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The Petit Home Invasion Murder Trial Update; One Man, Four Wives, 16 Kids

Aired September 22, 2011 - 21:00   ET


DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go. It may be one of the most horrific crimes in Connecticut history. I want to know how a human being can savage an entire family.

And we`re going to meet a man with a bunch of sister wives. A reality star and his wives are here to tell us how their marriage may be more normal than yours.

Fascinating, I promise. Let`s get started!

It was a crime so horrific it forced Connecticut to literally reconsider its ban of the death penalty. The tight-knit Petit family, a summer weekend came to an end after a seven hour ordeal in 2007. Doctor William Petit and his wife Jennifer were married for 22 years, two beautiful daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Kalea (ph).


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today a jury in Connecticut will hear more of Joshua Komisarjevsky recorded confession after his arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This guy admitted it. He`s on tape talking us through this horror story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the first time, family members would hear the voice of Joshua Komisarjevsky.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess one of the reasons I am here is to try to hear the facts, but I`m not sure everything I`ll hear will be the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Komisarjevsky says he never intended to harm anyone. He puts the blame on his partner. But on the tape, it was Komisarjevsky who admits sexually assaulting the 11-year-old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the reactions were a little bit more subdued. I did notice a lady wiping her nose and her eyes.


PINSKY: Steven Hayes has already been sentenced to death. And tonight, the capital murder trial for the second suspect unfolds in a new haven courtroom. Watch this then we`ll talk.


PINSKY: When Michaela and her mom drove to the super market on a Sunday afternoon, they had no idea two career burglars were watching. At 3:00 a.m. Monday morning, the two men Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky allegedly entered the home and attacked the Doctor Petit first beating him with a baseball bat and throwing him in the basement.

At 9:00 a.m., investigators say Hayes took Jennifer to the bank to withdraw $15,000. As she collected the money, she also informed the teller that her family was held hostage. Police and S.W.A.T. team members arrived at the Petit home within the hour, but it was too late.

Mrs. Petit had been raped and strangled. Haley and Michaela were tied to beds. Their rooms doused with gasoline and set on fire. Doctor Petit, lighted and beaten, was the only survivor.


PINSKY: Joining me to discuss this is Robi Ludwig. He is Psychotherapist, Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and Sunny Hostin, legal contributor for "In Session" on TRUTV.

Sunny, what`s the latest on the courtroom?

SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, IN SESSION ON TRUTV: Well, the judge had to stop the trial early today, Doctor Drew, because the jurors just couldn`t handle what they were hearing. What they were listening to was Joshua Komisarjevsky`s 90 minute audio tape confession describing from beginning to end what he did in 2007 to the Petit family. It was chilling, it was gruesome, and his voice was really just very dull, very deep, and very monotone. Very, very matter of fact. It proved to be too much for one of the jurors as he started to describe his assault on 11-year-old Michaela Petit. And at that point the judge stopped the trial today.

PINSKY: Were the attorneys making commentary on the tape or were just merely putting it out there for the jury to be exposed to?

HOSTIN: The state just put it out there because again, this is Joshua Komisarjevsky`s voice, his own words. He doesn`t really have to testify, right? His voice is now in the courtroom. And so the state let it speak for itself. The defense definitely tried to get this tape thrown out. They said that the confession while not coerced was taken after he hadn`t slept for over 40 hours, but the judge overruled the objection and allowed the tape to come in.

PINSKY: Poor baby hadn`t slept in a while. With William Petit on the stand of defense attorney challenged him on his recollection of the events that unfolded in his home in July 2007, including the gasoline fueled house fire that killed Petit`s family. The defense asked Petit this. "You did not see who purchased and poured the gasoline and who lit the match, did you?"

At one point the defense handed Petit copy of 2007 statements to police and asked which were accurate, quote, the ones you made today or the ones made back then, unquote.

And Petit responded with, quote, I trust what`s written, sir, unquote. The defense attorney then had the temerity to replay "don`t trust me, sir."

Mark, you know it doesn`t sound like a great move on the part of the defense attorney to attack the guy that lost his family in a brutal attack.

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I agree. The first thing I do when I get a case like this, I think to myself, assuming I ever take a case like this which I don`t, but when I take a case and get ready for trial, I think who do I have to go after? This guy is not even on my list. You let it go just like they did in the first trial and hope you have a different outcome.

PINSKY: Mark, is there any chance they are going to get that confession dismissed? And when you have that confession like that, why are they just plea bargaining?

EIGLARSH: Good question. And my feeling is, probably because Mister Petit wouldn`t agree to something like that. And why should they, why should the state offer anything in this case when you have his chilling words? His defense is that he was sleep deprived? Is that what caused him to say he raped an 11-year-old and assisted in a brutal, abhorrent case? He doesn`t have it, so why should the state give him anything.

PINSKY: Earlier this week the Connecticut jury heard the chilling 911 call placed by a bank manager who was prompted to call the police when Mrs. Petit, she was brought thereby the animals to pull out money to take the money and she slipped the teller a note that said the family was being held hostage. Listen to this call.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a lady who is in our bank right now who says that her husband and children are being held at their house, the people are in a car outside the bank. She`s getting $15,000 to bring out to them, but if the police are told, they will kill her children and the husband. Her name is Jennifer Petit.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PINSKY: God, this whole thing is so hard to, hard to digest. I can just imagine what the jury had to endure today. Within an hour of making that withdrawal, Jennifer Hawk Petit was dead. Now Robi, she left the bank, went home knew all along her life was in jeopardy. I imagine her main focus was the safety of the kids, that`s probably where her head was at, wouldn`t you say?



LUDWIG: And probably her husband as well. I mean that`s kind of her job. And she was probably in a panic just hoping if she followed what these horrible criminals were telling her to do they would just take the money and run. I mean, that`s what most burglars want. I mean, that`s probably what she wanted to think. And you just look at the tapes, just knowing what`s in store for her, and it is painful for everybody to watch.

PINSKY: And Robi let me ask you this that you know this is a case about depravity. And you know, don`t we need very severe penalties for human depravity? Because depravity exists and to think about rehabilitating depravity aren`t we kidding ourselves?

LUDWIG: Well, we don`t know how to do it yet. So, and we may never know how to do it. I mean some of these criminals may be damaged to the point where rehabilitation isn`t possible, and so what we need to do is we need to protect them from their own evil and from other members of society. And I know that people have mixed feelings about the death penalty, but after hearing this case, one could certainly understand why people would be in favor of it.

PINSKY: Yes. It evokes primitive feelings of revenge. In December, 2010, Oprah interviewed Doctor William Petit, his first interview since the death of his wife and daughters. Watch this.


OPRAH, HOST, THE OPRAH SHOW: Will you ever be able to be this guy again?

DOCTOR WILLIAM PETIT, SURVIVOR: Not the exact same guy.

OPRAH: Will you ever be able to feel happiness again?

PETIT: I`m not convinced. A lot of people tell me yes, that will happen.

OPRAH: What would Hayley want for you?

PETIT: I think Hayley and Michaela would want me to be happy.


PINSKY: Robi, what do you think about the response? Do you think there`s potential for that man to find happiness?

LUDWIG: Well, happiness may be with a heavy heart, but one would hope as long as there`s life, there`s a possibility to put one`s life together. Listen, he`s not going to be the same man. How can you be the same man after experiencing this kind of trauma? But I think if he works with the right people, he certainly can get to the other side. I don`t know what happiness would look like for him. But if he really holds onto the idea that he did everything he could to protect his family and that his family would want him to be happy, that could certainly help him to move forward.

PINSKY: God, it is just - oh. Mark, I`m going to go to you. You`re the guy that straightens me out about the justice system. So - and please, please let`s avoid our usual banter because this one makes me ill.

EIGLARSH: No, it`s not there tonight, I agree.

PINSKY: Ill in a different way than the Casey Anthony made me ill.


PINSKY: For people that oppose the death penalty, doesn`t a case like this cry out for it? How else do we understand justice if not that in something in situations of severe depravity?

EIGLARSH: Well, certainly you can make the case that this is one of those unique cases that falls within the parameters of those reserved for the ultimate sanction, if you`re going to administer death at all. This is cold, calculated, premeditated, it is heinous, atrocious, and cruel, and those are the kinds of facts that the appellate courts are looking for in upholding the death penalty, assuming it is ever given in a case like this. And Petit wants it and I think he`ll probably get it.

PINSKY: And there`s automatic appeal right, in that state when they give the death penalty, is that correct?

EIGLARSH: Absolutely. Understand the appeals process will last for years and actually cost more money to put someone to death because the cost of the appellate work is so extensive.

PINSKY: It is a strange thing to say. Normally I am frustrated by the costs and legal system. But in this case, you feel fine, whatever it takes. It is just too much. It`s too much. Thank you, thank you Sunny. Thank you to Robi, Mark. Thank you guys.

Now nest, how could someone commit such a brutal murder? We will look at the life of the man convicted in the killings and his alleged accomplice on trial.



PETIT: We deserve justice to serve. That`s all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hard having to go through all of this again?

PETIT: We prefer not to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t look forward to going through it, but we`re glad it started and we can get this into the past.


PINSKY: Doctor William Petit and the parents there of the murdered wife spoke to Hartford TV station WFSB earlier this week. His wife and two young daughters were murdered during a home invasion of July of 2007. One of the killers, Steven Hayes was sentenced to death. The capital murder trial for his accomplice, Joshua Komisarjevsky is under way now.

And back with Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig, Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Eiglarsh, Sunny Hostin, legal contributor of `In Session.".

Let`s look at Komisarjevsky`s background. Now, he met accomplice Steven Hayes at a halfway house in 2006. They were roommates for four months. He began to breaking into homes at age 14, 20 arrests for burglary and larceny. Reports say five days before the Petit murders; he became distraught over a breakup, poor baby.

Robi again, anybody make the case of something incidental like a breakup could lead to this depravity and gruesomeness? I don`t buy it.

LUDWIG: No. And when you think about it, people end up being dumped all the time and they don`t become homicidal maniacs. Having said that, given this man`s psychological makeup, it is possible this was a trigger for him. And when you think about the crime he committed, he did eliminate the important women in this doctor`s life. So perhaps that did contribute to his sadism on this day.

PINSKY: Sunny, what do we know about his family life?

HOSTIN: We know quite a bit, actually, Doctor Drew. He was adopted when he was 14 days old, but he wasn`t told he was adopted until he was 14 years old. And he has said it was that year he started breaking into homes. He was adopted into a pretty affluent family that lived in Cheshire, Connecticut. His father, Ben Komisarjevsky, has been in the courtroom to support him, sitting behind him. But he has been in trouble for quite some time.

And another interesting thing is that many people suggested that he be placed on antidepressants as a young man and his parents balked at that. And decided to give him sort of faith based counseling. And many people suspect that perhaps that has been part of the problem. He also is a father. He had, when this happened in 2011, 2007 rather, he had custody of his five-year-old daughter.

So most people, yes, most people were not surprised because he did have this history of being a burglar, but what a surprise at the depravity of the crimes because he had never committed a crime of this magnitude. And yet, he was known to break into people`s homes when they were inside using night vision equipment, but he, his MO, was never to hurt people and to maim people and to murder.

PINSKY: And sunny, though this report about the family you know, this drives me insane when you have a kid that clearly was sick. I mean, with Casey Anthony, the same damn story, parents in denial about sick kids. You know getting him help, real help, might have prevented this horrible depravity. Are those parents being held accountable? Are they speaking publicly? What`s going on in the local community?

HOSTIN: They are not speaking publicly. In fact, when I was in Connecticut this week, I saw Mister Komisarjevsky and I followed him and I was with my cameraman, and we were trying to get him to talk. Our cameraman said to him, you know, how do you feel, and he responded how would you feel?

So he really wouldn`t speak, but it was interesting to me that he was in the courtroom. And if you look at some of the records before, he has spoken in court for his son and he said before he was proud of his son, continued to be proud of his son, and was going to support his son. So Joshua Komisarjevsky certainly comes from what many people would argue is a loving family.

PINSKY: But Sunny, that`s not how I would feel the way he claims to support and be proud of his son who is a depraved murderer. I would feel guilty and responsible and try to speak out about other parents not making the same mistake. That`s how I`d feel. So this guy has some explaining to do.

CNN correspondent Susan Candiotti recently reported on Komisarjevsky`s capital murder case and talked to a juror from the previous trial that sentenced his accomplice to death. Watch this.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As in the first trial, a new panel is also likely to hear Komisarjevsky`s jail house writings, describing the murders in chilling detail.

"I was looking right at my personal demon, reflected back in their eyes, he wrote. Haley is a fighter. She tried time and again to free herself." Komisarjevsky wrote of the youngest victim, "I tasted her fear."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can imagine Michaela was the same as my daughter, happy, had a good family, they did things together, and just to imagine the terror she was going through at that time, what she was thinking about. So that`s - I try not to think about it because right now, I get upset just thinking about it.


PINSKY: I agree with him. And Mark, he says he tasted Michaela`s fear and allegedly just went ahead and killed her. How does an attorney go about, I mean the people who are defending this monster, how do they go about it?

EIGLARSH: Well, first of all, you redefine what winning is. You know, winning in the OJ case and Casey Anthony is getting a not guilty verdict. Listen, the defense attorneys know their chances of getting acquittal in this case are about equal to the Republican Party picking, I don`t know, Kim Kardashian to represent them in the presidential primary.


EIGLARSH: It is completely theoretically possible, but not likely. So they redefine winning as maybe trying to save the guy`s life. So they`ll bring in all the background you just talked about. And maybe the jurors have an ounce of compassion for this abhorrent individual.

PINSKY: Is it compassion they need to show or some philosophical objection to death penalty, which presumably they have been screened out of the jury pool?

EIGLARSH: Correct. Legally, it is the mitigators (ph) versus aggravators, the reasons for and against and then balance. Trust me, there`s way too much on the aggravating side.

PINSKY: Now, Thank you, Mark and Sunny and Robi. Appreciate your comments here and thanks for hanging in on this case. It is really a tough one. And we`re going to try to follow it.

When we come back, your reaction to America`s bullying epidemic. And it has claimed another life. Stay with us.



JAMIE,14-YEAR-OLD COMMITTED SUICIDE: People would just constantly send me hate, telling me that gay people go to hell and I just want to tell you that it does get better because when I came out for being bi, I got so much support from my friends.


PINSKY: That was 14-year-old Jamie from New York in you tube video talking about bullying. On Sunday, sadly he ended his own life.

His parents claim he was bullied for years because of his sexuality, and they are now hoping his loss can be used to teach others a message of hope and tolerance. We posted this question on our Web site today.

"Do you think schools are taking bullying seriously enough?"

And here are the results. Surprisingly, this was actually kind of shocking to me, only seven percent of you said, yes. Eighty eight percent of you said, no. And five percent of you said you were unsure. That`s pretty striking.

Now, this is everyone at home I assume having their experiences with the schools. I hope that`s what you`re basing that opinion on. So, those of you that are educators, please take note. If you are taking action, let the parents know what that is. If you`re not, it is time we did something.

Let`s hear more of what you`re thinking. Stacy in Michigan, go ahead.

STACY, CALLER, MICHIGAN: Hi, Doctor Drew. I wanted to say kids in school can be so cruel. Yes, we need to be parents first, but sometimes we need to be our child`s friend as well. I am horrified this happened to this teen in New York, but it can really happen to any child. I am so sad he felt this was his only way out. Some of these kids should be so ashamed of themselves for the bullying they do, no matter how subtle it is.

PINSKY: And if, listen, if parents are aware of a child doing bullying and not taking action, they absolutely should feel just as guilty that this kind of horrible outcome is possible. And also keep in mind for those of you that are parents, encourage your kids to be open, to come forward if they`re feeling bad, whatever the strange thoughts they may be having, to make sure they have an open environment to express those things, to tell you about things if they`re having thoughts of things such as suicide. Because that`s something if it crosses their mind at that age, you must take seriously as a medical emergency.

Andrea on facebook writes. "This story just breaks my heart. Kids are so mean. Nowadays you can`t even get away of bullies because of the internet. Seems like you can be tormented 24/7.`

PINSKY: I think people if you have been watching the show are aware I`ve had a thing about this quite some time, this ability the anonymity of the internet allowed bullies to come forward an really act out with impunity. And it has a profound affect that we have to get on this.

Tamra writes, I believe the parents of bullies have to be responsible for the situation. If the parents haven`t taught the children better, if some accountability starts to come in, maybe something will change.

PINSKY: Well, I have to agree with you in the sense when we treat adolescents, we typically treat the family. In other words, it is not just the kid that`s the issue in mental health phenomenon when you treat the mental health setting of a child. It is the entire family system that needs to be dealt with.

Up next, I now pronounce husband and wife and wife and wife. TV reality show polygamist Kody Brown, his trendy wives and family seem to be everywhere these days and they`re here with us tonight to talk about their upcoming season and a big family announcement. Stay with us.


PINSKY: Relationships are about sharing, right? But polygamy takes sharing to a whole new level. The more the merrier as the saying goes, but how many more, and how merry is it, really? I`m talking to four women sharing one husband, asking the cast of "Sister Wives" how they do it, and well, how do they do it? You know what I mean.

Throw away everything you thought you knew about polygamy before. We are answering every question you ever wanted to ask but were afraid to.

MERI BROWN, KODY`S FIRST WIFE: I believe in living this lifestyle. It just makes each of us better.

JANELLE BROWN, KODY`S SECOND WIFE: I think it`s something really awesome. I wouldn`t want anything else.

CHRISTINE BROWN, KODY`S THIRD WIFE: I like "Sister Wives." I`m one of the family. I didn`t just want the man.

ROBYN BROWN, KODY`S FOURTH WIFE: Seems like destiny. Like we should all have been together from day one.

KODY BROWN, HUSBAND TO FOUR WOMEN: Love should be multiplied, not divided.


PINSKY (on-camera): From their unconventional family structure and living arrangements, each episode on TLC`s "Sister Wives" looks at the inner workings of a polygamist household. Meet the Browns. Kody Brown is an advertising salesman who juggles four wives and their 16 children. Kody is only legally married to his first wife, Meri, while the other marriages are considered spiritual unions. Watch.


KODY BROWN: I like marriage, and I`m a repeat offender. So, I have adopted the faith that embraces that life-style. In fact, it recommends it, and, like to reward good behavior. So, if you`re good with one marriage, they figure you`ll be good with two. Hope they think I`ll be good with four.


PINSKY: The Browns have seen their share of drama, most recently fleeing their Utah home for fear of prosecution. They now call Las Vegas home. Kody Brown and his three wives Meri, Janelle, and Christine join me now together. They`re out there in New York to talk about this season of their show that debuts this Sunday. Kody`s fourth wife is unable to join us, and we`re going to get to that in a minute as to why.

All right. Kody, help me understand this. I mean, I have enough trouble keeping one wife happy. How do you do it with four? How do you juggle your time? What`s the secret?

KODY BROWN: I keep my time even and fair, and my wives are dedicated to it as well.

PINSKY: You said in that clip we just saw that you had adopted this faith. I believe your wives were raised in polygamist families, correct me if I`m wrong on that, and this is not something you were raised with?

KODY BROWN: I wasn`t raised in it. I adopted the belief when I was about 14 and didn`t know that there was a venue to live it in. And by the time I was 21, I found a faith that actually believed in the principle.

PINSKY: Does your family of origin --


PINSKY: Yes. Please.

JANELLE BROWN: I actually didn`t grow up in the faith either. I grew up in the Mormon Church, the LDS church. I adopted this faith in my early 20s.

PINSKY: And Kody, were you in the LDS church as well?

KODY BROWN: Yes, I was. I grew up in the LDS church.

PINSKY: Now, I am a huge fan of the show "Big Love." I really love that show. And the reason I like it is that it`s describing what the reality of what the kinds of interpersonal struggles that a household like yours would have. And, in that program, there`s a lot of consternation about being rejected by the mainstream LDS community. Are you finding lack of support there? Can you tell me about that?

KODY BROWN: We`re going to give you a little bit of a taste of this this year. I actually went back to my hometown where I grew up, met with some of my old friends, and kind of opened myself to them to kind of say hey, Kody, what have you been doing? Why did you do this? And so, we get to see kind of some of their displeasure with it. And my explanation of why I did it.

PINSKY: Can you share with me what a lot of that negativity is based upon? What`s the sort of main complaint you`re hearing?

KODY BROWN: Well, most faiths or religions think that they`re the only one, they`re the right one.


PINSKY: What would you say to people that, perhaps, you having been raised in a polygamist environment somehow poisoned your sense of what a real relationship was? What would you say to people that say something like that?

MERI BROWN: I don`t think that`s a very accurate argument because anybody in any sort of relationship or lifestyle was raised a certain way, you know? They were either raised into a monogamous family, and so, this is why this is familiar to them, so you could say, well, maybe they could have been poisoned that way. You know, so in my mind, it`s kind of the same thing.

PINSKY: Fair enough. Yes. I`m going to ask an indelicate question, perhaps. Where does your stamina come from? Maybe that`s the right way to ask it.

KODY BROWN: You know what, OK, your capacity grows. It`s not something you, when you have a child, most men would say oh, my goodness, the first child. I don`t know how I`m going to deal with this. Oh, I`m going to have a baby. It`s very intimidating, and then, they might feel the same way with the second child. But, eventually, you develop the capacity to do it. And so --

MERI BROWN: To love them.

KODY BROWN: Yes. Well, to have the children, to love the children. And so, we have grown in our capacity to be a family. It wasn`t something that just came natural the first day that we started this or when I first met Meri or when I decided to marry Janelle. It`s all been something that we`ve grown into, and our capacity has grown to do that.

PINSKY: I got to say, though, I had triplets. And I got to say, when I first became aware that I was going to have triplets, I felt like, I can`t handle this. I`m not going to make it, and I was right, I barely could.


PINSKY: My capacity grew a little bit. I don`t know how you do 16.

MERI BROWN: I tell you, if we had jumped right into 20 years ago having four wives and 16 kids, all of a sudden, I don`t know how, if any of us could have survived that. We really had to work into it all.

PINSKY: And then before we go to break --

KODY BROWN: We had 16 years to adjust to the four of us before Robyn joined the family with her children.

PINSKY: And before the break, I want to ask you this question, ladies. How do you not become jealous? How does that work? How do you not get jealous of --

MERI BROWN: Who says we don`t become jealous?

PINSKY: Well, how do you deal with it then?

CHRISTINE BROWN: Of course, you become jealous. What? Because we decided that the relationship between our sister wives is just as important as the relationship with our husband. We all chose to have this plural family. We all love this family. And our main goal is to just help our whole family and raise these kids the best that we can.

PINSKY: And finally, I mention that there was sort of some news in your family, the fourth wife is not with us because why, Kody?

KODY BROWN: Because Robyn is going to have a baby soon, and they won`t let her fly. So, maybe two or three weeks for another baby.

PINSKY: Now, we`re looking at a quick clip here.

MERI BROWN: She`s very sadly missed though. We miss her.

PINSKY: Oh, that`s nice. We have a clip -- nervous Robyn in this clip we`re about to see sharing the news. Take a look at this.


KODY BROWN: Expecting a baby in October.

ROBYN BROWN: We haven`t told anybody in the family. We`ve got to make the announcement to everybody and tell them. I`m worried about Meri taking it hard. She always wanted to have more children. Her body won`t let her have more. Hopefully, everybody will be OK with it.


PINSKY: And so Meri, before we go to break, how did you take it?

MERI BROWN: I took it very well, and I was very happy for Robyn. I`m very excited for her.

PINSKY: Excellent. OK.

Up next, the tough life changes for the sister wives and how they are adapting to the new home in Las Vegas and how the kids are adapting. Stay with us.


KODY BROWN: In seven and a half months, truly won`t be the little one.


KODY BROWN: Mom is going to have a baby.




KODY BROWN: The whole family moved to Las Vegas a couple months ago.

MERI BROWN: We need to flip that around.

KODY BROWN: Everything is completely different.

JANELLE BROWN: there`s been a lot for me of changes, culturally, and everything, with the move. I mean, my world is upside down with the move.


PINSKY: Welcome back. We`re talking to the family from the show, "Sister Wives," the Browns. They had to move from their home state of Utah to Las Vegas because the family was under investigation for violating the state law prohibiting polygamy. Now, Kody, when you revealed yourself as a polygamist on national TV, did you think it would lead to this?

KODY BROWN: I didn`t know what to think. Honestly, we were very naive. There were so many polygamists out there and there were so many that were living in secrecy and obscurity. We just felt like by going public, we would actually be doing a service to bring them more open. You know, just being an example of being open about who we were. We didn`t know what to expect. We were naive.

PINSKY: Has this been too big a price to pay or are you guys doing OK in Las Vegas?

CHRISTINE BROWN: It`s been a bit challenging for our kids, but it`s always challenging when you move your kids. But they`re adjusting well, and they`re making a lot of friends, and we`ve been very accepted into our communities.

PINSKY: And Kody, let me ask this about the sort of legalities of what you`re facing. You have a marriage license only to Meri, is that correct? And how come, if that`s the case, you`re not allowed to say whoa, I`m not legally married to the other three, I`m just polyamorous with the other three. How come the state cares, I guess, my question?

KODY BROWN: I just -- I don`t know. Ask a lawyer that one.


PINSKY: Do the kids call each other brother and sister even though they`re living in these separate houses?


PINSKY: So, they all consider themselves sort of equally siblings?

MERI BROWN: The kids are absolutely siblings, yes.

CHRISTINE BROWN: I think that`s the best part about our family is that the kids feel really like we`re their moms, and all the kids are brothers and sisters, even though, we live in four separate houses, they`ve made a huge point to keep together and do things together. And the other day, I was asking Ysabel (ph) if we all lived in one house, who she would want to share a bedroom with, Gwendlyn, (ph) maybe, and she said straight off Mariah (ph), who is Mariah`s daughter --

JANELLE BROWN: Meri`s daughter.

CHRISTINE BROWN: Mariah is Meri`s daughter.


PINSKY: Now, the question is does having more parents to raise the kids somehow make life easier? We got a little bit of tape here that may address that question. Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think truly the house is the best therapy. There`s pretty cheap therapy, really, honestly.

JANELLE BROWN: I mean, they`re grappling with the way things work and the way the world is, and when they hit a road bump, you want to fix it for them, you want to tell them exactly what to do, but they`re their own independent people and they only will listen to you so much. I mean, it`s just brilliant that I have sister wives who can relate to my children at times when they aren`t necessarily wanted to relate to me.


PINSKY: Living in separate houses, it appears that everyone is helping out with one another and the child rearing. Can you tell me how that works?

JANELLE BROWN: You know, just like before, we cooperate together to cover schedules and cover needs. In this instance, I have a 14-year-old son, and he thinks Christine is awesome. She walks on water. He wakes up on Saturday morning, he`s like before breakfast, can I go to Christine`s? I`m like OK.

CHRISTINE BROWN: Well, he`s just as delightful to me that I am to him, believe me.

JANELLE BROWN: It`s wonderful when they have different personalities who can reach out to children who have a different personality than I do and meet their needs in a way that I can`t.

PINSKY: Now, Christine, I understand you filed a lawsuit against Utah`s bigamy law. I think it`s bigamy, not polygamy that allows the state to care about the way you guys are living. Why did you file that lawsuit?

CHRISTINE BROWN: You know what, if I can actually speak to this question, the lawsuit is something that`s really important to us and so under the advice of our attorney, we really aren`t going to be able to discuss that, and I hope you can respect that.

PINSKY: Absolutely. What would you guys say to somebody who took the position that becoming more lax with bigamy laws will lead to more sex, sex with Warren Jeffs and the FLDS?

MERI BROWN: It`s easy for groups like his group to be able to fall into the secrecy and be able to commit these crimes and horrible things.

CHRISTINE BROWN: It`s because of the fear, because of the fear.


KODY BROWN: They exploit the fear of their people.

PINSKY: Got it.

KODY BROWN: And take advantage of that, and it gives them this all powerful we control you, you got to do what we say, and that`s because these people are closed up. They`re afraid of the government.

PINSKY: All right. Now, Kody, I asked you something earlier about stamina. And, of course, my job is to ask the questions that my viewers want asked, and I just know that there are people out there asking themselves about Kody and his stamina, and it`s not the child rearing stamina that we`re talking about.

That how do you, sexually, how do you keep up with four women? I mean, you`re a relatively young man, but however, you choose to answer that question, I`m asking it just because I know people out there are wondering.

KODY BROWN: And this is how I`ll answer it, Dr. Drew. A gentleman doesn`t speak of such things.

PINSKY: Fair enough. Fair enough. So, I will go to the wives. Is he able to keep up? everybody happy? Does he have to resort to the blue pill?

CHRISTINE BROWN: Ladies don`t speak of those things either.

PINSKY: All right. Fair enough. I can`t tell my viewers I didn`t try. Now, Christine, with respect to polygamist cultures and the controversy surrounding Warren Jeffs and this sort of the FLDS and the splinter groups, what are the misconceptions out there about your lifestyle?

CHRISTINE BROWN: People automatically think that because we live polygamy that we are like FLDS. The FLDS are a very, very small part of the fundamentalist Mormon community. There are so many more people that live this plural lifestyle than live in LDS. Most of them are just like us. Most of them want all of their children around them all of the time, and they want them to have correct choices for their future.

They want them to go to school. They want them to marry as adults who they want to marry. They don`t care if they dress modern. They give them that kind of freedom. We want everything for our kids. We want the world for our kids. That`s what they deserve.

PINSKY: I get that that`s it. And really, you know, hats off for making this work.

CHRISTINE BROWN: And can I just say it`s disgusting. OK. I`m sorry. I`m just putting that out there.

PINSKY: What is?

CHRISTINE BROWN: Warren Jeffs is using religion to molest girls is not OK. It`s wrong.

PINSKY: I absolutely agree with you. And I thank --

CHRISTINE BROWN: There`s no way.

JANELLE BROWN: And that is absolutely the biggest stereotype that`s out there that people think when they think polygamy, that`s what they think, and that`s not what it is.

PINSKY: Yes. I think the more --

KODY BROWN: It`s what pushed us to go public is we needed to be able to go public in order to say, hey, we`re not like this. This is not part of our world at all.

PINSKY: You know, it`s interesting. It`s so funny. Do you guys watch the show "Big Love"? I`m a huge fan of that show, and that`s very much why the same kind of reasoning that propelled them to go public

They were, you know, sort of associated with FLDS-type group and they wanted to distance themselves from it and talk about, you know, the struggles of the kinds of life, alternative life that they`ve chosen, and the family they`re trying to raise, but to make it clear, they were not -- have you ever watched that show?

KODY BROWN: Meri saw the first two seasons.

CHRISTINE BROWN: The biggest thing to say about that show is that it`s absolute fiction. We all reality.

PINSKY: I totally get that.

KODY BROWN: You don`t watch a soap opera and think that regular Americans are like that, do you?

PINSKY: No, I completely get it, but isn`t it interesting how their motivation to be public about it was very much to move away from the FLDS and those kinds of groups, and that I find it fascinating that that Kody that was some of your motivation, too.

And so, you know, I think people would have questions about how you manage the interpersonal aspects of this, which are challenging in any marriage and to sort of exponentially add, you know, elements to it. It just makes it very interesting. And it`s hard to get one`s head around because I`m not sure I`d sign up for it, but Kody, hats off!


PINSKY: More with the Browns when we return. Be right back.



JANELLE BROWN: At this point, the religious influence is really secondary for me. I just really need somewhere for my teenagers to go to be able to hang out, especially Hunter, just to find anything that he`ll participate in.

CHRISTINE BROWN: With us having a polygamist background and all these other churches, we don`t know what church is going to accept us.


PINSKY: We are talking to reality show polygamist, Kody Brown, and three of his four wives, Meri, Janelle, and Christine. Guys, I got less than two minutes here. One last thoughts do you have and what are we going to see this season?

KODY BROWN: You know, one of my favorite things about the episodes this year is, obviously, the announcement of the baby, Meri`s interaction with Robyn about the baby, how the family is excited about the baby, but we have an episode called guys night out where I actually go out with some of my buddies and I get to do a little MMA, you know, and I`m jazzed about that.


CHRISTINE BROWN: And ladies get to do a ladies night out, and that`s awesome. We get pampered. You`ll have to see.

JANELLE BROWN: But you know, I mean, on a serious basis, you get to see our children really work to get established.


CHRISTINE BROWN: I guess it`s important for us to be getting our legs and seeing our children start to triumph over the sadness they felt of leaving.

MERI BROWN: You know, and I was going to say the same thing about our kids just growing and learning through this whole experience. My daughter, Mariah, said to me the other day, mom, I still have a hard time with the fact that we moved and this is hard for me, but I wouldn`t change the experience, because I`ve learned so much about myself and I`ve grown so much.

PINSKY: And we can see this show on TLC. What time and what day, guys?

KODY BROWN: Sunday at --

CHRISTINE BROWN: Six, nine, depends if you have high def.

PINSKY: So, it`s a cable programming.

CHRISTINE BROWN: Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

MERI BROWN: Sunday night, TLC. This coming Sunday, the 25th it starts.

PINSKY: OK. It`ll be -- check your local listings whether you`re watching direct TV or cable may be different times, but we will be looking forward to the struggles of getting settled in Las Vegas. So, thank you guys for joining me.

And now, a few words before we go. I want to go back to this triple murder case in Connecticut. We`re really changing gears here. And, you know, this one got into my craw a bit. Crimes are, sometimes, so horrific, so incomprehensible that there`s just not a way to make sense of them.

Now, most of us, you know, somebody watching television and following me as I talk, reasonable rational people, most of us, I dare say nearly all of us, have not experienced, heard about such things or even been exposed to depravity. And, really, depravity, people can really sink into animalistic behavior. Now, sadly, I don`t know how or if we can stop these things from happening.

Truth is, there aren`t always warning signs that somebody is going to become so severely violent. Sometimes, it`s related to drugs, sometimes, you know, acute crisis, but the fact is depravity exists. Some guys that are depraved are not locked up forever. Now, we want to believe that if only someone had said something or done something and I don`t know if even holding the parents responsible for awhile, it`s a problem amongst us.

We need to be aware of it, and just please think about this. And if you have children that are in trouble, deal with it now. Thanks for watching. See you next time.