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Mansion Death Accident or Murder?

Aired August 13, 2012 - 21:00   ET



DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Last week, Dina Shacknai was with me to plead for a new investigation into the death of her 6-year-old son, Max. His death was ruled an accident after he fell over the balcony inside his father`s Coronado mansion. Two days later, his dad`s girlfriend was found dead in the same house, hanging with her hands and feet bound.

Now, with exclusive new photographs and video of her son, Dina says she has damning new evidence.

Also, a woman calls 911 after her husband is allegedly violent with her, but this case makes headlines because it`s (AUDIO GAP) VH-1 show "Basketball Wives" and her husband, football superstar Chad Johnson.

He was arrested. But was this an isolated case or is there a history of abuse on both sides? The inside story here tonight.


PINSKY: But, first up, Dina Shacknai and her attorney, Angela Hallier.

Dina, we almost started crying just watching those video of Maxie. I mean, that brings him to life. I mean, he`s --


PINSKY: Your little boy.

Let`s she little more of your footage that is one of my goals tonight is to put the -- bring the person to life and the mom what has to suffer so much. Oh, my gosh, was he an active guy?

Oh Maxie. He loved soccer, huh?

SHACKNAI: Yes. He played that from the Blackhawks.

PINSKY: The Blackhawks team?

SHACKNAI: He played against boys that were one to two years older than he was.

PINSKY: And that he held his own.


PINSKY: So, he is very athletic, that`s one of the things for me that called this whole investigation into question, this idea that he just tumbled over a railing. It seems like nonsense to me. When did you first start thinking that?

SHACKNAI: I thought that after the I received the debriefing from the Coronado Police Department and the San Diego Sheriff`s Department.

PINSKY: Impossible?

SHACKNAI: Impossible. It didn`t add up. It didn`t add up.

PINSKY: Why the rush to judgment? Why did they close it so fast?

SHACKNAI: I don`t know why they did that.

PINSKY: I mean, it`s such a complicated situation.

Angela, such a complicated situation. Why -- why not keep this going until everyone`s satisfied every avenue has been pursued?

ANGELA HALLIER, ATTORNEY FOR DINA SHACKNAI: We don`t know. I don`t know if it became more complicated with Rebecca`s death a couple days later.

PINSKY: Well, sure it did, but all the more reason they keep it further until every question is answered.

HALLIER: We would have hoped so what we do hope now is since we have met with them and given them our expert reports that are very conclusive and compelling that they will take a relook at it.

PINSKY: We`re going to talk to one of your investigators after this next break, but this is emotional for you too, isn`t it?

HALLIER: It is emotional.

PINSKY: It`s emotional for me seeing this footage.

HALLIER: You know what? Dina is probably one of the sweetest souls I have ever met in my life and this isn`t what I usually do. I`m a divorce attorney. When this happened, Dina called me and asked me --

PINSKY: Were you friends ahead of time?

HALLIER: No, we became friends after the divorce and then she asked know come to her house when the police were first going to come and talk to her about what they maybe thought happened. And so, I stayed with her. I told her I`d be with her until the end of this, whatever took and we never knew this is where it would lead.

PINSKY: How do you deal?

SHACKNAI: Well, it`s very difficult it is a soul-wrenching loss, it is an irreplaceable lost.

PINSKY: People don`t know, you are a psychologist. You`re a PsyD.


PINSKY: Have you been doing a lot of self care, getting supporting from professionals. Do you do what you need to do to get through this?

SHACKNAI: Of course, absolutely.

PINSKY: I just, Angela, I see her taking deep breaths, hard to imagine what she is going through.

HALLIER: She has been so strong. But at the same time, you know this just rips her soul apart. I admire her a lot for her strength in pursuing justice for Maxie, but also, it breaks my heart, too, for her.

PINSKY: Will that help you get closure if they open it up again and really think this through properly?

SHACKNAI: I think that`s one of the pieces of resolution. And the other piece is, I have started a foundation called Maxie`s House, in his honor, in his memory and the mission of the organization is to uphold the safety and promote the wellbeing and safety of children in families that have shared parenting arrangements.

PINSKY: Which was working OK for you and your ex-husband until you got a funny feeling?

SHACKNAI: I did. I got a funny feeling. I had a conversation and during that conversation, there was some things that were left out. And again, it`s important for any mom to want to know the name of the person that will be caring for your child, as you would want to know with a teacher, with a mentor.

PINSKY: We are talking about Rebecca now.


PINSKY: She didn`t tell you her real name in this country?

SHACKNAI: No. No. So, that was concerning for me.

PINSKY: So, you are a clinician, you have instincts as a mom and both your spidey senses were set off?

SHACKNAI: Right. Right.

PINSKY: Does your husband -- ex-husband cop to any of that now? Does he share that concern? You guys talk about this kind of thing?

SHACKNAI: Jonah hasn`t publicly commented on this.

PINSKY: I understand and probably shouldn`t. Do you two share thoughts and try to figure this out or you two support each other through this?

SHACKNAI: Well, he had elected not to pursue an independent investigation. I elected to do that. I have started the findings with him.

PINSKY: You think he just wanted to get -- be done with it and put -- too painful to keep it going?

SHACKNAI: Parents grieve differently.

PINSKY: No, I know.

SHACKNAI: And so I would say -- they grieve differently and I can`t speak for him but maybe he would like to comment about how he feels and that might be better so I don`t speak for him.

PINSKY: OK, I understand. I understand.

What does your instinct tell you happened that night? What do you suspect?

SHACKNAI: Well, the morning? The morning?

PINSKY: The morning.

SHACKNAI: The morning. Well, we have -- I have you know, worked with these -- or the independent investigators.

PINSKY: I`m going to talk to the investigator after the break so we will see what they have to say.

SHACKNAI: They have presented some real science about what happened and real science doesn`t lie. So, that day, that morning, I don`t know exactly what happened but I know what didn`t happen. I know it wasn`t an accident. I know Maxie didn`t go flying off that railing.

The multiple planes of injuries all over his body, the head, the back, the inside of his eye, the nose, the -- right over his eye and the top of his head.

PINSKY: Did somebody beat him before he went over?

SHACKNAI: According to doctors Bove from Exponent and Dr. Melinek from the San Diego -- I`m sorry, San Francisco medical examiner offices, Max suffered from an assault scenario which led to his death and that they classified -- Dr. Melinek classified as a homicide, which is death at the hands of another. So I believe that that`s true. Their investigation was methodical.

PINSKY: OK. And Dr. Melinek, we are going to have on in a couple of minutes.

SHACKNAI: Right. Right.

PINSKY: Is that a he or she?


PINSKY: She has a chance to tell us what she`s found.


PINSKY: Homicide? Maybe accidental? Is there any possibility? Like a manslaughter? Angela?

HALLIER: No, it`s -- I don`t think we know enough to classify it because we don`t know the intent, and two of the three people that were in the house when this happened are no longer with us. I hope if the Coronado police department opens this back up, they might do other further investigation.

PINSKY: And you had mentioned to me you understand deeply how the Zahau family feels and equally attuned to their suffering.

SHACKNAI: Their grief. They have lost a sister. They have lost a daughter.

So, my heart goes out to them because of who -- they have lost someone. And I know that the lost is for me irreplaceable, as I imagine there`s for them.

PINSKY: And some of them may want answers, too.

SHACKNAI: Yes, I imagine.

PINSKY: Her death was very bizarre, very suspicious.

SHACKNAI: I imagine that they want to find out as much about her death as I want to find out about Maxie`s death. That`s normal.

PINSKY: Do you have other family members that are with you on this quest, your sister?

SHACKNAI: I have a twin sister.

PINSKY: Like identical twin?

SHACKNAI: Fraternal twin.

PINSKY: Fraternal twin.

SHACKNAI: Yes. Closest person to me in the world.

PINSKY: And she is interested in getting answers also?

SHACKNAI: Sure. And I have had a very good support of women. Angie Hallier has been an amazing friend, and attorney and great group of women, again, who are on the board of Maxie`s House, friends and community supporters who have really stood by me and stood by Max. This is about Max.

PINSKY: Let`s show the footage again of Max, just as we go out here, if you guys don`t mind, because, again, I think that`s important to bring this to life. There he is. I mean, this is the young guy we are -- oh, my goodness, it`s hard, huh?


PINSKY: We are going to next speak to a forensic pathologist, who does, as Dina was saying, say that Maxie`s death could have been a homicide, ask what investigators might have miss. And more importantly, why they aren`t willing to take another look at this? That`s what mystifies me, so many bizarre questions and justice for Maxie. We`re going to talk about that after the break.



PINSKY: My goodness.

Dina Shacknai remains convinced that her 6-year-old son, Maxie`s death, was not an accident. Pretty strong woman, she was crying seconds ago. And now, she`s put on a good face for you guys.

She hired a forensic pathologist, Dr. Judy Melinek to investigate. Dr. Melinek joins us via Skype from Israel.

And, Dr. Melinek, you also believe that this was not an accident. Can you tell me what the findings were that suggested this to you?

DR. JUDY MELINEK, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, when I was first contacted by Dina`s attorneys, they were in San Diego and they wanted me to investigate the death, even as the autopsy was happening. And at the time, I thought it was important to let all the information come to light and let the medical examiner`s office complete their investigation without interference.

It was only after she got the report from the medical examiner`s office, including the report by Dr. Gomez, which included the biomechanics, that she contacted me again, via her attorneys, and said this is not making sense.

She had contacted Dr. Bove, who is a biomechanics expert. And in collaboration, we worked together for on the order of about nine months to come to a collaborative process to our combined reports.

PINSKY: And what -- in a couple of sentences -- keep it easy for people -- what is your conclusion?

MELINEK: My conclusion is that there`s too much injury on his body to account for the scenario that was presented by the medical examiner`s office. The injuries are on multiple different planes that means on different parts of his body, different side, top, side, front, back. And it`s just too much injury to explain that this was just a simple accident.

PINSKY: And do you have any sense of why the police department is not willing to reopen the case?

MELINEK: Well, I can`t speak for the Coronado police department. I know that the medical examiner`s office met with Mrs. Shacknai and with her attorneys and have gotten our reports and my understanding is that they are reviewing the reports and keeping an open mind. They can always reclassify the death if they think that the biomechanics and the pathology stand up to scrutiny.

PINSKY: Angela, you think that`s a likely scenario, the medical examiner will be the one that really pushes this thing?

HALLIER: You know what? I don`t know who`s going to push it, but I tell with you three hours of our meeting with them and seeing this science and this compelling information, I would think everyone at that meeting, and there was a team of people there would say it`s time to reopen this.

PINSKY: Is there a timeframe when they are likely to give you their judgment?

HALLIER: He did not give us a timeframe. I`m told they are still looking at it. It`s really clear to us there`s so many specific things they said happen and biomechanically and science-wise couldn`t.

PINSKY: And we also have the mom saying it doesn`t fit with who Maxie was either, doesn`t fit the circumstance.

I have to read a statement from the family of Rebecca Zahau, if you don`t mind. It says, quote, "We believe the homicide conclusions are unsupported. Rebecca loved Max as if he was her own son. While our family grieves Maxie`s death, the thought that Rebecca would cause Max harm is preposterous."

I want to go to callers.

First caller up is Cassidy in Alabama. Cassidy?


PINSKY: Cassidy, what do you got?

CASSIDY: Did they rule out a possible intrusion, maybe? Because I realized though that (INAUDIBLE) not in the home.

PINSKY: You mean, some random act of violence?


PINSKY: Angela, go ahead.

HALLIER: Well, you know what? We don`t know. Like I said, there was three people we knew in the home, all we know was this was an assault scenario resulting in his death.

PINSKY: Geni in Michigan. Geni, you have a question?

GENI, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN: Yes, yes. I have been following this case from the beginning.

And I thought at one time they said it was Rebecca who was in the shower and last time I watched your show, they said it was her younger sister. Is there any possibility that the little girl beat him up before she got into the shower?

PINSKY: O were there other ancillary players here that have not been sort of properly vetted, let`s say? What do you think? Angela is -- they are looking at each other.

HALLIER: Well, I think again it`s the same answer. There were three people in the house. We know Xena was interviewed. I don`t know that that interview went far enough to really find out what she not only maybe saw but heard.

We are not accusing her of anything, but we are saying there was an assault that happened in that house that resulted in his death.

PINSKY: What is it you imagined happened? Somebody beat him and threw him over the side?

SHACKNAI: According to doctors Bove and Melinek, there was an assault scenario and he has a fracture on the top of his skull which means --

PINSKY: Straight on the top?

SHACKNAI: Straight on the top.

PINSKY: Dr. Melinek, is that the big question mark in this case, how he got the fracture on top of his head?

MELINEK: Well, it appears in he fell onto the top of his head. So when you look at the autopsy photographs, the fracture really is on the midline vertex, which is the top of the head. It`s not at the front right face, which was what was delineated in Dr. Gomez`s initial biomechanical scenario.

So, if you`ve got a fracture to the top of the head, which is where he landed, then why -- where are aberrations on his back, on his neck, on his face come from? And when you look at that photograph, the one that you`re showing --

PINSKY: Right. That does not show a top of the head. That is a different scenario. That is landing, as you said you can on the side front part of the head.

MELINEK: Correct.

PINSKY: Dr. Melinek, thank you for joining us. I appreciate you setting aside -- yes, the face on this particular scenario. Thank you for joining us.

I stay with my guest. And next, we`re going to talk to a mother whose daughter death still remains unsolved and she would like to reach out to Dina.

Be right back.


PINSKY: Welcome back.

Beth Holloway`s daughter, Natalee, went missing in 2005 in Aruba. The presumption is she is dead.

Beth, you have been hearing what we have been dealing with in Dina`s situation with her son, Max. What would your advice be to Dina? What is your take on this situation? What can she do to get through this?

BETH HOLLOWAY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: Well, Dina`s doing everything that she should be doing. And you know, she is -- she mentioned that she just had a feeling that things were not right and the circumstances surrounding Max`s death. So she is going with her gut and she is wanting to encourage the law enforcement to please, to take another look at Maxie`s case.

And she -- we know as parents when things are not completely right and she is taking the right steps and she is trying to move Maxie`s case forward. And I applaud her. I have the greatest sympathy and empathy for the extremely painful process that Dina is going through right now.

PINSKY: Do you have something to ask? You seem very moved by her. This is very powerful when two moms relate on such a heavy topic. Do you have anything for her?

SHACKNAI: I just want to say thank you. I want to say thank you for listening and caring about Maxie`s story and obviously, you have suffered a great loss and to hear that you understand and that you kind of understand my position validates even my feelings and I appreciate you making this --

PINSKY: There`s something very powerful about it. You can sort of feel it.

Angie, you know what I`m talking about? There`s something very powerful about it.

HALLIER: Yes. I think it is very powerful because for Dina, this has taken so much of her time. She hasn`t been able to reach out as much as maybe she can in the future to other people who have suffered through this like she has.

PINSKY: And, Beth, that has been a way for you to make meaning of all this, indeed? Correct?

HOLLOWAY: Correct. And also what Dina is doing right now, it gives her that hope and that renewal of strength to keep moving and to sustain her and to want to have -- you know, everything, all the details surrounding Maxie`s death just spot on. And like I said, I applaud her and she has taken this action and it is not an easy path to take, but she is there. She is Maxie`s advocate and doing a wonderful job at it. So, I applaud her.

PINSKY: Now, before the break, Dina and I were talking about her ex- husband, Jonah. And we did reach out to Jonah Shacknai and his office and they have no comment at this time, but just -- we did reach out.

Let`s take a call. We have Anthony in Missouri -- Anthony.

ANTHONY, CALLER FROM MISSOURI: Yes, good evening, Dr. Drew and good evening, Dina.

My question to you, Dina, first of all, I wanted to say I do empathize with you -- or sympathize with you over the loss of your son. My question was -- what is the husband saying, the ex-husband, saying now? I mean, is he not -- what was his response prior to the new allegations or the new investigation into your son`s passing?

PINSKY: So, I think his question is he supporting these -- reopening of the case or does he just want to move on? Because as you said, parents grieve differently.

SHACKNAI: Parents grieve differently. Did he allow us access into the house last October but at that time, he elected not to be part of an independent process. And so, we -- I have shared with him the results of what we have found. And he has not -- you know, elected to speak publicly, so I would not -- I would not want to speak for him at this time.

PINSKY: Hey, Beth, I want to say something. I have been deeply moved, as you know, by your story. And I got to tell you something, having you here this evening, very powerful, my dear. Thank you for doing what you`re doing. I really kind of see the magic of mom-to-mom communication when there`s been this kind of a tragedy. And it`s having its full affect tonight. So thank you for joining us.

HOLLOWAY: Thank you, Dr. Drew

PINSKY: And, of course --

SHACKNAI: Thank you, thank you, Beth, so much.

PINSKY: Maybe we can give you guys phone numbers to keep some support going because this ain`t over.


PINSKY: This ain`t over. It is going to keep going. Again, as I mentioned before, we -- when we started earlier, that you were a psychologist, you have a PsyD, but you need your own support, need to -- may I have one of those?


So, Maxie`s House is an organization --

PINSKY: Thank you.

SHACKNAI: -- that we started to help promote the safety and well being of children that live in two-parent or blended family situations. So, and we encourage or I would like to encourage people to reach out to and tell us about their story and maybe through what -- with what you`ve talked about other people sharing their stories, that we can create -- we can be the voice for children to create safety, a safety plan that follows them wherever they go. And really be the voice of children, be the voice of Max and all innocent children in the future.

PINSKY: Thanks, Dina. Thank you for joining us.

Thank you, Angela.

Be right back after this.


PINSKY: Welcome back.

This past weekend, Evelyn Lozada, a star of the reality TV show "Basketball Wives," ran to a neighbor`s house and called 911 after her husband, NFL star Chad Johnson, allegedly head-butted her and left a bloody three-inch gash. She went to the hospital. He went to jail.

And we are wondering if this is an isolated incident, which it`s -- at a point where I can`t imagine this is the only episode.

Joining me, CNN entertainment correspondent, Kareen Wynter, and former cast member of "Basketball Wives" and spokesperson for the National Domestic Violence hotline, Tanya Young Williams. Tanya, how much did you react when you heard this story?


PINSKY: It is sad. I think that`s really important thing to point out here. It`s sad for both of these people.

WILLIAMS: For both of them. And at the end of the day, when violence to this magnitude takes place, it affects them that day, today, and it`s going to have a rippling effect on their lives, and their career, and impact, of course, their marriage. So, it`s a sad and devastating situation.

PINSKY: And Kareen, do they have kids?

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: They don`t have kids. You know, they do from different relationships, past relationships, and they just tied the knot in July and I know when this news broke over the weekend, people are thinking, is this part of the show?

You know, they taped their wedding for this big special, this big series that was supposed to be rolled out on VH1 in just a matter of weeks, but you know what, it turned out that it was no stunt and unfortunate end to all of this.

PINSKY: And Tanya, how would you suggest a couple like this heal? You know, I imagine the advocacy -- as an advocate, you`d say first and foremost, separate those two.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

PINSKY: I heard that he was going to get some anger management training. To me, that`s like whatever. That doesn`t sound right.

WILLIAMS: Well, he`s tried it before. Unfortunately, --

PINSKY: Well, anger management is not treatment for domestic violence.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely it`s not. He was charged with domestic violence years ago. And anger management actually was part of the probation, obviously, didn`t work. But they need to spend time apart. Ever since they became a couple, they`ve been under the glare of a camera. They courted on camera. They dated.

They had their wedding. It`s all been on camera. Now, they have to separate themselves, get out of the limelight, figure out who they are at their core and see if they have personalities that, in fact, can co-exist on any level, especially they need to co-exist where there is not violence.

PINSKY: If she were to call into the domestic hotline, what would their first piece of advice be? This is for any other women out there that might be dealing with this sort of stuff, for number one, two, and three pieces of advices are?

WILLIAMS: Make the phone call, keep yourself safe, and find somewhere you can go in case of an emergency. Never, ever allow yourself to be in harm`s way. It doesn`t matter how much he may say he loves you, how much he can work it out. If you feel that you are being emotionally or physically abused or the potential of that, get out of the situation and get somewhere safe.

PINSKY: That -- there you go. I simplify it myself. I think your advice is right on, but my simple advice is, get out of there.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

PINSKY: Get out of there. It`s not going to get better. Just because he says it`s because I love you so much, get out of there. I want to show you guys a clip from "Basketball Wives." It might give us some insight what`s going on here. Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he was commit to one individual over a long period of time, it is new to me. I`m on the road.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to know (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Go to the pharmacy and get condoms rather than hide it, because at the end of the day, you don`t have to tell me nothing.


PINSKY: You know, I want to show some data about domestic violence. You guys put that up as a full-screen for me because this is unbelievably common. Here we are. One in four -- this is in America -- one in four women have experienced domestic violence in a lifetime. That`s 25 percent.

Between 600,000 and six million women are victims of domestic violence each year, depends how you qualify, you define domestic violence. Nearly three out of four, 74 percent of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Tanya, it`s so common.

WILLIAMS: And these numbers, of course, don`t really represent --

PINSKY: Because people are ashamed and afraid to come forward. It`s may be worse.

WILLIAMS: It`s far worse than this is. I have the opportunity to speak to victims all of the time, and I hear the same story. They don`t know where to go. They have children. They felt comfortable in the situation and they are afraid, but they have to find a way. You must have a strategy. I tell women all the time, have a strategy for your safety.

If you don`t have one for your safety, you won`t have a future. So, it`s important that you get out of a dangerous situation. And someone doesn`t have to hit you for you to be abused. If someone tears your life down emotionally and psychologically, even financially, that`s domestic abuse.

Don`t wait until it gets to the point that someone is actually punching you or hitting you or head butting you for you, all of a sudden, to say I love myself enough to call and get help.

PINSKY: Let`s go to some calls. Chelle in Kansas. Chelle, you got something for us?

CHELLE, KANSAS: Yes. My daughter was with an abusive man. And, for a year, when they split apart and now she -- we think he is the one that murdered her a year ago.

PINSKY: Chelle, I`m so sorry, but I`m just thinking while she started talking, I thought to myself, you know, HLN and CNN, we report on murders all the time, husbands killing wives and their children. This is where that starts.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I mean, people right now are discussing, did Evelyn deserve it? They have a volatile personality, both of them, but that head butt could have been hit a little harder, and she could have hit the ground, and then, she could have died. We`d be having a very different conversation. Any type of violence can lead to death.

Therefore, people have to start taking this very, very seriously. Using your hands is not an option. Love shouldn`t hurt. Women, men, whomever. If someone is in your life and they are hurting you, call, get help, get out of the situation.

PINSKY: Takes time. Takes a long time to heal this stuff. They both need treatment. They both need therapy. Got to read a statement here from VH1 regarding the Chad and Evelyn show.

It says, quote, "Due to the unfortunate events over the weekend and the seriousness of the allegations, VH1 is pulling the series, Ev and Ocho, from its schedule and has no current plan of airing it." Tanya, do you think that`s the right thing to do?

WILLIAMS: You know, for VH1, absolutely. You know, I don`t want anyone to lose a job or an ability to make money, however, VH1 is still in the throes of trying to rehabilitate its reputation because of "Basketball Wives" and the violence that`s there. So, there`s no way they should move forward if this really did happen.

How can they tell their audience we don`t support violence, but yet, we`re going to allow these two people who have this very violent relationship to star on a show? You can`t have it both ways.

PINSKY: My experience at VH1 has been -- they`ve been very, very good at taking care or offering treatment for people they`ve had on the reality shows. Did they offer that to the "Basketball Wives"?

WILLIAMS: Well, not in my experience. I know that once a fight happens, then security comes just to make sure the fight doesn`t happen again. But I haven`t heard of them, and I guess from my experience, offering treatment. But obviously, because of all the shows and you see all this violence, maybe that is something, they need to bring you on some of the shows --

PINSKY: In my experience, they`ve been very conscientious about that. So, I`d be surprised if they didn`t have something that they offered and people may just turn it down. I don`t know.


PINSKY: All right. Now, everybody think everyone`s aware (ph), of course, Rihanna and Chris Brown had some violence, "Beverly Hills Housewives," Taylor Armstrong and her late husband, and now, we`ve got Chad and Evelyn. Why is the public so fascinated with pathological behavior by people in the spotlight? We`re going to talk to Kareen about that, up next.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What, that you`re bummed?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You lucky. Oh, you lucky. You about to get it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If security didn`t come, I would have punched her in her face. Like, that`s how angry I was the entire time that I was sitting there.


PINSKY: Well, that was Chad Johnson`s wife in a heated altercation on VH1`s "Basketball Wives." Back with us, CNN entertainment reporter Kareen Wynter. And Kareen, before the break, I asked the question, why is the public so preoccupied with bad behavior in celebrities? What do you think?

WYNTER: Because it brings in the ratings, because it allows us as viewers to take that backseat and say, wow, my life really isn`t that terrible. But when you see an incident unfolding like you see with "Basketball Wives" and the drama with Evelyn and Chad, it really puts into perspective the dangers that sometimes you sell your soul to the devil when you sign on to reality TV.

Now, all reality TV shows isn`t -- they aren`t created the same, but there`s something that happens when you see these entertainers, and you wonder, are they just all bad? And no, it`s the pressure of TV, it`s a pressure to drive those ratings, and to up the ante week after week. And, you know, there`s a pitfall to that.

PINSKY: People don`t like -- they like drama.

WYNTER: Absolutely.

PINSKY: And drama is pathological. I mean, when you think about great dramas and great place, it`s not about healthy people sitting around having healthy lives. It`s about people that aren`t so healthy having dramatic episodes in their life and that`s what reality show is, right (ph), Kareen?

WYNTER: I do. I agree. And I think a lot of reality shows, they get a bad rap. We see Evelyn and we saw her in that clip that you just showed your viewers throwing a glass. I have watched "Basketball Wives" for many seasons and I could tell that the violence would escalate season after season.

It`s almost like, I don`t know if someone was telling them, you would know having worked on the show, telling them push the envelope more. OK? We got to bring it up another notch, but what was also key, and with Evelyn, she gets beat up in the press. The reunion show, you know, you saw that real side of her where she`s saying, you know, I`m taking back a lot of those things that I`ve done.

I can see the messages that it`s sending to young people, my own children, my family, I`m not proud of that. So, you know, in one way, you`re seeing this hideous behavior on television, but it`s good when the stars take that back seat and they look at what`s going on and they make apologies for their actions.

WILLIAMS: Yes. And it`s also, you have to realize that the actors or the reality stars, are also reading the papers. They`re reading the numbers and how the ratings are going up and how many more people they have following them on Twitter. So, they up the ante themselves without producers having to tell them we need to give you more.

They want to be more famous. They want to have more followers. At the end of the day, they may be making more money. So, they are at fault because no one can make you throw a bottle, no one can make you hit someone else.

You have to be responsible for your actions. And unfortunately, it can escalate to this point where you now have a domestic violence situation with someone you supposedly love.

WYNTER: And I think that VH1 sent a big message by canceling the show.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

WYNTER: My jaw dropped when I heard that.

WILLIAMS: I was very surprised, but I thought it was the right thing to do.

PINSKY: Again, I`m not -- my experience, though, they`ve very, very responsible and responsive. Mary in Nebraska. You have something for us, Mary?

MARY, NEBRASKA: Yes. I`d like to say that 25 years ago, I was married to an ex-pro football player and I was only 25 years old at the time. And I had not come from all a (ph) violent background, so I did not know what that was until experienced in being married to somebody abusive.

And, I was married to him for seven years and quite traumatizing when you don`t come from that background, you don`t know what it is, but you`re traumatized. And, I did have a daughter who was four years old when I married him, and when she was 12 years old, and he made an attempt (ph) at her which I thought --


MARY: Yes.

PINSKY: So, this was a mess. Was he on drugs or alcohol, Mary? Was he an alcoholic?

MARY: Not really. When he would come home, he was a -- he was a business owner and he would come home and have a glass -- he would have a glass of -- make a drink and I knew that something could be starting --

PINSKY: OK. Well, that`s -- I just want to make the point that that`s common scenario in domestic violence. Drugs and alcohol figures in a lot of the time. And in my opinion, that`s hopeful, because that`s a person that go get treatment for their alcoholism, can see this as all part of their drug abuse, but when it`s just the aggression and just the violence, it makes it that much more difficult.

WILLIAMS: As we understand that Chad had no drugs, no alcohol in his system.

PINSKY: No, I`m not suggesting --

WILLIAMS: And I`m saying and that`s what you`re saying, I`m confirming it, makes it worse, because his -- you can`t even blame those things as being the catalyst.


WILLIAMS: He has anger. And you have to understand, being married to a pro-athlete also, they are -- you live -- they live in worlds where everyone tells them yes all of the time. They only know yes. I want it my way and I want it my way now.

PINSKY: And be more aggressive.

WILLIAMS: And to be more aggressive. So, I`m not making a blanket statement about all athletes, but there are so many who are used to getting away with so many things and no one ever telling them to stop or calling the police. And Chad, this is a huge wakeup call, because obviously, the other ones didn`t make a difference.

PINSKY: Andrew, very quickly, you`re in California. Andrew, what do you got?

ANDREW, CALIFORNIA: Yes. I just want to say that, you know, Chad Johnson, we`re talking about a relationship that was borne out of a reality television show. So, we`re talking about a volatile relationship at best.

And then, when you also take into account that Chad Johnson is a professional football player and hasn`t been relevant in professional football for at least three years. He`s, you know, been a reality TV star now and that`s -- you`re dealing with a whole different person. I`m sure he`s all kinds of messed up in his head, you know?

PINSKY: Well, it`s a new breed, I guess, you have a point. I mean, an athlete that then gets on a reality show. All I know is that, Kareen, back me up on this, virtually, every time, except for Ozzie and Sharon, every time reality cameras come into a marital household, the marriage dissolves.

WYNTER: Kiss of death.

PINSKY: It is, right?

WYNTER: Did you say every time, don`t to go there, don`t do it. Don`t do it. And they were so close, you know? They were newlyweds. And the big question is not just what`s going to happen right now with Chad and his career and Evelyn, but what`s going to happen with this couple?

I mean, this is devastating for both of them, but since we are talking about a career with Chad, this was his last-ditch effort to really remain relevant in sports. He had a terrible contract last season with the Patriots. The Miami Dolphins released him. His show has been canceled. You wonder what`s next, what`s around the corner?

But, when you`re talking Hollywood, it`s a very forgiving town. He may be back at the top of his game next year. But let`s hope he gets the help he needs.

PINSKY: Right. It is the cycle of domestic violence from both the male and the female partner, both sink and both need treatment. Tanya, thank you so much.

WILLIAMS: Thank you so much for having me.

PINSKY: -- people can find that domestic hotline at And Kareen, always thank you for being here as well.

WYNTER: Thank you.

PINSKY: And a reminder also to go to for any more of any of the stories you`ve heard here tonight and then more calls after this.


PINSKY: Time for calls about anything that`s on your mind. Let`s go to Marcos in Arizona -- Marcos.

MARCOS, ARIZONA: Yes. Good day, Dr. Drew. It`s -- I must say, it`s an honor to speak with you.

PINSKY: Thank you, sir.

MARCOS: I actually wanted to go ahead and let you know. I reside in Eloy, Arizona, kind of the middle of nowhere. There`s minimal resources. You know, it`s (INAUDIBLE) community down here.

PINSKY: Wait, hold on, slow, slow, slow. So, when I hear violence and drugs, I think methamphetamine. Is that the drug?

MARCOS: Exactly. You`re on the button. My mom being one of them, you know what I mean?

PINSKY: Tough.

MARCOS: I`m 25. I consider myself to be extremely intelligent and articulate.

PINSKY: Marcos, Marcos, are you going to ask me how to handle living in that community?

MARCOS: Hey, it`s not necessarily just the community. I`m pretty sure that there`s everybody out there already just asking themselves the same questions, you know, where do people like myself or others go to contact a little bit more immediately than jumping through hoops or having to, you know, waste their lives and ended up becoming (INAUDIBLE).

PINSKY: You get out of there. Bottom line, get out of there. You go to a city, find a job, wash dishes, do whatever you got to do to get out of there. You sound like a guy with a lot of motivation. You do sound smart. Try to change the world you`re living in is not going to work. There is a meltdown going on there.

Now, we can help individuals in that community, I pray for your mom, but you`ve got to get out of there. I know you feel like you`re abandoning friends and family and whatnot, but you got to save yourself.

You know, we always say, when you`re on airplane and when they`re giving you advice on what to do if the cabin pressure changes, you put the mask on yourself when the oxygen mask falls down before you try to help small children or anybody else. This is you getting the mask on yourself.

Joanne in Ohio -- Joanne.

JOANNE, OHIO: Yes, Hi, Dr. Drew. I had ovarian cancer when I was 27.

PINSKY: How old are you now?

JOANNE: And I had a -- and I had a complete hysterectomy and I had chemo treatment.

PINSKY: How old are you now?

JOANNE: I`m 37.

PINSKY: Right. You know what stage you were at with ovarian cancer?

JOANNE: It was stage 2 C.

PINSKY: OK. Got it. And --

JOANNE: It was endometrioid (ph) cell type which is not an aggressive kind of cancer.

PINSKY: Right. OK. Got it.

JOANNE: But you know, it was scary.

PINSKY: Of course. I mean, thing about ovarian cancer, most of the cell types are quite curable, not just treatable but curable. So, you`re very lucky that way. Do you have some specific question about what`s going on now?

JOANNE: Yes, I do. I had a complete hysterectomy, chemo treatments from it. It affected my sex life. (INAUDIBLE) I was wondering (INAUDIBLE).

PINSKY: Oh, your phone is just breaking up. What I heard was you`ve got hysterectomy and chemo. It`s affected your sex life. You`re wondering how to address that. Stay with me. I`ll address it after the break.


PINSKY: Joanne who called before the break, she had a question about her libido after ovarian cancer and we had phone problems, so I`m going to answer this question right now. Here is the deal, take hormone replacement. You`re a young woman. You`re in your 30s. You had cancer ten years ago.

It`s a complete cure. It`s a great thing about ovarian cancer, most cell types are curable, in the earlier stages at least. And here`s the deal. This is what most people miss. It`s not just the estrogen and the progesterone. It`s also testosterone replacement.

When you lose your ovaries, whether surgical, like in your case, hysterectomy -- hysterectomy and full oophorectomy, you call that, or menopause, you also lose your source of testosterone and that is the most important sort of source of libido and drive. So, talk to your doctor about testosterone in addition to the other two hormones.

Let`s go to another caller out there. Mark in Florida. Mark, what do you got?

MARK, FLORIDA: Hey, Dr. Drew. How are you doing today?

PINSKY: Good, Mark. What do you got?

MARK: I got a question for you. I don`t know if this is a textbook answer. My brother`s wife passed away nine months ago.


MARK: Cancer, breast cancer, 11 years, she was suffering quite bad, has two boys, one 18, one 15. Now, he met somebody recently.


MARK: And I don`t have a problem with that because, obviously, everyone needs companionship. But, what I do find strange is that he brought her into the family and he`s only been dating her about four weeks now.

PINSKY: Yes, that`s -- I would pull your brother aside and say hey, maybe the 18-year-old can understand this. You`ve been suffering for a long time, maybe your wife really wasn`t with you for the last even couple of years, but, hey, that`s their mom and they want to see you be respectful of her memory.

And I imagine they would support him dating but, yes, bring them into the family, particularly for the 15-year-old, Mark, I think that could be a problem. You agree with me?

MARK: Well, I`m the only one who feels this way. You know, in his mind, you know, they don`t have a problem with it, I`m the one who has a problem, but I think that they`re not maybe -- they may say to him may not be what they`re truly feeling behind closed doors.

PINSKY: All right. Mark, I am with you. I mean, it`s hard to say for sure, but I tell you what, pull your nephews in and say, man, I`m going to support you guys, maybe we should pull your dad in and talk about this. We need to be respectful of mom`s memory. This is a little premature.

We support you dating. You`ve been suffering, too, but let`s get on with healing together as a family before we bring another person into that unit. Mark, I think you`re onto something here. Bring those nephews in, support them, and maybe address the dad, either you or with the boys.

I want to thank you all for watching. It`s been an interesting program. Thank you, of course, for calling. I want to thank my guests as well. And remember my -- where`s my Dina Shacknai (ph)? Here it is. Hold on a second. My Maxi bracelet. There you go. Thanks again for the call. Thank you for watching. And a reminder that Nancy Grace begins right now.