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Abusive Grandparents?; Houston`s Family Opens Up
Aired March 12, 2012 - 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.
What is the line between punishment and child abuse? The law says these grandparents crossed it. They admit to forcing their own grandson to kneel for hours on end. They thought it was a good way to discipline him. Not me.
And Bobbi Kristina tells Oprah that she has accepted her mom`s death. Has she really? We`ll get into it.
Let`s get started.
PINSKY: And tonight, a 13-year-old boy from Florida is forced to kneel on the bathroom floor with his hands behind his back for over nine hours as punishment for so-called misbehaving. According to an affidavit, the discipline, so-called, also included a morning protein shake, made up of chicken and vegetables. He was denied food the rest of that day.
His own grandparents, Albert and Nancy Cusson admit that they, again, punished him, so-called, that way. Went on for 10 days before the boy ran away from home and told a neighbor. The Cussons were in court today, charged with aggravated child abuse in this case, and -- get this -- another one involving the boy`s sister, their granddaughter.
Joining me, Judge Karen Mills-Francis, host of "Judge Karen`s Court"; and Polk County, Florida Sheriff Grady Judd.
Sheriff Judd, you said jail is too good for these people. Tell us exactly what happened in that home.
SHERIFF GRADY JUDD, POLK COUNTY, FL: Well, it is beyond description. But here`s the best we can do with the words. This young boy, only 13 years of age, wasn`t doing his homework. So, they put him on his knees with his hands behind his back holding the stick on the bathroom floor, and he was told to look straight ahead. This started at 7:00 in the morning, went until 4:00 in the afternoon for 10 straight days.
He was only given a protein shake in the morning, nothing else to eat or drink all day long. At the end of 10 days, he had a three day rest, when all of a sudden he didn`t do his homework again. So they sentenced him to 20 days, from 7:00 a.m. to midnight.
And on day two, he ran away. He was walking down the street about a mile from his house whenever a Good Samaritan saw he was having trouble walking, took him in, called the sheriff`s office.
PINSKY: And, Sheriff, how was it that the school didn`t find out about this? I mean, all of those days absent, didn`t somebody come looking around. Weren`t there any social agencies that may have picked up on this kid having vanished?
JUDD: Well, I can`t release details of why it wasn`t obvious, but he was not in a public school system, if that gives you any indication.
PINSKY: Got it.
Judge Karen, now, listen -- I am sympathetic to the message that we`ve got to do our parenting, that people aren`t doing enough to kids that misbehave. But come on now -- are we going the other direction, where people are now becoming overtly abusive and expecting that to help their kid`s behavior?
JUDGE KAREN MILLS-FRANCIS, HOST, "JUDGE KAREN`S COURT": You know what? The behavior of the grandparents amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Cruel and unusual punishment under the Constitution is torture and degradation.
These people took parenting far beyond what`s acceptable anywhere legally -- to beat this child, to bind the child, to not feed the child, to humiliate the child. I read one report that said apparently the mother here is not his biological grandmother, that his biological grandmother lives next door. She said in the past that this boy has been placed in diapers to shame him.
My question is: how come she hadn`t called the police? How come she hadn`t made a claim to Child Services? And I understand that he has been home schooled, which is why he wasn`t in school, and this wasn`t reported to the school.
But we don`t know what kind of hell has been going on in this house, and for how long.
PINSKY: And I got to remind people, that these are still allegations, though an aunt that lives in the same neighborhood -- that everyone seems to live around these same grandparents -- she says the grandparents also made their 13-year-old grandson, just as Judge Karen was saying, wear diapers, adult diapers.
Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA KNOCK, BOY`S AUNT: He told us one time he was locked in the closet. He told us they weren`t feeding him. One time, he jumped the fence wearing an adult diaper because he was locked in the bathroom. Told us he was duct-taped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Sheriff, I understand there`s also another child that`s being looked into. Is that accurate?
JUDD: Not only looked into it, it is a 9-year-old little girl who was also placed on her knees, with her hands behind her back for two days, and we have charged them with those charges as well. In fact, these charges collectively could get them 120 years a piece in state prison.
And quite frankly, that`s too good for them. This was beyond torture. Can you imagine -- can you even imagine doing this to a 13 and 9-year-old child? And it is so outrageous, we have not seen a case quite like this in our entire career of law enforcement.
PINSKY: Now, let me sort of --
MILLS-FRANCIS: In Florida statute --
PINSKY: Go ahead, Karen, please.
MILLS-FRANCIS: Under the Florida statute, they`re charged with aggravated child abuse. Malicious punishment. Guess what definition in Florida statute is on malicious punishment? Evil intent.
And there was nothing but evil intent in what we see here. There was no humanity. Nobody would treat a dog the way these two people treated these two kids.
I`m thinking about the hell these children have been going through for how long? How often? What else has gone on with these kids that we don`t know? I care a lot about children. I work with a lot of foster children in Florida, and I`m really upset that nobody -- everybody in this family seemed to know something was going on with these children, but nobody reported it to the police. Nobody reported it to child services.
PINSKY: That`s the part that I find rather astonishing. That people knew it, didn`t do anything. And I`m wondering what the heck their defense could possibly be.
Sheriff, you had something to say real quick?
JUDD: Yes. I just wanted to agree with the judge.
But, Judge, we`re into it now, and there`s no one that loves children more than me, and our detectives who have done a great job on this, and we`re digging in and we`re not going to be satisfied with just these current charges. We`re going to go back, do a historical case, and bring all the criminal charges we can against these folks.
MILLS-FRANCIS: Bring the entire weight of the system down on them.
JUDD: We`re going to do that.
PINSKY: I want to read this to you. It says, listen to this, "The boy had three red marks on his back which he said were from Nancy Cusson" - - his step I guess grandmother -- "hitting him with a stick because she caught him moving around while he was kneeling. Marks and blisters were observed on his knees, which were said to have been the result of being made to kneel for so long."
Wow. Judge, Sheriff rather, my understanding is that Child Protective Services is well into this. Do they have the kids?
JUDD: That`s correct. Child Protective Services have the children. When we first saw this young man, he had blisters on both knees. One knee was in infected and he walking like an 80-year-old with back problems.
JUDD: That`s how much pain the child was in. It is -- absolutely, words don`t describe the absolute horror of this entire event where he was literally caged in this bathroom, and made to sleep at night in the bathtub during his discipline process.
PINSKY: Oh, my God.
Karen, let --
MILLS-FRANCIS: Do we know how long he had been living there?
PINSKY: He did 10 days, then he was going to do another 20. He made two of those, then went on the lam, thank God.
But, Karen, let me ask you a provocative question. I understand the kid had some very, very serious behavioral problems. To me, he sounds like he needed intensive psychological and psychiatric services.
Is that maybe the system that failed these grandparents, and they, out of desperation, end up doing horrible things?
MILLS-FRANCIS: Oh, no, come on now. Nobody behaves like that.
Don`t take them off the hook here. These are two evil people who had two innocent children. These children are staying with them for a reason, probably because their parents weren`t taking care of them.
Here they are put in another family, and this family is doing what they`re doing. There`s no excuse.
And they claim to be home schooling them? What criteria?
PINSKY: I know.
MILLS-FRANCIS: What qualifications do they have to be home schooling these children? They`ve ruined them for life.
PINSKY: Guys -- I think you`re right on that one, Karen. I think that is absolutely true. And that`s why this needs to be really as you say the full extent of the law brought to bear.
Next, we`re going to show you what the sheriff`s affidavit revealed about how the grandparents allegedly abused the nine-year-old granddaughter which is another horror story.
Please stay with us.
PINSKY: Welcome back.
We have been talking about alleged abuse of a teenage boy at the hands of his grandparents. Police say the Lakeland, Florida, couple forced their 13-year-old grandson to kneel for nine to 10 hours a day with his hands behind his back, and then sleep in a bathtub in order to be disciplined.
Albert Cusson and his wife Nancy admitted to punishing, so called, the boy, but said it didn`t hurt him? Didn`t hurt him.
Back with us, Judge Karen, host of "Judge Karen`s Court". Also joining me, clinical psychologist Lisa Boesky. She`s the author of "When to Worry." And the attorney for Albert and Nancy Cusson, Kevin Humpries.
Kevin, there`s a -- I mean, these are really intense allegations. What is the defense?
KEVIN HUMPRIES, ATTORNEY FOR CUSSON FAMILY: Well, obviously, one thing I want to caution everybody against is rushing to judgment, lighting the torches, and mounting the horse and getting the posse to go out is not the proper thing to do. I believe that this isn`t just going to be he said/she said scenario. I belief there`s going to be documentary evidence to show there`s no way this boy was kept for 10 days straight, nine hours a day, before this incident occurred.
I also believe that the evidence, the credible evidence will show that he was made to kneel as punishment, but it was up to him when he got up.
PINSKY: And how long? He`s down there long enough to have injuries to his knees allegedly.
HUMPRIES: Right, but we don`t know what the extent of that is. Allegedly, there was blistering on the knees. And if you took these allegations as the gospel, which are based on the rendition of facts of this one sole 13-year-old who has my understand has had history of mental illness and diagnosed forensic psychology evaluations that show a pattern and history, and I`m not trying to make him the defendant, he is a child and he`s got a mental illness, and I`m sensitive to that.
But my understanding is he does have a history that would call his credibility into question and that he would manipulate situations for leverage and his own well-being.
Just four years ago, my partner Melody Lopez represented a lady, a young girl, that was charged with kidnapping, and a punctual biological offense in a teen beating case. Her family got hate mail, death threats for months. Ultimately, those charges were dropped.
I just caution everyone. You don`t know the whole story until you`ve heard both sides of the story.
PINSKY: All right.
HUMPRIES: Don`t rush to judgment.
PINSKY: Let me go to Judge Karen -- let me go to Judge Karen, who`s gathering the villagers and lighting the torches. Karen, have you heard, and you`re the legal expert here. You heard what Mr. Humpries said. What do you ask?
MILLS-FRANCIS: I used to be -- I used to be a criminal defense attorney. So, I would be saying all the things that this lawyer is saying. You know, that`s a great job.
But this isn`t he said/she said. We got grandma next door that says, you know what? He was put ago diaper on the boy, treating the boy bad. We got the auntie down the street that said that he`s been torturing this boy for a long time.
We have a 9-year-old sister that said I witnessed this thing going off on days and days and days, and we know that Family Services goes in a lot of times and investigates and they walk away, say we didn`t see any signs of abuse. They have snatched these two children out of the home.
I wish you all the best defending your client. You`re doing a good job. That`s what defense attorneys are supposed to do.
But let`s call a spade a spade here. There`s a lot more going on here.
PINSKY: All right. Let me -- let me -- Karen, I love you. Let me tell you the couple is charged, as you were mentioning, aggravated child abuse against their 9-year-old granddaughter. That affidavit reads, quote, "9-year-old girl stated she had to kneel two days, could only eat in the morning. She said she had marks on her knees, but the marks had healed. Somebody saw her kneeling several days and had witnessed Nancy and Albert slap her in the face on separate occasion."
By the way, we didn`t even have a chance to address these so-called protein shakes that he drank. I`m hearing they were with chicken, which from a physician`s standpoint, chicken that`s undercooked is dangerous for anybody, let alone kids.
So, Kevin, are these all children lying? Or the neighbors lying?
HUMPRIES: Well, what`s the major lack of evidence we have at this point is absolutely no forensic medical evidence. One would think if a 13- year-old were subjected to kneeling nine hours straight -- and I mind you, I believe those allegations are going to be undermined, not just by the testimony of the defendants in this case, my clients, but by actual documentary evidence that make sure they were traveling and other places during that time with the alleged victim.
I just caution everyone. A spade a spade, everyone knows there`s unique social dynamics in each and every family, and I don`t know if there`s history of bad blood between those neighbors or not.
PINSKY: All right. Fair enough. Kevin, I am going to interrupt you there.
Lisa Boesky, is it ever just bad blood? You and I have dealt with this stuff an awful lot, when these things get talked about, bandied about, usually, there`s something is going on.
LISA BOESKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, that`s exactly right. Maybe it wasn`t nine hours, and maybe it wasn`t 10 days. But just the fact there were blisters and bleeding on his knees, he was walking hunched over. As we heard before, the grandmother was calling the police --
PINSKY: But let me talk about this, and this is my bigger concern. And I really -- I am very concerned. Now, Karen is not going to give the grandparents a break for this, I am concerned the system failed the parents, I`m concerned that this kid did have severe psychiatric problems that were left unattended, and, you know, that could be a tough thing to deal with for a family, right?
BOESKY: But that`s absolutely no excuse.
PINSKY: Doesn`t make it OK. Doesn`t make it OK. I`m just saying that, you know, what`s the psychiatric condition this kid had? Lit furniture on fire and what not? I mean, I heard that kind of stuff.
BOESKY: Well, the thing is, given the way, we don`t know where bio mom is, we don`t know where bio dad is. Bio grandmother is next door, but she has no kind of impact.
PINSKY: Bio dad, is that sort of robot dad?
BOESKY: Biological mom, biological dad, is that there may be mental illness in this family.
BOESKY: Is that this boy may have inherited something, and then given what his home life is like, that`s likely impacting it as well.
PINSKY: Or causing it.
BOESKY: Or causing it. But it`s likely an interaction of inheritance and environment.
PINSKY: Yes. Sure.
BOESKY: But the key is, if the grandparents are struggling with him, then they need to get help. There`s community mental health resources --
PINKSY: That`s what I`m saying. Did that maybe fail them?
BOESKY: We don`t know. But even if it did, that is no reason for --
PINSKY: If that alleged behavior actually occurred.
BOESKY: And I would say it sounds like something is going on here, it may not have been this extreme.
But this isn`t the only story. We just heard a couple weeks ago about the grandparents who ran -- as punishment, ran her young girl around the living room and she died. Just a few months ago, there was another girl who was locked in a chest and she died.
This is not the only story. I hear these stories every day, much worse than this, and nobody is talking about it.
PINSKY: Well, Kevin, do we know who the parents are themselves? And have they come forward? Are they talking? Do they have a history of mental illness themselves?
HUMPRIES: No, and I believe there were some issues in those households. And that`s why, ultimately, they were placed in Albert and Nancy`s residence, and Albert did a single parent adoption.
PINSKY: And --
MILLS-FRANCIS: So these children were already in the system. Sounds like these children were already in the system.
MILLS-FRANCIS: That these are --
MILLS: Where was Child Protective Services?
HUMPRIES: I can`t --
PINSKY: That`s right.
HUMPRIES: -- speak on a lot of the evidence regarding the children and regarding the history of the children, but I think that if everybody on this panel were privy to that information, it may sway their opinions at this time.
PINSKY: All right. Karen, before you light the torches, let`s give Kevin a few minutes, OK? Keep the villagers at bay. I`m just saying.
By the way, I want to thank you, Kevin, for being part of this panel. I really do appreciate you stepping forward, and taking this on.
We`re going to have a little more on the case, and then we`re going to then show you what Bobbi Kristina said about her mom, Whitney Houston, to Oprah. And we`re going to look at that very carefully. You don`t want to miss it.
Stay with us.
PINSKY: Welcome back.
We`ve been talking about the grandparents accused of making their grandchildren kneel for hours on end on a tile floor with no breaks to eat or go to the bathroom.
Well, but to be fair, they gave him a protein shake of vegetable and chicken in the morning.
Sheriff Grady Judd, you just heard the attorney for the Cussons defend the allegations. What do you make of what he was saying?
JUDD: Yes. Kevin is a good attorney, and he did exactly what he should have done.
But here`s what we know -- we know that we have these children telling us exactly what happened. We have physical evidence backing it up. And we have these folks telling us that they were disciplining the children.
So when you put that together, along with all of our background investigation, we`re very comfortable with our investigation.
Our detectives are the best in the business, and our job is just to look out for the children and make sure we send the best case possible to the state attorney`s office who has great prosecutors that will take it from there.
PINSKY: And, Lisa --
PINSKY: Hold on, Karen. I want you to be my -- get the villagers ready, torches ready to light. I`m going to give you a second here.
But, Lisa, let`s say it`s 80 percent less of what`s been alleged. What`s the damage still done?
BOESKY: Well, think about it -- discipline without love and teaching is really just being mean.
PINSKY: Well, it is being abusive.
BOESKY: Well, what they`re doing if it as alleged, is actually torture.
BOESKY: It really is torture. I work on lawsuits in jails and prisons. If what was done to these children was done to an inmate, a murderer or a rapist, they would be sued. They would be arrested. You can`t even do this --
PINSKY: Let`s say it was 90 percent less than what`s alleged? It`s still be that, right? Ninety percent less.
BOESKY: You cannot do it -- you can`t defend someone going to the bathroom.
BOESKY: You can`t -- but -- so, the damage -- the damage to this boy and to this girl, but let`s say this boy, is that he`s being treated worse than a dog. So, the feeling is, "I`m bad," because they`re saying, "You`re bad."
PINSKY: I`m worthless.
BOESKY: I`m worthless and I deserve this.
PINSKY: And, by the way, it shatters the brain`s ability to regulate, and it becomes dis-regulated system.
Karen, light up the torches, let`s take this thing home.
MILLS-FRANCIS: I didn`t mean to light a torch. I understand that the lawyer is defending his clients.
One of the things, though, he said was that -- oh, yes, he was ordered to get down on his knees, but he could get up any time he wants to. What kind of punishment is that, OK?
I think that even if 20 percent of this is true, and there`s usually some truth somewhere once the dust settles, I think it is atrocious. I think they deserve everything that they have coming to them.
What I feel is unfortunate that these children`s parents weren`t there, that we can`t rely on the grandparents, we can`t rely on these other relatives to look out for them either, who is going to take care of these children from here into their adulthood?
PINSKY: Yes. I mean, this is a massive system failure from the standpoint of the community system. But the system failure within that family.
Sheriff, keep up the good work. We will check in with you. See how this thing plays out.
Karen, like I said, you`ve got a bunch of anxious villagers there. Go get them. I appreciate you being with us.
MILLS-FRANCIS: Thank you.
PINSKY: And, Lisa, as always, thank you for the comments.
Coming up, we`re going to be talking about Bobbi Kristina`s interview with Oprah about Whitney Houston`s death. What it suggested to me, I was concerned about the fact that she was talking so much about talking to her mom. We`ll talk about that.
Also, if you got a question for me, go to our Web site at HLNTV.com and tell us what that question is, and you might end up on the on-call segment, which is next, where you can ask me just about anything. As I`ve said over and over, no topic is taboo. So, please, bring us your questions, calls, e-mails, Facebook, Twitters. Get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Coming up, Whitney Houston`s family reveals the details surrounding her death. The tragic efforts to revive the singer, what she was doing in the days before she died, how she spent the night before, and if she was on drugs at the time. Bobbi Kristina tells Oprah she has accepted her mother`s passing. I`m not so sure.
But first, your questions, my answers, "On-Call" next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): All right. Now, welcome back. Question, have you heard about the new study in which LSD, that`s right, LSD, has showed promise in treating alcoholism? Let`s go to it. Loretta posts this on Facebook. "I know you can`t possibly think this is a good idea. What do you think?"
Stacey on Facebook, Stacey wants to know, "Is it ever a good idea to treat one addiction with another possible one?"
And finally, this is Sara who says, "LSD for alcoholism? Are you kidding? I took it twice in the 1970s and thought I didn`t have any arms or legs. Music was great, though, unless LSD is different than today."
Gentlemen -- yes, I knew you, guys, would find that very, very amusing. All right. Let me address these questions. Stacy, "is it ever good to treat one addiction with another, no." There`s no such thing in my world, abstinence is the goal. That`s in my world. Now, some people believe in something called harm avoidance where you give one medicine that has a different pharmacology, and therefore, associated with less behavioral problems.
I think that`s -- if you have the possibility of returning to a flourishing, full life -- I would say this, why don`t we just -- why don`t we ever treat our peers with anything other than abstinence, doctors treat doctors, abstinence only. And do I think it`s a good idea, and this is back to the other two questions, listen, this study says one thing and one thing only, is that it -- that LSD performed well to other pharmacological interventions that really don`t work anyway.
So, it`s like saying this doesn`t work. Well, LSD doesn`t really work either. It doesn`t compare to abstinence or 12-step or any of the other treatment modalities that really lead to a full recovery. So, it`s a very interesting study. I`m all for people continuing to look at these things, because maybe someday, there will be something that will help, that will help more than what we have.
LSD, not one of those things, not to mention the fact that most drugs that cause hallucination are tend to be neurotoxic, in my opinion, because I`ve seen lots of long-term, long-term changes of people`s personality and mood from even moderate hallucinogen to use. So, even modest. So, that`s not worth the risk.
Hey, Jack in Florida, what`s going on?
JACK, FLORIDA: Hi. The other night when we`re talking about addiction, you made some kind of reference that people may medicate because of traumatic events. And as a therapist, I have to be very careful that they don`t suggest that because they might come up with a false memory.
PINSKY: You know, what I said, Jack -- you`re a professional yourself, right? You`re a counselor or therapist?
JACK: Right. I`m a licensed (INAUDIBLE).
PINSKY: OK. What I said was, I connected emotional disregulation with trauma. I don`t really care about the trauma. I just know that people that come to my world, if they have addiction, it`s almost without exception that if you have bad enough addiction you need to see me, you had a trauma that led to emotional disregulation, and it`s the emotional disregulation that I focus on, entering a frame with another person, a closeness with another human being that allows the addict to build the capacity to regulate.
The traumas themselves, the last thing I`m interested in is revivifying or revisiting a trauma that was horrible for somebody. So, I kind of stay away from that, particularly, early in the stages of treatment, which is mostly what I`m engaged with. So, I was hoping to shine a light on the issue of emotional disregulation, which is what leads people to use substances. Got it?
PINSKY: All right. Thank you for that, Jack.
And I`ve got, I believe, -- Is Halle Berry and actor, Olivier Martinez, are engaged? Bunch of you were jumping all over that story. I`ve got Delian on Fabooks says, "Why bother with convention? Engaged, married, divorced, then start all over again. Why do they bother? Does she believe marriage will keep the guy from straying? Hah!"
Well, that`s interesting. Let me take another Facebook. This is in Sarah on Facebook who says, "Definitely, I`ve been here. In fact, I said, I`ve never seen a happily married couple so I don`t want to get married or have children."
Well, now I`m happily married with children. And I think both those questions go at this issue, which is, you know, poor Halle Berry has a long history of picking bad guys, I mean, picking -- I don`t say bad guys, the wrong guys, guys that have issues. She`s clearly somebody with, you know, sort of a love addiction, codependency syndrome.
Whenever you see somebody continually getting involved with people who are addicts, or sex addicts, or people that stray or cheat, and then leave those relationships, that`s somebody who`s not willing to do the work on themselves. And so, they will continue to make those bad choices. Now, as you said, Sara, it`s possible to change, it`s possible to make a good choice, and most people do that.
Most people sort of learn from their past mistakes, but a lot of people don`t. So, if you, for instance, are out there, and you notice that you keep picking the wrong kind of guy, the guys that leave, the guys that cheat, the guys that are substance users, that`s in you.
That`s the kind of person you`re attracted to, unless, you do some work on yourself, you`re going to continue to be -- that`s going to be your love maps are going to put you together with that kind of person until you do the hard work that causes change. Where you do that work, you can get a therapist, of course, also a program called Al Anon, it`s free 12-step program. Those are things you can look into.
Phil in Texas, it`s your turn. Go right ahead.
PHIL, TEXAS: Yes. Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Phil.
PHIL: Rush Limbaugh recently called Mrs. Fluke a slut and a whore. He was wrong to do this (ph) and apologized. But I remember Joy Behar calling Sharron Angle and admittedly terrible candidate for governor of Arizona a name that rhymes with rich. She also apologized but said it again for good measure during her apology. Where was your outrage then?
PINSKY: I don`t think I had a show then, but I don`t think it`s OK to call somebody a bitch. So, I`m with you on that.
PHIL: Sarah Palin has called -- been called terrible, vulgar, obscene names.
PHIL: What could possibly be more demeaning to all women than that?
PINSKY: Hey, Phil. Phil, I am 100 percent with you. I mean, that was -- the Rush story was one that happened to catch everyone`s eye that day. It was the one in the news, but I am 100 percent with you. I am not OK with any of that. I really am not, Phil. And my thing is, I try to -- you know, I kind of stay away from the politics of all of this myself.
I`m more interested in the fact that we think it`s OK because a woman is in power or looks a certain way or talks a certain way. It`s OK to attack them personally. I mean, we reserve a very special kind of aggression for women, don`t we?
I mean, especially women, think about it, I actually wrote a book about -- couple chapters in a book about this, women that misbehave, particularly women like young women that use their sexuality and their looks as part of their career, they really get attacked and called horrible things.
And it seems like we do the same kind of thing with women in politics on both sides of the aisle. It looks to me like we reserve -- I mean, I can`t even think -- we don`t talk about men that way, do we? I mean, do we? Am I wrong on this, Phil?
PHIL: No, doctor. It seems like it is reserved for women, and it`s so demeaning to all of them. Our President Obama is asking for more civility in our political discourse and rhetoric, but this is not going to end until both sides, when you see it, you got to call it out wherever you find it.
PINSKY: Thank you, Phil, for the comment. I think you`re absolutely right. And I`m all for more civility. This isn`t what the founding fathers intended at all. So, thank you for that comment.
All right, guys. So, LSD, not so good for addiction. If I was clear about that, I was a little worked up talking about that, but that was something I was talking about at the beginning of this segment, which is it can potentially hurt your brain, not worth the risk, and clearly, not much more beneficial than anything else we have out there and not nearly as effective as what I know to work, which is comprehensive treatment.
That`s what we reserve for our physician peers, why not that being good enough for our patients as well.
All right. Coming up, Whitney Houston and her battle with addiction, speaking of addiction. Her family`s revealing interview with Oprah is next.
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BOBBI KRISTINA, WHITNEY HOUSTON`S DAUGHTER: All that negativity is just -- it`s garbage. That`s not my mother. That`s not who she is. They just want to talk. They want to say what they want to say. They can do whatever they want to do. But in reality, I know who she was. Her family knows who she was. You know who she was.
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OPRAH WINFREY, HOST: Did you all, family, try to get her help for the drugs? Did you try to intervene?
PATRICIA HOUSTON, WHITNEY HOUSTON`S SISTER-IN-LAW AND MANAGER: We were always trying, but the choice was always theirs and hers. They`re grown people.
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PINSKY: That was Whitney Houston`s Sister-in-law and manager opening up to Oprah Winfrey last night on OWN, a month after the singer`s death. Autopsy results are expected to be released within the week. Houston was found unconscious in her hotel bathtub last month. She was apparently pulled from the water and then resuscitated or resuscitation attempts were under way.
Patricia Houston says she does not believe Houston was taking, quote, "drugs, prior to her death." Take a look at this.
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PATRICIA HOUSTON: I don`t think drugs was an issue for her before her death. I don`t know what happened that day, when you have fittings and when you have to go in to see your throat doctor -- high? Absolutely not. Be too paranoid to do that. Leading up to, I would say no. Drinking, having a drink, she may have.
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PINSKY: Alcohol is a drug. If you are drinking, you are on drugs. She is, unfortunately, just talking about cocaine because stimulants cause paranoia. Downers do not cause paranoia. Painkillers, benzodiazepines, and those are the things that allegedly found in her bathroom.
Joining me to discuss this, Whitney Houston`s friend Nicci Gilbert, also a clinical psychologist, Lisa Boesky, author of "When to Worry," and Tommy Stylz, Bobby Brown`s long-time friend and producer. And Nicci, you were with Patricia and Whitney at the Los Angeles nightclub days before her death. The allegations where she was drinking. Did you see any of that?
NICCI GILBERT, KNEW WHITNEY: Once again, I will say that I think that we are sort of -- I see a bat and I see a horse, and I think we`re sort of beating a dead horse here. I did not partake in drinking with Whitney Houston. I did not see Whitney Houston with a drink in her hand, but I also don`t necessarily feel that the drink that she may have had that night is what killed her. I love you, Dr. Drew, but I disagree 100 percent.
PINSKY: I love you, too, Nicci, but I bring you on to give an alternative point of view.
PINSKY: So, please do offer it. I`m open to it.
GILBERT: Absolutely. I just -- go ahead.
PINSKY: Go ahead.
GILBERT: No. I was just going to say, I think, you know, one thing that this interview brought to light for all of us is that Whitney Houston was in the process of cleaning things up, because she wanted to put things together for her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, who wants to continue her mother`s legacy, who wants to move forward in the music industry, which, I think, is an absolutely amazing idea.
Because, I think, that this little girl has so much to offer. Like she said, she said her mother`s spirit was there with her. And I think that we keep sort of talking about what happened and what she was doing days before, and the real issue, for me, is how we protect Bobbi Kristina as she moves forward to continue her mother`s legacy.
PINSKY: Now, Lisa, you`re shaking your head vigorously when Nicci says that. Tell me what you`re thinking.
LISA BOESKY, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. Vickie (ph) couldn`t have said it better. You know, I know that Bobbi Kristina said I`m doing OK, I`m doing OK, and she maybe right now, but I felt like she`s still in shock. It`s only been 30 days.
PINSKY: She has to be.
BOESKY: Yes. And the fact that they were so incredibly close and the fact her mom did have some issues with drugs that does something to a parent child relationship, I think that we need to --
PINSKY: Makes the child feel responsible.
BOESKY: Yes. Well, of course, -- and she`s taking care of Whitney in the past. So, there`s a part of her, I`m sure, that is, could I have, should I have.
PINSKY: Blaming herself, yes.
BOESKY: Of course.
BOESKY: So, what I would say is, right now, family is around her. There`s a lot of this stuff, but when family goes back to their own lives, when the pressure of the business gets on Bobbi Kristina, I think that`s when we really need to watch, because it would be abnormal for her to not have a hard time. We should expect her to have a hard time.
PINSKY: And Nicci is saying yes. I see Nicci is shaking her head yes.
GILBERT: Well, I don`t necessarily agree that we should expect her to have a hard time. I think it is the responsibility of all the movers and the shakers, we talked a lot about it. Now, it`s time for us to take action. Then use (ph) to be an action thing, not just for Bobbi Kristina, but Teena Marie`s daughter, Alia, who was -- Teena Marie recently, excuse me, passed on.
I think we need to embrace these artists, and I think that we need to not say that she`s doomed because she`s a part of the entertainment industry. I was talking to --
BOESKY: I got to --
GILBERT: I`m sorry? You got -- go ahead.
BOESKY: I was just going to say, it`s not being doomed, it is a natural human response to grieve the loss of your mother.
BOESKY: And I think that what she needs is therapist around her. She needs a psychologist that she can talk to about her inner thoughts and fears and how much she misses her mom without impacting anybody around her. That`s normal. That`s what you would want.
PINSKY: That`s with somebody (ph) I love. Now, part of this whole story is Bobby Brown, and he left Whitney Houston`s funeral for reasons that are still unclear. Despite rumors, the Whitney Houston and her family -- her family, rather, wanted Bobby at the funeral, apparently. Here`s Whitney`s brother on OWN. Take a look what he has to say.
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GARY HOUSTON, WHITNEY HOUSTON`S BROTHER: He was supposed to be there. He was supposed to be there. I don`t know what went on doing there, because they kept us from going upstairs. You know, I don`t know if there was too many people with him, entourage of people. I don`t know what the situation was. I heard so many different things.
WINFREY: I just want to make sure that people hear this, Whitney Houston`s family did not, in any way, ask that he not be there or prevent him from being there.
GARY HOUSTON: Absolutely not.
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PINSKY: And Tommy, is that your understanding, that`s one question. And my other question is, how is Bobby doing? He seems like, you know, he doesn`t have access to his daughter. I imagine he`s in a lot of anguish.
TOMMY STYLZ, BOBBY BROWN`S PRODUCER, FRIEND: In my conversation with him recently, the day after services, he seemed to be in best spirits. We was hopeful to see each other the day of his concert, but unfortunately, I had previous engagements.
And I mentioned to him that, you know, had I driven out there, I wouldn`t want him having the responsibility of looking left to right for me, wondering where I was, and he reminded me that being a friend is a responsibility, and that pretty much, you know, summed up our conversation.
PINSKY: Is he trying to -- Tommy, is Bobby trying to see Bobbi Kristina? Is that something he wants to really develop that relationship again?
STYLZ: Of course, naturally. Naturally, that`s something he would be trying to do. That`s his daughter. He loves her. Absolutely.
PINSKY: Yes. I would think so. And then, this business of him being welcomed at the funeral, but leaving prematurely, do you know anything about that?
STYLZ: We had not spoken on it, no. I do know nothing of it, no.
PINSKY: And I just -- I mean, he`s somebody I really worry about, too, in all this story. I mean, everyone is worrying about Bobbi Kristina, reasonably so, but this man has got to be going through a lot as well. Are people rallying behind him or is he sort of out there alone trying to manage all this?
STYLZ: Absolutely. Bobby is a very strong man, and he has a strong family, a wonderful wife, and, you know, host of people around him that support him. So, he`s, you know--
PINSKY: OK. Well, that`s good. Nicci, you`re shaking your head.
STYLZ: --and has that.
GILBERT: I agree. I think what`s really important is that we remember that this is this child`s father. Her decisions right now as it pertains to Bobby Brown are her decisions. Even her Aunt Pat left that territory alone.
And I think we`re beating up on Bobby Brown, because this industry and the media and everybody need somebody to beat up on, and I think we need to consider the fact that she needs a father. So, when she gets ready --
PINSKY: Nicci, as always, well said. I think that`s the issue. Whatever may have gone before, whatever people think of Bobby, that`s what -- that`s what Bobbi Kristina needs right now is her daddy.
Thank you, Tommy Stylz, thank you to Nicci Gilbert. Lisa Boesky, I believe you`re staying with me.
Coming up, Bobbi Kristina tells Oprah that she`s hearing her mother`s voice, feeling her spirit. We`re going to talk about whether this is normal grieving behavior. Stay with us.
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WINFREY: They actually come to you in your dreams?
BOBBI KRISTINA: Oh, yes.
WINFREY: You had that?
BOBBI KRISTINA: Oh, yes.
BOBBI KRISTINA: Oh, yes, especially throughout the house. Throughout the house, you know, lights, you know, turn on and off, and I`m like mom, what are you doing?
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PINSKY: Welcome back. Now, Whitney Houston`s daughter spoke about her mother`s death for the first time last night on Oprah`s "Next Chapter." Bobbi Kristina reveals that she can hear her mother`s voice. Watch this.
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BOBBI KRISTINA: I can hear her voice, you know, in spirit talking to me and telling me, you know, keep moving, baby, you know? You know, I`m right here, I got you, you know?
WINFREY: I got you?
WINFREY: That`s what she said all the time?
BOBBI KRISTINA: Yes. She`s always with me. I can always feel her. I can always feel her with me.
WINFREY: Is that what you hear in your head, I`ve got you?
BOBBI KRISTINA: That`s all I`m hearing. That`s all I`m hearing.
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PINSKY: So, is she, Bobbi Kristina, hearing her mother`s voice in her head as a way of grieving or is it actually some kind of hallucinatory experience? Psychiatrist, DR. JOHN SHARP, joins us. Lisa Boesky stays with me. Dr. Sharp, do you think she`s grieving normally?
DR. JOHN SHARP, PSYCHIATRIST: I do.
PINSKY: You think she is.
SHARP: I do, indeed.
PINSKY: Lisa does not feel so. Lisa thinks she`s just barely holding it together.
BOESKY: Well, I don`t know if I`d go that far -- I don`t (ph) think she`s compartmentalizing, but I think would be normal she`s doing an interview, but I think she made a conscious choice not to sit with Oprah on the couch, because I think she would have poured out her tears and cried. So, she made sure not to sit down and just --
PINSKY: Dr. Sharp, what about that?
SHARP: Well, that`s pretty speculative. I mean, whether she is sitting or standing, what we`re seeing here is fully consistent with normal grieving.
SHARP: People alternate between being overwhelmed and trying to suppress that. People experience the loss loved one physically or auditorily.
PINSKY: OK. So, tell me about that. I have seen -- I have talked to patients, I`ve talked to friends who have these, I can only call them hallucinatory experience as the part of their grieving. If you`re shaking your head no, you`re shaking your head yes. Is it normal or not?
SHARP: Well, let`s define it. You`re talking about coming --
PINSKY: I have people literally have said I spoke to my mother. She appeared in front of me.
SHARP: It`s normal. Normal.
PINSKY: That`s normal. Lisa, normal?
BOESKY: And I think she -- I`ve heard her. I think she`s heard Whitney so many times say I`ve got your back, so she hears her mother`s voice. I don`t think it is a hallucination.
PINSKY: Well, he`s saying -- it`s normal. And so, when it become abnormal? If they start like having playing chess or --
SHARP: Playing chess would be abnormal. I think going on months and months and months would be abnormal.
SHARP: If it were inconsistent with her spiritual upbringing with her beliefs, it would be abnormal.
PINSKY: So, this is actually what I thought. She may actually be talking about hallucinatory experiences, but that can be normal in grief.
BOESKY: Because she`s very spiritual person.
PINSKY: That makes perfect sense to me.
SHARP: Two months, six months, after that, it should go away. something like that, it should go away.
PINSKY: It should go away. And so, is that just the brain`s way of just clinging to the last vestige? You know, when you really can`t let go, your brain just brings it back to you in some way as a--
BOESKY: I don`t think it said you can`t let go. It`s just she`s comforted by that. I think in real life, she was comforted by her mother, and I think with her mother`s her death, she needs comfort, and who would she go to at loss? Her mother, but unfortunately, it`s her mom who died. So, she is seeking out her mother saying. "I got your back."
SHARP: -- automatically to your point, Drew. That could be her brain processing this loss --
PINSKY: The unmanageable. Processing the unmanageable by bringing it actually into her reality. My last question is you heard us talking about the fact that we were worried about her sort of maybe not being able to hold it together. Do you think she needs to see a professional?
SHARP: Absolutely. She needs to see someone on a daily basis or at least two, or three, or four times a week.
PINSKY: I`ve only got about 30 seconds here, but for all my viewers out there who go, oh, come on, everyone is grieving doesn`t need to see a professional. Why do you say that about her?
SHARP: Well, because she`s at risk. You know, she has a genetic loading. You know, she`s a really young --
PINSKY: Broken family, young, early death of parent.
SHARP: -- isn`t sure where she`s going to be going in life.
PINSKY: Parent with drug addiction.
SHARP: Absolutely. You said it better than I. So, I think that what she needs is a little extra support. It could be pastoral support, it could be psychotherapy support. Doesn`t have to be a shrink --
BOESKY: I think it has to be a grief counselor. I think, absolutely, her church -- but she -- that should be a part of it, but a grief counselor is also a part of it, too.
PINSKY: Thank you, Lisa. Thank you, Dr. Sharp. Thank you all for watching. We`ll keep this conversation going, and we will see you next time.