Return to Transcripts main page
Hollywood`s Dirty Secret, Sex Abuse?
Aired December 9, 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: Here we go.
Pedophilia pandemic. Is showbiz a breeding ground for child molester? I`m asking former child star and abuse survivor Todd Bridges.
And how young is too young? A 12-year-old boy is charged with first degree murder.
Plus, TV innovator Tom Green`s rise and fall. He is here to tell us what happened.
Let`s get started.
And tonight, child sex abuse accusations have ripped through the Athletic Departments of two top universities. You`ve heard these stories over and over. Now the scandal is spreading to Hollywood. Watch this.
PINSKY (voice-over): Tonight another man in a position of power accused of molesting children. This time it`s a hot shot Hollywood agent for child actors. Forty-seven-year-old Marty Weiss has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of lewd acts with a child and sodomy. An 18-year-old former client told police he`d been abused by Weiss 30 to 40 times starting in 2005. He was 12 at that time.
COREY FELDMAN, ACTOR: I had a very troubled childhood.
PINSKY: Former child actor Corey Feldman was sexually abused as a child tells ABC`s "Nightline" child abuse in Hollywood is a dirty secret.
FELDMAN: I can tell you that the number one problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia.
PINSKY: He may be right. Thirty-five-year-old Jason James Murphy worked as a casting agent in Hollywood for years before it was revealed that he is a registered sex offender, convicted of kidnapping and molesting an 8-year-old boy 15 years ago.
Then there`s Lou Pearlman, the mastermind behind successful `90s boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and `N Sync. In 2007, "Vanity Fair" reported that several boy banders who worked with Pearlman accused him of inappropriate sexual conduct. Many of them said they had lived at his Florida mansion where the abuse allegedly took place. However, none of the alleged victims were willing to come forward publicly and no charges were ever filed.
We know this is allegedly happening in Hollywood and in sports, but could it be happening in your backyard?
PINSKY: Now, so how do we stop this? What do we as parents need to do to protect our kids?
Child actor Todd Bridges joins me now. He was abused by his publicist as a child and has some great advice on how to talk to your kids. Parents, trust me, stay with us. You don`t want to miss this. Todd is also the author of "Killing Willis." There it is there.
I also have in the studio with me Anne Henry. She is the cofounder of "Biz Parents," that`s with the Z dot-org, a child actor advocacy work. And Dr. William Pollack, the director of Centers for Men and Young Men. He`s also an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and the author of "Real Boys` Voices."
Todd, first to you, you`ve been there, done that. Is childhood sexual abuse Hollywood`s dirty little secret?
TODD BRIDGES, ACTOR, SEX ABUSE SURVIVOR: Well, you know.
PINSKY: Corey said that. I was shocked to see that piece, by the way.
BRIDGES: My thing is this is not just Hollywood. It`s the world`s little secret. This is something that`s been going on not just in Hollywood but everywhere. People are afraid to talk about it.
But, you know, I really think it has a lot to do with how you approach your children, you know? We always want to approach them I think in a way of trying not to be direct, and I think that destroys a child. You have to be direct, very up front and tell them exactly what`s going to happen to them.
PINSKY: Well, I`m going to - I`m going to have you after the commercial break give parents very specific advice. I think you`ve got some great things to point out. But one of the things you and I were talking about in the makeup chair a few minutes ago was you and I have been talking about this for 18, 19 years, something like that. And now people seem to be listening finally.
PINSKY: It`s getting - it`s getting frequent enough.
Now, back then when we first started talking about this, remember people saying oh, well people are just talking about it more now.
PINSKY: It`s always been around.
PINSKY: Do you agree with me? I`m asking Anne (ph). Anne, you`re shaking your head vigorously. I`m going to ask you the same question just a second, but Todd first.
PINSKY: Do you agree that this is something that is becoming of epidemic proportion and it`s growing?
BRIDGES: I think that it`s - it has always been around but it`s becoming larger than ever now because the Internet has changed the whole - the whole game of it I think. It has given pedophiles the opportunity to do things more than they have been able to do, you know, see kids more. And also they`re putting themselves in positions now which are even more insane to be able to get to kids faster, you know, and the parents -
PINSKY: So it`s a more efficient marketplace for them.
BRIDGES: Of course. It`s like a fishing game and they`re - they`re fishing unfortunately, and we`re not watching and you know?
PINSKY: We should be. Anne, you were shaking your head vigorously. You agree with this?
ANNE HENRY, COFOUNDER OF BIZPARENT.ORG: Absolutely agree. I think it`s a combination of the Internet, because the pedophiles are awesome. They are completely, incredibly technologically savvy. So they are able to trade pictures, contact each other in other states when before they wouldn`t have even known.
PINSKY: I`ll ask you the same question. You were shaking your head vigorously when I was talking to Todd about it being Hollywood`s dirty little secret. Do you think it is?
HENRY: I do think it is. I think I agree with Todd that I think it is - it is a bigger picture that we`ve seen that it in the athletic world just recently. But I think Hollywood in particular has a real problem that no one has talked about. They covered it up for a long time and it`s just now coming to light. Maybe in the last four years I`d say we had quite a lot of convictions, so it`s starting to looking like a trend.
PINSKY: Well, at least the legal system is getting hold of it, but I don`t think the public discourse has really - I think tonight we`re really finally stepping up and saying I think this is something.
Now this Marty Weiss, apparently he used to teach private acting classes at his home. Parents would drop their kids off and wait outside. A reporter talked to Weiss` neighbor. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marty would just say they`re in and watching movies, or whether they will go out bowling. I never felt a weird thing (ph). Never, never, never, you know? Marty always said he was - he was just a big kid at heart.
That`s a horrendous thing. It`s sickening when you think about that, you know? And I`m kind of upset with myself that I never suspected it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Todd, grown men wanting to be around young men, young boys. Is that OK?
BRIDGES: That is a -
PINSKY: Is that ever OK?
BRIDGES: -- worst thing possible. If the President of the United States came to me and said, "Hey, Todd, I want to take your son fishing." I would be like, "All right. So where we`re all going to?" I don`t care who it is, you are not going to be able to hold my son. I`m not going to give you that opportunity. It`s not going to happen.
PINSKY: You guys just saw in a piece a moment ago they arrested a guy, Jason James Murphy, who had worked with kids as a casting director, and he had a history as a registered sex offender.
And director J.J. Abrams was the one that found out about that. Anne, can you enlighten us about this?
HENRY: Yes. You know, he - the oddity about all this that most people don`t understand is that in the entertainment industry there are no background checks. There are no fingerprints with kids working with children.
In a regular world, we`re used to that for - you know, our kids go to Boy Scouts, they go to after school sports. They go to daycare. They all have to be fingerprinted. And we expect that there`s some level of scrutiny there.
For Hollywood, because our kids aren`t enrolling in something, we`re actually employing some of those people.
PINSKY: But Hollywood only attracts healthy people, most healthy people. Isn`t that - isn`t that - only exclusively.
BRIDGES: Well, my background I was almost booted off coaching my son`s fly football team, OK?
PINSKY: For misbehaving?
BRIDGES: For 19 years ago.
PINSKY: Oh, that, yes.
BRIDGES: I`m like, come on, guys. But I`m like, you know, this is something - here I am, you know, trying to really, really could have help people -
BRIDGES: -- and you`re trying to keep me away. And it seems like that`s what happens. The ones who really can help, we seem to kind of distance, and the ones that are the predators already we seem to put them closer.
HENRY: Yes. We`re just opening the door, come on in, you know? The Marty Weisses of the world never had to go through a background check.
PINSKY: I`m going to ask Dr. Pollack who`s with us on satellite. Let me ask this question which is, are there warning signs? I mean, I guess we could have a big discussion about who is at risk and that sort of thing, but my first question is if a child has been a victim, are there signs a parent can look for if they`re watching carefully?
DR. WILLIAM POLLACK, DIRECTOR, "CENTERS FOR MEN AND YOUNG MEN": Yes. If a child has been a victim, often they`ll pull away, they`ll start to not be with their friends and only want to be with that one adult. They may seem surly or angry, especially if that`s a boy, but they`re actually quite sad and despondent.
And as Todd said earlier - and by the way, very courageous for Todd to come forward, but what Todd said earlier, you have to talk to your child about this. You can`t put it in the closet. You have to look at the signs and be honest and open, and not grill them, but just finally say I`m worried. We`ve got to talk about what`s going on.
PINSKY: And Dr. Pollack, let me just follow one difficult question, which is I know in my own work that people who themselves were victims of sexual abuse sometimes are attracted to circumstances of people that end up being predators. And when a child is predated upon, parents go into sort of a mode of denial because they don`t want to deal with the pain of realizing they have exposed to a kid to the same thing that was so shattering to them.
POLLACK: Shame is the name of the game. What happens is parents feel ashamed inside or they have an inkling and - but they feel they`ll be shamed. They`re afraid their own child will be shamed. We have to push the shame away and bring the clear light of day in, especially with boys, who get very confused. They think this is some kind of either closeness to men or on the other end, they think it has to do with being gay. It`s a sexual enactment, but it`s really a power trip and it`s (INAUDIBLE).
PINSKY: Yes, that`s what gets so confusing for the young males.
Now, we`re going to keep this conversation going. We got a whole have another segment with my guests.
Coming up and I want you to listen carefully to this when we get back as Todd has some tips on how to warn your kids and prepare them should someone try to make them a victim. Don`t want to miss this.
And later, Tom Green branded his own version of reality TV before there really even was reality TV and before it was cool. He joins me live. Stay with us.
PINSKY: And tonight, a talent manager for child actors is charged with molesting one of his former clients. There`s been - you`ve seen an abundance of these stories in the news lately and we`ve been just digging into abuse and talking about it by the various angles. We need to accept that this is a problem and we`ve got to do something about it.
And finally, we`re elevating this conversation to public discourse where perhaps - perhaps we will all look at this as the epidemic that it is.
Actor Todd Bridges was a victim of abuse when a child star and he has some strong ideas what to tell your kids and how to protect them, so let`s get into that.
BRIDGES: First of all, what I do with my son in the very beginning I said, "Listen, no grown adult is supposed to touch you down there." And he says, "Why?" I said, "Because it`s not right." And I said, "If he does that, he is going to do awful things to you." Then I say this, "No grown adult would ask you to go by yourself somewhere."
PINSKY: So you should never be alone with an adult. Male or female?
BRIDGES: My child should never - no, both, neither one, should never be alone -
PINSKY: Unless we tell you.
BRIDGES: - unless we tell you. They`re not your parent. That`s the thing. If that`s not your parent or your uncle that we tell you to go with, then you go with them. But if not, you don`t.
The problem is that we`re letting our children just go off with people we don`t know, and that`s - and then I think we`re coming to shame with the parent is when they find out what happens, they`re so devastated that they let their kid be attacked like that way that their shame grows even bigger.
PINSKY: Right. They don`t want to acknowledge the reality -
PINSKY: -- because it`s too shattering.
PINSKY: And then you said in Hollywood, there`s no checking, there`s no follow through, no checking.
HENRY: There`s no - there`s no background checks. And when you`re talking about someone like Marty Weiss that`s a manager, those parents think they know him. His current clients thought they knew him and they thought they trusted him.
PINSKY: And by the way, let`s - thought they knew him is an interesting statement, because what you`ll hear from pedophiles who are in recovery that are trying to warn parents about the sort of M.O. of the pedophile, what they will all tell you is that your child knew me, if that person is the pedophile, before I went and took them away or did what I was - they groom them.
They stalk them. They check them out. They get a relationship with them, so they have a familiarity, so they`re not swooping them up into a van. That doesn`t happen as often as a guy - you know, we just happen to hang around the playground.
I`m going to ask Dr. Pollack. Do you agree with this that there`s a lot of grooming behavior that goes on, and what do you think the things that parents should know?
POLLACK: Well, yes, it`s insidious. I think parents need to know who their children are with, and children I mean through teenage years, not just five and six.
But one way to make sure they`re not hanging out with adults you don`t trust is to find other adults whom you do trust and whom they can spend time with. We want other mentors other than parents, but we have to check them out. We can`t just let them be anybody.
And dare I say from Boston to Hollywood, many of these children are properties. Many of their managers are managing them for profits, and you have to question there being their buddies.
PINSKY: And Todd you said it should be women around these guys.
BRIDGES: I`m saying that there are less women that are pedophiles than there are men, so therefore I think that if we stick more women out there and put them in those positions, a lot of this will be prevented.
I mean, like I said, by nature, women are protective, and they can see these things too faster than we can see it. And they, you know, they`re not going to stand for some man taking some little boy somewhere, yes, hey, where are you going? You know, that`s what we`re not doing, you know?
And I think that, you know, we`ve got to pay attention. It`s not just Hollywood, it`s society.
PINSKY: This is why we`re having this conversation.
PINSKY: I have been having it in many different contexts.
I got to tell my viewers as a professional, you know, when I deal with and work in drug addiction and a psychiatric hospital, I always tell people if somebody had bad enough addiction that they need to be admitted to my program, there`s 100 percent probability of childhood abuse.
PINSKY: And most of the time there was childhood sexual abuse.
Dr. Pollack, because of that I want to take it back to a comment I was bringing you to in the A block here before the commercial break. And that is this issue - and it`s something I want people out there as long as we`re having kind of a heady conversation about this thing that`s finally in the public discourse, there`s another thing that happens, which is what we call repetition compulsion.
People who were victims themselves bring victimizers into their life. Are there things that people who are watching this who themselves have been victims of neglect, sexual abuse or physical abuse, need to sort of watch for in themselves to be sure they don`t inadvertently put their kids in harm`s way.
POLLACK: Yes. If you have been victimized yourself, you have to watch out for two things. One that you don`t become a victimizer yourself, and for males that`s a high percentage, but you can stop it. If it starts to happen, ask for help. Don`t be afraid.
And if you have been victimized and you might be not asking the right kind of questions about whom your boy or girl hangs out with, the first thing to think about is this happened to me. I want to be very careful, not paranoid, but very careful, and ask a lot of questions. If I am not asking questions, then what`s happening is I am letting my own abuse shame me into quietness and putting my own child or children at harm`s way.
PINSKY: And I would say one other thing, tell me if you agree with this or not, and this is a strange thing that`s going to be hard for people to swallow what I`m about to say which is people who have been victimized are actually attracted to circumstances that are problematic.
Todd is kind of shaking his head yes. Before your treatment particularly that you remember more of this kind of thing.
BRIDGES: Yes, yes.
PINSKY: And so if you find somebody super attractive, the point is kind of take a beat and go, hmm, maybe I should not be around people that are so exciting to be around, because that can be a sign that I`m heading towards trouble. Yes?
BRIDGES: Absolutely. Count to 10 I say. Step backward.
PINSKY: Yes. That`s right.
BRIDGES: You`ll wind up putting yourselves in strange positions and -
PINSKY: That`s exactly the point, right?
BRIDGES: And it`s like - because I`m a recovering alcoholic addict (INAUDIBLE) sobriety, I see things my wife doesn`t see. When we go out on the street and I see somebody dealing drug I`m like that guy is doing drugs. Or I go outside and someone go, hmm, that guy is on drugs. And I can tell you what kind he is on and how - I just know it, and they`re drawn to me, so you have to really watch yourself.
PINSKY: Listen. And I love that quality of my addict friends and patients that goes, "Is that guy an addict?" You guys are 100 percent - you`re 100 percent right. You`re never wrong. You`re never wrong.
BRIDGES: Can`t fool us, because we know each other.
BRIDGES: And that`s what I mean when I`ve been - because I have been sexually abused, I usually know those people and I can see it in their eyes. And I`m like huh. I don`t trust this guy at all.
PINSKY: Well, let`s talk for the last remaining minute or so about - about recovery. Let`s give some words of hope out there. You are obviously fully recovered.
BRIDGES: Yes. Here`s what I - well, not fully. I`m in recovery. I`m like in (ph) sobriety, so -
PINSKY: But from your addiction, for your sexual abuse, you seem to be good.
BRIDGES: I`m good.
But here`s the reason why. I`ll tell you why, because I`m not into the blame game. Here`s the thing. Yes, I was sexually molested. Yes, I was abused by my father. Yes, I was abused by the police department, but I`ve accepted responsibility for my end of it which was using drugs and alcohol, getting in trouble. You know, you have to accept responsibility.
PINSKY: You`re not ashamed of any of this.
BRIDGES: No. I`m not ashamed of it.
PINSKY: No shame attached to it.
BRIDGES: You know why there`s no shame attached to it, because what he did to me was wrong and it wasn`t me. It was him.
BRIDGES: That`s right. It was him, and he`s the bad guy, I`m not.
PINSKY: It wasn`t your fault.
PINSKY: I have 20 seconds, Anne. You tell me.
HENRY: Same thing with the - with the people we`re hearing about in the news right now, the Marty Weiss, the Jason James Murphy, the Penn State stuff, as much as the victims are victims, we have to remember that the bad guy, no matter what those parents did to put their kids in that situation -
PINSKY: That`s right.
HENRY: -- or what the kid did to be coupled with -
PINSKY: And - and I want to follow with that to say just because somebody was victimized in their childhood does not in any way - is not a justification for their behaviors in the present.
PINSKY: It`s just an explanation. It`s doesn`t justify.
Ahead, did a mother - thank you guys. Thank you, Anne. Thank you, Todd. Thank you, Dr. Pollack.
Did a mother let one of her children die while she surfed the web, and what did her other son have to do with it? Sounds familiar, like Casey Anthony all over again.
But first, your questions and my answers about Jerry Sandusky`s wife. What, if -
PINSKY: Jerry Sandusky`s wife, Dottie, has come to the former Penn State coach`s defense, refuting all allegations against him. She said no child visiting their home was ever forced into their basement and kept there, as alleged by some accusers.
I`m not sure we heard that they were forced in there, it was that they stayed in there. I wonder what she knows.
It`s got quite a reaction online from our viewers and listeners, so let`s hear more of what you have to say. Wendy in Michigan, go ahead.
WENDY, MICHIGAN: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Wendy.
WENDY: I just want to say that it`s no big surprise regarding Sandusky`s wife. That`s what the wives of molesters do. I know. My mother was married to a molester, and when I confronted him, she was mad at me for lying.
I`m more angry with her to this day (ph) for not facing the truth and helping, as Sandusky`s wife could do, too. I think it`s insult to injury.
PINSKY: Wendy, you`re - you`re right, and I can hear the pain in your voice. I`m sorry that your mom was unable to acknowledge this.
In my experience, when that paradigm is set up for a child, it`s because the mom herself had previously had been sexually abused and it`s too shattering to admit to herself that she brought a perpetrator into her child`s life. It`s just overwhelming. They can`t do it, and I`m sorry for that.
Yes, in terms of what she knows, it`s funny. Anne, who was here during that - our first segments, was saying that she feels like Dottie is a stage mom for sports, that she`s la la la, doesn`t want to hear about it. Let`s move one and, you know, keep winning.
Julie in Nebraska, go ahead.
JULIE, BELLEVUE, NEBRASKA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Yes, Julie.
JULIE: Just a few questions.
PINSKY: All right.
JULIE: Isn`t this typical behavior of an abuser`s spouse? I mean, even if she did have a suspicion or even knowledge of his action, we`ve seen over and over that the spouse will turn a deaf ear to the crime.
JULIE: Isn`t this also a form of abuse that he has this control over her, or is this potentially another part of the cover up culture at Penn State?
PINSKY: Oh, boy, I - I don`t want to lay too much blame at the foot of people who are ancillary to this, and again, we still - this thing, we`ve all had a big rush to judgment. This whole thing has to be proven.
There`s aspects of it, I said, you know, boundary violations, being in a shower with a kid. They`re absolutely, absolutely out of line, but how much was really going on? And how much blame we should lay at the foot of a woman who herself may have been kept in the dark? I`m not sure. I wouldn`t call her an abuse survivor as well until we know more.
Carrie in California, go ahead.
CARRIE, BIG PINE, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Carrie.
CARRIE: Just a quick comment.
CARRIE: I`m a sexual assault counselor with specific training on -
CARRIE: -- experience with sexual assault.
CARRIE: I also train other people to recognize and respond to sexual abuse, and I feel that (INAUDIBLE) Mrs. Sandusky, has chosen denial as her coping mechanism -
CARRIE: -- based on her own issues.
CARRIE: -- sexuality (INAUDIBLE).
PINSKY: Right. Agreed. I mean, if - if there`s something going on, if he - listen, even - let`s - I - I challenge any of you out there that are wives. Your husband`s in the shower with a 12-year-old down at the - down at the high school. Is that all right with you?
And he`s hanging out, he`s driving around with them, he even (INAUDIBLE) hotel rooms with - with them, giving them Christmas gifts. That`s good? That`s OK with you?
Just that. Just think about that. And probably a lot of worse things happened. We`re hearing about that. More to be revealed on that front soon.
Kathleen on Facebook writes, "Penn State recently partnered with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, with a commitment of $1.5 million. Too little, too late?"
Too little, too late? Yes, absolutely, but thank God that they actually did something. So, I commend them for doing that, and we all got to raise this conversation, elevate it, keep it going.
Remember, you can go to HLNtv.com to check out our must see, must read stories, and find out what made or who made tonight`s HLN Top Ten.
Next, her 12-year-old son is accused of murdering his baby brother, so why is she behind bars and being compared to Casey Anthony? This is fascinating. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Coming up, the Tom Green you think you know, the actor and innovator made a career about rages on camera antics long before others became famous doing the very same thing. Where did it get him? The very top of his game and then to the bottom. He`s here to tell us what happened.
But first, a 25-year-old mother comes home to find her two-year-old unresponsive. She puts his head on ice and spends hours on the internet researching concussions before she gets help. The baby dies two days later. The alleged killer, his 12-year-old brother, Christian Fernandez. Christian is one of the youngest people ever to be charged with first- degree murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): And this is such a sad and disturbing story. The boy`s defense rejected a plea deal tonight. He remains behind bars, so does his mother, Bienela Suzanna. She is behind bars as well, and she is accused of misleading police about what happened on that day in March.
Joining me, Dr. William Pollack, clinical psychologist, he specializes in violent behavior in young boys and Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney. Here`s what police found on the mother`s computer record. This is going to stun you, and those of you that followed the Casey Anthony story, this will sound chillingly familiar.
At 10:54, she searches when someone gets knocked out. Then at 11:11, Google`s concussion website 11 times, 11:28 visits a music download site, entertain (ph) to herself a little bit, then does a little banking online at 2:15, does a banking online, 2:38, back to children and concussions. At 2:50, starts looking around with celebrities, including Pippa Middleton.
3:07, starts thinking about a hospital, searches, Saint Luke`s Hospital. 3:57, back to Christmas gifts, searching jewelry websites. Mark, you and I been through this before. Doesn`t this sound chillingly familiar to you?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It does, and the defense will be similar, too. They`re already saying that all these proofs that searches were done, it doesn`t prove who did the searches. So, they`re going to try to point the finger at the 12-year-old and say, well, he did some of the searches.
He went on YouTube, and he was downloading music. Here`s the problem, apparently, someone did a search on a bank account. Wachovia.com was searched. That doesn`t sound like a 12-year-old did it.
PINSKY: And Mark, the fact, I`ve heard some stories, I guess, there are some facts about this mom that she had this child when she was 12. And that she and the baby were put into foster care at the same time.
EIGLARSH: I was so sad when I read this. Yes. So, apparently, the mom was 14 in foster care when her son was two, and apparently, the father wasn`t in the picture because he was convicted of raping the mom and he was off to state prison. Both of these two never had a chance.
PINSKY: Well, here`s what a physician told police after the two-year- old died. Check this out. If the suspect would have sought immediate attention, there would have been a possibility the victim would not have succumbed to his injuries, but this means to me, this was a head injury.
This was bleeding into the brain that was left with pressure on the brain for too long until the child, we called, herniated and died. Mark, what should happen to this mom?
EIGLARSH: Well, that`s the ultimate question, I`m not God. But ultimately, I think a plea bargain should be reached. I can`t imagine that she`ll go to trial and risk, you know, 15 years in prison for what is clearly negligent conduct. I think just like her son`s case, they will reach a plea bargain, and she might have to do a little time.
PINSKY: And by the way, mark, the child, the dead child was in a cast because the brother had broken his leg a few weeks, a few months before or something. How come there`s no social service report on that?
EIGLARSH: That`s a great question. I don`t know if anyone ever reported it. And somebody should follow the chain of command. This is a bottom line, you know, when 12-year-olds are having children, you`re going to have problems.
PINSKY: Well said. Now, listen to the way the judge talks to this defendant, now, speaking of 12-year-olds. The defendant, the person that`s being spoken to by the judge in this tape is a 12-year-old.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Fernandez, you have discussed with your attorneys your right to speedy trial?
UNIDENTIFIED KID: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know how many days that is?
UNIDENTIFIED KID: 175.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 175. That`s right. OK. And you`re wishing to waive that at this time? OK. We`ll show the waiver of speedy trial at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Dr. Pollack, I`m anxious to get your reaction to this. I understand the state does not have a lot of remedies for which to protect the public from somebody who may be underage and dangerous, but have we lost our minds here?
DR. WILLIAM POLLACK, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I think we`ve gone crazy about children who hurt other children. You can`t imagine that a 12-year-old could have a premeditated idea of murder. It`s ridiculous, and we moved away from rehabilitation, from intervention, from prevention, and become retributive, negative, angry.
There are no winners here. There are only losers. And to look at this child as an adult in the judicial system is to miss the whole point. Everyone here is a victim, and everyone here should have gotten help much earlier so this wouldn`t have happened.
PINSKY: Well, this is what really concerns me. So, we`re going to try this kid as an adult and put him in the system, and whenever he does come out, he`s going to be uneducated, angry, institutionalized, and we`re going to have a real problem on our hands, then. But let me just set up for you, Dr. Pollack, the specifics about this kid`s life.
Yes, thank you. This is -- I`m going to give you guys. Do we have a full screen of this out there? OK. So, I`m just going to read this to you. This is Christian Fernandez`s life. His mother was 12 when she gave birth, as I said. Biological dad went to prison on sexual assault charges against the mom.
Primary caretaker was the grandmother who was an addict. At two years old, Christian and mom, 14, both placed in foster care, and check this out, in October, 2010, step dad shot and killed himself in front of the family. Dr. Pollack, prison the right place for this kid or therapeutic environment?
POLLACK: Prison is not the right place for him. This is an abused child, a traumatized child. Now, he may have done a heinous thing, but he needs a therapeutic environment where he`ll be safe and those around him will be safe, but our society doesn`t want to pay for that. It doesn`t want to intervene earlier to get him help before it happens. It wants to punish him and pay for punishment instead of help.
PINSKY: Mark Eiglarsh, you`re the attorney presenting this case. You`re trying to make the case for therapeutic intervention. Is anybody going to listen to you?
EIGLARSH: The answer is yes. I mean, he`s 12 years old. Even the prosecutors I know feel for this child. They`ve said it publicly, and I know a lot of them are parents. Problem is, they have an obligation to protect the public, so it`s a balancing act here.
PINSKY: But Mark, I`m going to interrupt you. There are two experts on this panel, me and Dr. Pollack, who both said that jail would be the wrong thing to protect from the public, unless, you`re going to put him away for life, because he`s going to get out, and then, he`s really going to be angry.
EIGLARSH: Right. Listen, this is what I do for a living, I represent a lot of children. I`m just saying that you got judges who are concerned about re-election. You`ve got prosecutors who represent the people of their state and their job is to protect the public because once he gets out, by the time he`s legally able to drink a beer, he`s got his whole life ahead of him, and he could potentially do this again.
So, that`s one side. The other side is, his frontal lobe has not fully been developed. He doesn`t know judgment and reasoning, and what he did to his brother clearly was not an adult state of mind. It`s just a tough balancing here.
PINSKY: Dr. Pollack, thank you. Mark, thank you. I`m so, so delighted, Mark, to hear you use our language of lack of development of the frontal lobe.
PINSKY: Although you scared me -- you did scare me when you said you represent a lot of children. I don`t know exactly what that means, but I`ll talk to you maybe off the air.
EIGLARSH: Let`s do it, yes.
PINSKY: Criminal defense attorney lots of children, it scared me. All right. Gentlemen, thank you very much.
Up next, comedian, Tom Green. We`re going to talk about his cancer and how his life stopped being so funny once he got that diagnosis. And he and I have known each other for a long time. So, we`re going to talk about that reality TV and what he`s doing now. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM GREEN, CANCER SURVIVOR: It`s really embarrassing buying condoms sometimes. So, I`m going to bring the camera with me just so it`s less embarrassing. I`m making love to a woman tonight. I am going to take advantage of this media pass and attempt to get the prime minister to sign my balls.
You`re not allowed to do that.
Mr. Prime Minister, could you sign my balls?
Mom, I don`t know where you are.
I`m bringing them this joy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That is the Tom Green we know and love in front of the camera doing amazing things. Tonight, we`re going to talk about what happened when the cameras stopped and he had to deal with a cancer diagnosis. The road to recovery, sometimes, painful, sometimes depressing, but I am happy to welcome him to the show. You actually wrote a book called "Hollywood Causes Cancer." Do really you believe that?
GREEN: Well, the timing would indicate such. I moved here, and it happened --
PINSKY: Being in America causes cancer? Because you`re a Canadian. I mean, you came down here, all of a sudden, had a cancer diagnosis.
GREEN: It was virtually right after my show started on MTV. About a year after the show started, I just moved to Los Angeles and got diagnosed with testicular cancer. It was pretty shocking.
PINSKY: And then, people -- I know people give you a lot of grief about having one testicle, and I think that`s funny to give you grief about that, and here you are with a stem to stern incision.
GREEN: Yes. Here`s the thing that they don`t tell you when you get cancer.
PINSKY: It hurts.
GREEN: That it hurts.
GREEN: It`s painful when they cut your body open.
PINSKY: Yes. Slow down. You mean, if you cut somebody open, it hurts? That`s kind of shocking.
GREEN: Yes. And you think that after they sew you back up and you heal back up, that you`re going to feel better, but actually, you have nerve pain and this kind of stuff goes on for years and years and years. So, it actually can make you kind of a little bit irritable.
PINSKY: You get depressed?
GREEN: A little bit. A little bit for sure, and definitely annoyed, and angry, upset. What happens is, you know, the first year, you think OK, this is really painful. This is going to eventually go away. And then, another year goes by. Well, gee, this is still hurting a lot. It has been two years now.
And then, someone comes up to you and say, hey, how`s your ball? How`s your ball? You know, sometimes, I just wasn`t able to really -- I wasn`t able to handle that very well.
PINSKY: So funny, as we`re talking, you and I have known each other for ten years or something?
PINSKY: And I`m flashing out something else that other people don`t know about, and I had forgotten this myself. Just being here with you just came back to my memory was that, you had a near death experience down in Costa Rica, too.
GREEN: Yes. It`s funny that after going through cancer, you think OK, well, I could have died there. Life is good. Then I go down to Costa Rica, I got hit by a wave, got thrown off a rock, broke two ribs, and was nearly killed.
PINSKY: But you were like crawling home.
GREEN: Crawling, yes. I had some bad luck. But I`ve had a lot of good luck, too.
PINSKY: And now you`re doing better.
GREEN: I`m doing great.
PINSKY: We have a couple of pieces of tape to look here.
PINSKY: So, let`s look at this as you walk your audience through the cancer treatment process. This is a clip from the MTV cancer special. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREEN: About a week ago, we were thinking, how the hell are we ever going to top the Monica Lewinsky special, and then, I got cancer, and it`s like bam.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
GREEN: This sucks so much. It just hit me like a wave. Put down like instant. One second everything is perfect. The next second, you`re awake, but there`s a tube going into your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) with a balloon in it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Do you have PTSD looking at the old footage? The before footage?
GREEN: It`s surreal, really, to think that that happened when it did, and you know, I had done so much very personal stuff. A lot of very personal stuff on my show. We turned the cameras back, my parents, I was barging into their bedroom at night.
PINSKY: A lot. Your parents (ph), a lot.
GREEN: Yes. I`d really --
PINSKY: By the way, I loved your shows, both that show that we watched and the talk show that followed. I loved them both.
GREEN: Yes. And we were doing that stuff early days of reality TV, 1994, I started --
PINSKY: You started reality TV. Don`t you think you were breaking the ground for this juggernaut that became reality TV?
GREEN: I love television. I love the David Letterman show, I love the tonight show, I love comedy. And I went to broadcasting school. And suddenly, there were video cameras available in the mid 1990s. I thought, well, we could make shows our self. We don`t have to get a TV deal. I`ll never get a TV deal, let`s make a show.
And suddenly, you`re more mobile. You can go everywhere. We go into my parents` bedroom. We do all sorts of very realistic, hyper realistic stuff, shocking, crazy stuff, and it was just sort of simply because it was available, it was possible. I wanted to do stuff that I hadn`t seen on TV before.
PINSKY: But in a way, that`s the generational sort of impulses. I mean, right now, a generation is dealing with the internet and webcams and sort of morphing that into the present day media.
GREEN: It`s really exciting.
PINSKY: Yes. And you`ve been on the forefront of that, too.
GREEN: Yes. You`ve been up to my house for the web television show, tom green.com.
PINSKY: I think your two huskies there.
GREEN: You were there many times. I built a TV studio in the living room.
PINSKY: You sure did.
PINSKY: Steve tried to bite me if I remember right.
GREEN: An interesting thing about the cancer special, though, to have done that, because I was very open about my testicular cancer.
GREEN: And this thing aired on MTV when the show was at its peak. And millions of kids saw it, young guys saw it, and I`m now touring around doing standup comedy. And I have people come up to me after my shows and say they saw that show, went to the doctor, got checked, got diagnosed with cancer because of it.
GREEN: That`s the positive power of media, right?
PINSKY: It`s become a very uplifting thing for me personally, because on one hand, you know, over the last few years, I`ve been going through dealing with the recuperating from it, with pain from it and then trying to figure that all out and dealing with just the sort of the shock of having had cancer. It really doesn`t go away right away.
GREEN: And on the other hand, I`m getting up on stage and talking about cancer, and people are responding and feeling good about --
PINSKY: Speaking of feeling good, you were in Afghanistan, and you entertained the troops. You showed me this footage. I don`t know whether it`s ready to roll out here, but I was impressed by it. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
When I say Afghan, you say stan. Afghan!
GREEN: I`m touring 11 months. Can you tell?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That`s what they trained you to do, right?
GREEN: Siren went off, so I hit the dirt.
PINSKY: That`s what they told you to do, right?
GREEN: That was in Kandahar. It was the 5,000, troops there, Canadian troops, American troops, Australian troops, British troops. It was very amazing experience.
PINSKY: It seems like that was another piece and your sort of elevating this whole process of coming back from cancer, was it not?
GREEN: Well, I think --
PINSKY: It changed you a little bit. You were anxious. You were excited to show me that footage, I remember, and you felt like you really had done something there.
GREEN: I think when I was younger before any of that health stuff happened to me, I was just -- you have this sort of unbridled enthusiasm, go out, go crazy, and do all the sort of outrageous physical stunts that I used to do, and then, that kind of makes you take pause.
Now, life is fragile and you really have to stay positive, but you also start thinking about things on different levels. And that`s what I love about doing standup is talking about things and discussing these kinds of issues.
PINSKY: They`re more realistic, more poignant, more personal.
GREEN: And getting old. Getting older. I`m 40. I`m 40 now. I`m 40.
PINSKY: Stop it, you`re young.
GREEN: It`s getting crazy.
PINSKY: Do we have time to show that Monica Lewinsky? Because to me, that was the one of the highest points of your series. I thought it was very bold. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREEN: This is my parents` house, OK. We`re going to go in, and we`re going to wake them up in their beds, and we`re going to get the perfect fabric.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tom told me this is the perfect fabric. And, so, I hope you don`t mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: So, I have to take a break. We`re going to come back. I want to know how you convince Monica Lewinsky -- that was right on the heels of the scandal, too.
GREEN: Yes. Barbara Walters couldn`t even get her.
PINSKY: And you got her to go break into your parent`s --
GREEN: A full hour.
PINSKY: A full hour with Monica.
All right. So, when we come back, we`re going to talk about how Tom`s antics spurred an entire industry of reality TV. We`re going to talk about how he convinced Monica to get involved in that. So, please stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Those of you that remember that is the Bum-Bum song.
GREEN: Bum-Bum song on headline news. I love that.
PINSKY: I never thought I`d live to say put those two words together. Bum-Bum song, headline news. Well done, Tom. And you have a new special you just filmed, coming up?
GREEN: Yes. I just shot it in Boston for Showtime. It`s going to be coming on next year, a standup special. My first standup comedy special. I`m excited about it.
PINSKY: I can`t wait to see that. And the way out, we were talking about Monica Lewinsky and how you were able -- I mean, Monica`s cred sort of went up as the result of -- I mean, she was really cool. She was not taking herself too seriously at a time when things really serious stuff was going on.
GREEN: I think that was why she did it. She was friends with somebody who is one of our writers of our show, and her brother was a fan of the show at the time, and she just agreed to get on a plane, fly up to Ottawa, Canada, unannounced, and we basically took the entire Canadian press corps on a wild goose chase through the city making them think that we were going to make some big crazy announcement, but --
PINSKY: But they knew she was up there?
GREEN: Yes. Well, we sort of let them know. We showed up at the TV station. But it was the last prank I ever pulled on my parents, because we walked into my parents` bedroom at four o`clock in the morning with Monica Lewinsky. They didn`t know we were in town. My dad got up and he looked at us, and he said, Monica, how you are doing?
GREEN: Completely unfazed. So, I think, OK, we`re not going to trick him anymore.
PINSKY: That was it. He proved himself with that threshold.
PINSKY: But I want to ask you that question about the reality shows again, because you really -- I think you`re just a half step ahead of everybody, and I think you were sort of carving that way to what became reality television, certainly the "Jack Ass" modality. Let me ask you this, though. Do you think it`s going too far? Is it having the influence you thought it would have in our culture or is it gone kind of --
GREEN: I think we`re kind of living in a society now that really does reward bad behavior. And you see, you know, "16 and Pregnant," you used to get in trouble, now, you get a TV show, right? It`s interesting to me that that`s happened. I, obviously, was mocking it when I did my show. I was trying to deconstruct the medium of television by doing things that I`d never seen before.
GREEN: And obviously to get some attention and get the show viewed, but I think because it did work and people saw that, it`s definitely escalated. I was watching the other day, my girlfriend and I were watching "Keeping up with the Kardashians."
And Khloe -- no, Kourtney -- Kourtney went over to her boyfriend, Scott Disick`s house, the parents` house in the Hamptons, and she didn`t like the way the place was decorated. So, she took all the furniture from the house, and she threw it in the garbage out in the front lawn, and then, they filmed (ph) the mother when she came home and she got really mad that they`ve thrown all the furniture out. And I look that, and I said, that`s my bit, man. That`s my bit.
PINSKY: That`s what I did to my parents. Well, Tom, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it. If you will look for the Showtime special, go to tomgreen.com to look for his comedy where --
GREEN: On tour.
PINSKY: He`ll come to town near you.
PINSKY: Now, I got a couple of words before we go about Hollywood and pathology which where we started this conversation back low 45, 50 minutes ago. And here is the thing. There`s a common belief that celebrity itself creates the behavior that we`re watching so much in all this industry that keeps an eye on celebrity, and I just want people to be aware that it does not appear to be true.
That my research, and I`m the only published literature on this, shows that the kind of person that drives to be a celebrity these days, particularly, the reality show type which we`ve been talking about so much with tom, those folks tend to have a lot of pre-existing pathology. That`s what the research shows.
And so, when you see the acting out, it just -- celebrity gives them the opportunity. It doesn`t create the pathology. Got more to talk about. Stay with us. We`ll see you -- oh, see you next week. See you next time.