hear all this. Loni, I`m going to you. Look, here`s -- it adds (ph) up the score here I`ve got physical abuse of children. I have sexual abuse of young girls. I have sort of a brainwashing procedure going on. I have violation of every women`s right I could imagine. How does this go on in our country today? How is this possible?
COOMBS: Well, once again, you have to go back to this. It is within this context of a religion and great secrecy.
PINSKY: I`m sorry. That is -- we can`t do that, right?
COOMBS: No, you can`t. But, when you`re talking about religious freedom, that`s why law enforcement kind of steps back and people say we want to be able to practice our religion as we want to, and it wasn`t until you start hearing about the child molesting, the sexual abuse and the physical abuse, but we never even knew about this is going on until some of these brave women jumped out of windows or whatever they had to do, and the raid where we actually got some evidence where we can actually prove it in court. And that`s what you have to have to be able to go after something like this.
PINSKY: So, Laurie, you know, we`re hearing this is a low process dismantling it through the courts. Is that what it`s going to take and how do I make sense of this stuff that shrouded under the cloak of religion?
ALLEN: Well, the thing as we have here, this isn`t religion. This is child prostitution under the guise of religion. These are cultures of sociopaths and pedophiles who are literally destroying American families. Now, people in Utah and Arizona have been aware of these crimes for decades, probably close to 50 or 60 years. The problem in Utah is we`ve got legislators who just don`t want to do anything about it. It`s embarrassing.
It costs a lot money to go in there and clean it up. And it is this religious cult. So, the thing is, you know, religion doesn`t give you the right to throw your first born in the volcano. I mean, I don`t care what you think. So, we`ve just got to have the justice department has got to step in here, Dr. Drew. They`ve got to look into the 33 cases of child trafficking of underage brides across the Canadian border and all the underage brides that have been trafficked from Colorado City, Arizona to Texas and across the Utah and Arizona border.
We`ve got to go after the welfare fraud. We`ve got to clean up the corruption, the tax fraud. Everything under the sun and bring these people down, because they`re growing exponentially. In 1953, the raid, there was less than 200 people in that town. Now, there`s almost 12,000.
PINSKY: Well, hopefully the legal system is going to mill this through. We`re going to hear more about this, and hopefully, justice will be served. Loni, thank you. Kathy-Jo, thank you. And Laurie, we`ll be hearing more from you this week.
And when we come back, we`re going to continue our discussion on the tragic loss of soul singer, Amy Winehouse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMY WINEHOUSE, SINGER: I was drinking a lot. Not anything terrible. I`m just trying to forget about the fact I had finished this relationship. My management at the time thought I was -- well, I wasn`t working so I didn`t see them a lot. They just kind of stepped in thought they were good guys, but stepping in and strong arming me into a rehabilitation center, but just didn`t really need it, you know? I knew that I was in love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That is very sad. That`s Amy Winehouse during an interview back in 2007 talking about why she didn`t think she needed rehab, which is so typical of addicts. It`s a disturbance of thought. I`m back with my guests Shelly Sprague and actor, Tom Sizemore.
Tom, I want to start with you first. I want to say something to parents out there who maybe have kids that seem like they`re struggling or using substance. One thing I would tell the parents is never say to yourself not my kid. But Tom, I know your mom struggled long time with your condition. Are there things you think you could tell parents to do if someone they love -- one of their kids has addiction?
TOM SIZEMORE, RECOVERING ADDICT: My mother and I haven`t really come to -- I have such guilt on what I put my whole family through, but especially, my mother that we haven`t come full circle with that yet. We haven`t reached a place of forgiveness and moving on yet. For me. I know how relieved she is I`m sober. My mother had nothing at all to do with my becoming -- being a drug addict.
Maybe apart from genetic things passed between my father and her, because I do believe that there`s a genetic predisposition in me for addiction, and it was lit on fire by my use of cocaine when I was in my 30s in L.A., and it didn`t get extinguished. It`s only extinguished, and then, not only extinguished, it only got tap down recently, two years ago, when I went into rehab with you. My mother had -- I did drugs because they made me feel better. They made me feel grandiose.
PINSKY: So is there anything -- I think my point would be there`s really nothing parents can do except maybe go to a program and take care of themselves and get support so they can detach with love from that person that has addiction.
SIZEMORE: There`s that. There`s that mode of behavior or there`s this one which my mother did which works also, which is she loved me through the whole thing. She never said what`s wrong with you? Why can`t you -- she never made me feel like a bad person or a person -- she made me feel like a hopeless person because I made her think I was hopeless person. Maybe that happened. I don`t know, but she love --
PINSKY: No, no. She was always very, very, very supportive of you. And that`s right. If you can stay supportive and not be judgmental and not intrude. I agree. Tom, thank you. I actually have to break with you right now. Thank you so much. Shelly, last thoughts. 20 seconds. Why do you think celebrities are so resistant to treatment?
SHELLY SPRAGUE, RESIDENT TECHNICIAN, "CELEBRITY REHAB": I think drug addicts are resistant to treatment because it`s part of the disease. Celebrities also have a double insulation because they also have a business and they have a career to protect, and there`s a lot of people involved in that.
PINSKY: Pulls them back.
SPRAGUE: And it gets them into thinking that they can`t take the time off.
SPRAGUE: They have to keep working.
PINSKY: I great with you completely. I think that is the issue. People not taking the time for their recovery. Thank you, Shelly. Thank you, Tom.
And be sure to tune in Thursday night for what? For my one-on-one interview with -- believe it or not -- octomom, Nadia Suleman.
Thank you for watching tonight. Good night.