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Surviving Sexual Abuse

Aired September 17, 2012 - 21:00   ET



DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Backstage drama here at the DR. DREW show. Last night, our guest Brenda shared her story of spending 26 years in prison for killing the man she said abused her. Then we got a call from a woman who said she was desperate to flee from an abuser herself.

CALLER: He`s going to kill me to shut me up, and I don`t know what to do.

PINSKY: We will show you what happened after the studio cameras stopped working.

Then, by 7:00 a.m. every weekday, Jillian Barberie Reynolds has gone from pajamas to sexy glam TV host. She balances a hot TV career, motherhood and marriage. But tonight, she`ll talk the story of abuse and how it has impacted her sense of her own sexuality.

And later, 30-year-old Romi got married when she was 23. But after four months, got a divorce and started having sex with women. Now, she`s back to dating guys. Romi says whom she sleeps with is her business.

So, why is she getting hate mail with people calling her "traitor" and "slut"?

A lot of stuff to get into. So, let`s get started.


PINSKY: We`re starting with Brenda Clubine. She spent 26 years in prison for having murdered her husband whom she claims abused her for years. Now, a free woman, Brenda continues to fight for the freedom of abused, women still in prison for having killed husbands and lovers.

Now, last night, your story created quite a response. We had one call we`re going to examine in just a minute. I want you to watch a little tape first of how you reacted to some of the conversation yesterday. Take a look.


HEATHER, VIEWER: I just wanted to thank Brenda for all that she`s doing. My mother is Glenda, and she`s currently serving a life sentence. She was in prison with Brenda.

And I can say to that caller, why don`t they leave? It all has to do with fear. And we live with that fear. He beat us also.


PINSKY: All right. So, we had a lot of experiences, you and I, yesterday out here.


PINSKY: So, let`s quickly recap your story. So people understand that. I`m going to visit a little bit of tape about one of those callers we just heard from and then we`re going to take more calls.

So, you killed the man that was abusing you.

CLUBINE: Yes, I did.

PINSKY: He lured you back to your apartment. You hit him over the head with a wine bottle.


PINSKY: Days -- hours later, he died.

CLUBINE: Yes, 16 hours later.

PINSKY: Bleeding under his skull.


PINSKY: He had an epidural bleed or skull fracture that`s called.


PINSKY: And then all that abuse was something that was not admitted in the court, right?

CLUBINE: Absolutely. They kept saying that the victim wasn`t on trial. And so, therefore, they would not allow me -- every time I tried to testify about instances about things that had happened, because it was in six months I had 42 police reports. So that should tell you there was a huge problem.

And nobody was protecting me. Not the police. Not -- you know, the restraining order that I paid for wasn`t worth will the paper it was printed on.

PINSKY: But now it`s somewhat different, right?

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: Glenda, the woman whose daughter we heard from is someone who`s still caught in this web?

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: We were calling out Governor Brown yesterday to help us.


PINSKY: And approve a new law.


PINSKY: That would help more of these women be able to re-present their cases with the abuse.

CLUBINE: Right. Well, currently AB-8593 and AB-1593 is on Governor Brown -- are on Governor Brown`s desk. What these would allow is Glenda, Heather`s mother, to have a chance to petition back to the court to gain her freedom after decades in prison.

PINSKY: She is a woman that went in at age 44.

CLUBINE: And is now 68 years old.

PINSKY: That makes you sad, just thinking about it.

CLUBINE: Yes. It breaks my heart. And many of my sisters are still there, and they need to be home.

PINSKY: What do you mean your sisters? What do you mean?

CLUBINE: I call them my sisters because we`re family. We share a bond that people can`t really understand. It`s hard for people to understand.

PINSKY: Women that are abused.

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: Share a bond.

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

There`s something there. You know, we used to say, you know, all these abusers came out of the same cabbage patch because it was a way of being able will to understand, you know --

PINSKY: So you guys would form a sisterhood in prison.

CLUBINE: Yes. I started a support group for abused women called Convicted Women Against Abuse in the Chino Prison.

PINSKY: So amongst the sisterhood is sort of growing out from amongst hardened criminals.

CLUBINE: Absolutely. Absolutely.

But these were women that had to protect their lives. This wasn`t, you know -- these weren`t career criminals that had been in trouble over and over again. These are people -- this was the first-time offense and unfortunately it was either their life or their abuser`s life.

PINSKY: OK. Now, I want to watch a little bit of tape about what happened yesterday. We had a caller who seemed to be in one of these situations. You spoke to her after the show, and I really appreciate -- before you watch this tape, something I did say to Brenda yesterday is that her recovery -- and you have a certain amount of dread on your face when I talk about this -- she`s an inspiration. She becomes an attraction, a source of inspiration to other women who are suffering.

Watch what she does here for this young lady.


CLUBINE: You can be strong. You can do this, girl. You can do this.

You`re not alone, OK? You are so not alone. And I know it feels that way. I`ve been there. OK? I`ve been there.

Call that hotline number that I gave you, OK? And let them know what your situation is and that you need help right away. OK?

That`s why it`s so important that you contact that hotline because you need a local advocate and a counselor that can be with you and hold your hand and let you know that you can do this.


PINSKY: That was, by the way, shot on just someone`s iPhone yesterday to document what you were doing. Not an unusual conversation, I bet.

CLUBINE: Absolutely not. That`s what I do. I do advocacy work.

I started a domestic violence nonprofit two years ago and I do this every day.

PINSKY: Let`s get some more calls. Let`s see who we got up calling tonight.

Do we have anybody wanting to speak to Brenda?

This is Sandra in California. Sandra?

SANDRA, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. Thank you so much for focusing on this issue. I`ve been an advocate for the release of battered women and mothers in prison for 26 years.

PINSKY: Fantastic. Do you guys know each other?


PINSKY: OK, good. Because if you didn`t, you should.

SANDRA: Yes, we know each other. I live alone in the (INAUDIBLE) I view the mountain counties and I just keep kind of focused up here. I don`t always get to the capital, but believe me I have been to the capital many, many times. I`ve been legislating I don`t know since the `80s.

PINSKY: And, Sandra, let me just ask a quick question. What is our message to Governor Brown here in California?

SANDRA: Yes, there`s absolutely no history of repeat offenses for domestic homicide. These are isolated cases. These women must defend their lives. They don`t just get up and kill somebody. They don`t just stab.

They`re defending their lives because the abuse is inevitable and all battered women experts agree that PhDs like Lenore Walker and Mildred Daly Pagelow will tell you, if there is no intervention for the perpetrator of abuse, then that woman is going to have to defend her life.

PINSKY: Sandra, thanks for that comment.

I want to take a quick call from Courtney in Oklahoma. Courtney, you got something for us?


PINSKY: Hey, Courtney. What`s up?

COURTNEY: I was just wondering -- Brenda, this question is for you -- when did you realize in the relationship -- how long were you in the relationship with him abusing you before you realized, hey, I have to get out because this isn`t good?

CLUBINE: You know, the problem with it was that I didn`t know. I still was so caught up in it, coming from an abusive childhood. I didn`t know there was such a normalcy in it. I wasn`t sure.

I didn`t know when he was losing his temper, when he was putting his fists through walls, when he was putting his fists into my face, when he was shaking me, throwing me across the room, those were the times that I knew I wasn`t probably going to make it out alive.

PINSKY: This is the craziness of that kind of circumstance, which is that in those extreme violent situations, the attachment to the perpetrator actually intensifies.

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: People don`t get that.

CLUBINE: No, they don`t.

PINSKY: And it really isn`t until you believe your life is in danger --

CLUBINE: Exactly. Exactly. People inevitably first right away always ask, why doesn`t she leave?

There are so many reasons. If there was just one, it would be great, but there isn`t one reason -- financial, mental, emotional. You are attached. If there`s children --


CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: And your history and children and he`s going to kill you if you --

CLUBINE: Absolutely. Absolutely.

PINSKY: I mean, there`s so many reasons.

And we talked about this last night. A lot of women start to go dead inside.

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: They have nothing spontaneous.

CLUBINE: You`re broken.

PINSKY: And they can`t come to their own defense.

CLUBINE: Absolutely. Absolutely.

PINSKY: This is the same feeling I had last night, Brenda, which is like someone sitting on my chest.

CLUBINE: I know.

PINSKY: You know that feeling. It`s your feeling.

CLUBINE: I know. Yes, I do. I live with it every day.

PINSKY: Still.

CLUBINE: Every day, absolutely, because my heart breaks for victims because I`ve been there and I know what it feels like to be alone and I know what it feels like to reach out and feel like nobody`s hearing you. That`s why this is so important.

PINSKY: Brenda, we are hearing you tonight. I think other women that have walked in your shoes hear you and are attracted to what you have to say. I hope we`ve reached some people.

I want to give a help line. It`s 1-800-799-SAFE, 1-800-799-SAFE. If you are in, whether it`s emotional abuse, whether it`s physical abuse -- if it`s just emotional, just emotionally, it`s going physical eventually.

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: So please call the hotline. Get advice, talk it out.

Brenda, I hope to have you back soon and we can keep this conversation alive.

CLUBINE: Thank you so much.

PINSKY: This is an important topic.

Yes, please?

CLUBINE: I need to thank you for caring enough to deal with this issue. And if it wasn`t for Sin by Silence and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and her team, these bills wouldn`t be on the governor`s desk. So, you know, it takes strong people to help make that difference and I thank you so much.

PINSKY: You do the hard work.

CLUBINE: Thank you.

PINSKY: I just get to admire your work. Thank you.

CLUBINE: Thank you.

PINSKY: OK. Next up, Jullian Barberie Reynolds reveals -- well, a story that you need to sit by and I want -- I`m not going to tell you what it is. I want you to find out what it is. And I want you to call 855-373- 7395.

She has a very interesting story to tell. She`s going to tell it here after the break.



PINSKY (voice-over): At 7:00 a.m. every weekday, Jillian Barberie Reynolds has gone from pajamas to a sexy glam TV host. She balances a hot TV career, motherhood, and marriage. But tonight, she`ll share the story of abuse and how it has impacted her sense of her own sexuality.

And later, 30-year-old Romi got married when she was 23. But after four months, got a divorce and started having sex with women. Now, she`s back to dating guys. Romi says whom she sleeps with is her business.

So, why is she getting hate mail with people calling her "traitor" and "slut"?


PINSKY: All right. Some women seem to have it all. Jillian Barberie Reynolds is a television host, a mom of two, happily married. But there`s a lot about Jillian you haven`t heard.

Jillian, thank you for coming to the program.

JILLIAN BARBERIE REYNOLDS, TV HOST: I love you. I would come at the drop of a dime.

PINSKY: I appreciate that.

And our relationship goes back to a really interesting experience about 18 years ago.

REYNOLDS: Gosh, is that how long it was?

PINSKY: My kids are 20. They`re in college.

REYNOLDS: We use that as a barometer. Yes. Just ask me, and I`ll tell the story.

PINSKY: When you called me just to sort of prime the pump, I was juggling babies. You said you heard babies in the background. I had triplets.

REYNOLDS: I had no idea what the story was. Essentially I was working in Miami, had a great job there, and there was a news story coming up about someone who was abused. So I had looked at the sports girl and anchorwoman, and I said, oh, please, everyone, we`ve all been, you know, somewhat molested in our lifetime. And they were, like --

PINSKY: Silence in the room.

REYNOLDS: Yes. So that was my first inkling that, oh, perhaps it doesn`t happen to everyone. And I really just sort of put it on the back burner.

Fast-forward, I move out here and I listen to "Loveline" and I would listen to you -- I did the 10:00 news and I would drive home and I would hear your voice on the radio and it was soothing and you gave great advice. And so talk about sex --

PINSKY: I would talk a lot about sexual abuse. Yes.

REYNOLDS: -- and abuse. And so, I thought, this is the guy I`m going to call. So I --

PINSKY: You stalked me. Be fair.

REYNOLDS: Well, I went into the rolodex there at FOX and I found your number and called you at home.

PINSKY: My home number.

REYNOLDS: And I basically called home. And your wife was probably not impressed.

PINSKY: Oh, yes. We were juggling babies. She`s like, the weatherwoman from FOX is calling you? What is that all about?

REYNOLDS: You didn`t know who I was. And I said, look, I got your number. This is how desperate.

But to your credit, you sat on the phone with me, with those babies, juggling the babies, telling your wife, "I`m not having an affair, I don`t even know her." I was like, you know, this happened, now I`m 25 and I`m having -- it`s kind of affecting me and my dating world. I don`t know what to do.

And you gave me the number of a woman. Of course, I didn`t call her for 10 years -- true story. Put it on the back burner again. That`s what we tend to do.

PINSKY: So, let`s talk about that.


PINSKY: That`s exactly what abuse survivors do, they compartmentalize. They go out dealt with that. It`s done.

REYNOLDS: Or you look at your successes, you go -- oh, I achieved this job, it fills me up.

PINSKY: It doesn`t matter me. I`m fine. What is it that makes people avoid really dealing with the hard work?

REYNOLDS: Oh, because it`s easier to avoid it.

PINSKY: It`s painful?

REYNOLDS: Yes. Who wants to face those demons, especially if you`re a kid who`s been abused, molested, you can compartmentalize and simply remove yourself will from the situation. I was so good at that.

PINSKY: Disassociate.


PINSKY: So tell people what happened to you?

REYNOLDS: Well, I was molested as a kid from about 6 to 10.

PINSKY: By whom?

REYNOLDS: Family members. I feel bad -- they`re deceased now.

PINSKY: Close family? You were adopted, right?

REYNOLDS: Right. By a great family.

PINSKY: And this was a close family member.

REYNOLDS: Yes. Yes. And, you know, it was sort of the grandfather situation and an uncle. And so they -- and I always thought, well, it`s because I was adopted. I`m not really their flesh and blood. So, you know, that`s probably why they`re doing this.

PINSKY: Again, as usual, the victim feels responsible. Oh, yes.

REYNOLDS: And so you just sort of, you know -- but I will tell you that it made me extremely self-aware and self-sure of my -- does that make sense? I became -- you`re analyzing me right now. I can tell.

PINSKY: I`m interested. Tell me.

REYNOLDS: I think it made me very independent.

PINSKY: Autonomous.

REYNOLDS: Autonomous, to a certain degree, and I know that that`s not necessarily a good thing. But certainly I did compartmentalize things in life.

PINSKY: And then you had a neighborhood kid, as I remember, too, right?


PINSKY: Can you talk about that?

REYNOLDS: Yes. It was a girl who had -- I think she was in charge of looking after a group of us and it was sort of the same thing. It was --

PINSKY: She did ritualistic -- that`s where things got over the top.

REYNOLDS: I think for me, yes. I mean, not that it wasn`t over the top with the others, too. You know, when you`re that young and trying to understand all of that.

But I think I was a child who had so many other things going on in my mind I didn`t really know anyway that I was adopted until I was 9. And the family that raised me was amazing. I mean, they were just the kindest people.

PINSKY: Do they know about all this history?

REYNOLDS: They did. You know, I did end up talking to them about it. It was one of those it things that was very hurtful for them.

PINSKY: I bet.

REYNOLDS: So I think for the family that gave me up for adoption, because they ended up getting married and having children, that was hard for them to hear because they were, like, oh, my goodness.

PINSKY: Must have been hard for you.

REYNOLDS: I always put myself at the end. I always say, oh I got through it and I`m fine.

PINSKY: But I think that`s the autonomous piece you`re talking about.

REYNOLDS: Now that I had kids -- it wasn`t until the therapist -- and I did go to therapy, thanks, Dr. Drew, probably from 30 to 35.

And she said something really interesting, because I didn`t have a lot of sympathy for myself. I was like, I powered through it, I`m an accomplished woman, I`m gainfully employed.

She said to me, the next time you`re with a friend who has a daughter, look at that child. And I was with a girlfriend who had a 6-year-old daughter. And then --

PINSKY: It hit.


PINSKY: That`s what often happens to people, like look at a 12-year- old, look at a 10-year-old, imagine that kid is having adults, yes.

REYNOLDS: But now let me tell you, as a mother myself, I`m very cognizant. I talk about things. I`m not embarrassed to say -- you know, I have boundaries for her, she`s 5.

PINSKY: Treatment works, right?

REYNOLDS: It absolutely works.

PINSKY: We`re going to take -- now that we`ve got your story out, we`re going to take calls about it.

We`ve got to take a break. So stay with us.


PINSKY: We`re talking with Jillian Barberie Reynolds about her struggle with sexual abuse. The impact it`s had on yourself, your treatment.

And we were starting to talk before the break about -- that`s an incredible ring, by the way.

REYNOLDS: Oh, thanks. It`s a big old fake.

PINSKY: That is spectacular.

REYNOLDS: My fabulous husband bought me that. It`s fake.

PINSKY: And that`s what I wanted to talk about, I`m glad you brought him up.


PINSKY: Therapy must have allowed you to tolerate closeness in a way you couldn`t after having been abused the way you were.

REYNOLDS: It did. I think that I probably used it as a tool to try - - my husband will tell you I could use some more therapy. How about that?

PINSKY: All right. What area? What`s happening?

REYNOLDS: That`s no joke. I think probably in that area.

PINSKY: Closeness.

REYNOLDS: I mean, look at him. He`s like this incredible guy and we are complete -- when I say opposites, he`s a former marine sniper, OK? So he`s very --

PINSKY: Do you get a little -- what`s the word -- squirrely when things are really intense, things are close and tight?

REYNOLDS: Put it this way, if there`s a -- if the kid falls off a slide, my husband is on it. He knows what to do. He`s the guy that`s got it all figured out.

I`m the freak out, panic, scream, I don`t know what I`m doing. You know, I`m hyperventilating. He`s very in control of the situation.

PINSKY: He`s the container for you guys.

REYNOLDS: But he`s also the controller.


REYNOLDS: And I`m whatever. I`m like, yes, whatever, it`s all good. But it`s not. You know, sometimes you have to -- but I also think that`s what makes us work.

PINSKY: Right. Look at that.

REYNOLDS: They`re yummy. And they`re available for work. I`m not kidding. He`s 2 1/2.

PINSKY: Let me ask this one question, you`re committed as wife, are you not? Committed to this relationship?

REYNOLDS: I will never. You will never see me or hear me screwing around on my husband. It`s just not -- never going to happen. I always told will him, I don`t care where I go in this relationship as far -- I will always be faithful. I always want to be able to look at my children in the eyes and look him in the eyes.

PINSKY: That is a critical ingredient. I`m glad to hear you say that.

More with Jillian after this.


PINSKY: I`ve been talking to Jillian Barberie.

Reynolds now your last name?

REYNOLDS: I try to keep up, Drew.


PINSKY: And we were talking about the sexual abuse, what you went through and your treatment. How has -- since this is sex and relationship Wednesday -- how has it affected your physical intimacies?

REYNOLDS: Oh, it affected them tremendously up until probably my late 30s.

PINSKY: Which you were into therapy by then, too.

REYNOLDS: Oh, definitely.


REYNOLDS: Yes, a lot of therapy and a lot of sort of understanding. But, you know, as we were talking on the break you brought something up that I really -- it`s important to feel a love towards yourself. And I think it`s easier for me to love my kids and to put my love into my job and my husband and then you sort of put yourself --


REYNOLDS: Yes. And so I definitely need work in that area.

But as far as my husband is concerned, you know, I trust him. He`s this very supportive --

PINSKY: So trust is important in these kinds of physical intimacies.


PINSKY: But I imagine, also, it could re-evoke trauma. If he says something the wrong way or a smell or a movement reminds you of those old experiences.


PINSKY: You could be right back there.

REYNOLDS: I`ve been fortunate with him that there hasn`t been anything that he`s said or done that has triggered that. I have in the past had that happen.


REYNOLDS: And it was, you know, quite an innocent statement made by someone, and it just triggers. And I was, like, ooh, I thought I was over that. And so, you realize there`s more work to do and you have to sort of get through it.

PINSKY: All right. Let`s take calls.

REYNOLDS: But it shouldn`t define you.

PINSKY: No, of course not.

REYNOLDS: It should never define you.

PINSKY: Jennifer, what you got for us? Jennifer is online for Jillian. What do you got, Jennifer?

JENNIFER, ILLINOIS: I am 17 years old and I am a victim of sexual abuse.

REYNOLDS: I`m sorry.

JENNIFER: My father abused me from ages six to 12.


JENNIFER: And, you know, it`s been constant -- and I never told anybody. You know, I`ve had flashbacks. I`ve had, you know, things that happen.

PINSKY: Jennifer, let me interrupt you. Are you talking about this for the first time?

JENNIFER: No. I actually told someone when I was 15, because my father was applying for a full custody of me.

REYNOLDS: Oh, boy.

JENNIFER: And my parents are divorced. And I had to tell somebody. I couldn`t go with him. And, you know, I`ve been going through this for about two years now, you know, talking about it. And it still is hard for me to deal with.

REYNOLDS: Of course it is! And it will be for a while. And I just want to tell you that, you know, when I was 17, much like Jennifer, that`s when things really started to -- I was questioning a lot, because so much is going on inside your body and in your mind. And, you know, to have the skills, the tools to properly deal with it -- are you talking to anybody?

PINSKY: Getting treatment?

REYNOLDS: Treatment, counseling?

JENNIFER: Actually, yes. There is a local center against sexual assault.


JENNIFER: I went there. I have a psychologist.

PINSKY: Great.

JENNIFER: I`ve had since I was eight, and I just told her, you know, a few years ago that this had happened.


JENNIFER: And, actually, I went to the mental hospital for it. I was -- you know, I was cutting myself. I was --

PINSKY: These are common things. Jennifer, people take it out -- again, they don`t regulate their emotions because of the shattering effect of the abuse, and they start using primitive ways -- did you have any eating disorder also? That`s another sort of thing that happens.

JENNIFER: No, but you know --


JENNIFER: My mom pointed out that when I was younger, when I was around six when this started happening, I had been gaining weight, you know, right as it was happening.

REYNOLDS: That`s also a defense mechanism, right, get big and push people away.

PINSKY: Push people away. Yes, get the big body around you. Jennifer, are you dating boys now?

JENNIFER: Yes. I actually have a boyfriend right now.



PINSKY: And that`s working out OK?

JENNIFER: Yes, it is. And you know, there are some things, you know, sometimes set me off, you know, like when his family eats fish, I can`t be around. You know, that`s a sensory thing that happened to me.


PINSKY: The smell.

JENNIFER: You know, I can`t be around fish. You know, I can`t eat it. It makes me sick, you know? I get flashbacks from it. And actually, the other day, they were having fish, and I didn`t know it. And then, I came home the next morning at three o`clock in the morning, I was having a panic attack and flashback at the same time.

PINSKY: Jennifer, you sound pretty composed right now. Are you sort of compartmentalized like we were talking about with Jillian?

JENNIFER: Yes. I kind of, you know, keep things separated.

PINSKY: OK. All right. Well, thank you for the call.

REYNOLDS: Thank you so much. And you know what, it doesn`t have to define you. It is what it is. You`ve gone through this for a reason, and you know, you can definitely move forward.

PINSKY: Yes. You know, it gets better campaigns.


PINSKY: This is that kind of thing. You know, these things get better. You keep taking treatment, you will get better. And so, Jennifer, thank you for calling.

I`m going to go to Robyn in South Carolina -- Robyn.


PINSKY: Hey there.

ROBYN: God bless you. You do a great job.

PINSKY: Or as Jillian. Maybe Jillian will appreciate this. Hey now.


REYNOLDS: Hey now. Yes, I would appreciate that. Robin, you`re right. He is a great guy, and he`s the real deal.

ROBYN: Yes, he is. But I might have a stopper.


ROBYN: I was a child -- molestated (ph) -- I can`t even talk -- sexually abused when I was nine years old until I was 12. And, I didn`t tell anybody until I was 25. Of course, I was a liar because at that time, I was into drugs and lotty da, lotty da (ph).


ROBYN: The plus side of it, I`ve raised two young men, very successful, graduated high school, something I didn`t do.

PINSKY: Congratulations.

ROBYN: And I`m 50 now. I just had a birthday. And when does it go away?

PINSKY: Oh, Robyn.

ROBYN: I mean, it`s like --

PINSKY: Robyn, here`s -- I`m going to let Jillian answer this, too. My basic note is -- people have taken issue with me saying this, but we just -- it`s a euphemism, the gift that keeps on giving. It never goes away, unless, you do something active to heal it. It`s like a wound that just sits there, and it can be sewn up, but you can`t do it alone.

REYNOLDS: You know, exactly. And I want to mention it won`t go away and you`ll find that you`ll get to a point where it doesn`t have to go away because it doesn`t define you. It`s something that happened in your past much like a car accident or something that you survived. I mean, you look at your life, and you`ve raised two boys.

You`ve overcome the drugs. You`ve made it to 50. I mean, those are accomplishments. And, I think that you have to look at that as such and maybe, perhaps, get a little help.

PINSKY: It`s about accessing all the parts of yourself. Those parts of yourself that were disassociated --


PINSKY: Now, you`re integrated with those.

REYNOLDS: The other thing is to talk to the right people, because sometimes, when you tell a family member and like they said, oh, you`re the druggie, like, who`s going to believe you? You know, those people, themselves, are not equipped, you know? They may have been abused or molested by the same person.

PINSKY: Of course.

REYNOLDS: So, there`s so many variables that you have to take into consideration while all that`s going on, like, you don`t have enough on your plate. But if you do get the help and the proper help, you`ll realize that it`s just -- it`s literally a speed bump in your life. That`s what it is for me now. It`s not even a --

PINSKY: And you see much more -- I`m thinking back --

REYNOLDS: Well, you know me 20 years.

PINSKY: Right. When you called me 18 years ago, you were uncomfortable.


PINSKY: As compared to now, you seem very comfortable in your skin.

A quick call with Jade in Minnesota -- Jade.



PINSKY: Hi, Jade.

JADE: Hi. I was wondering, how do you get to become a survivor from just existing. I was molested when I was a teenager by a cousin and I also became pregnant. Now, it was known that he did it, and it seemed like they felt sorry for him and just pushed me by the wayside.

PINSKY: Oh, Jade, I`m so sorry.

JADE: Now, I`ve moved away from my family. I don`t have any contact with any family members. And it`s just -- it`s like I`m existing. And I`ve tried counseling, but where I live, all the counseling seems to be religious based, and I don`t feel comfortable with that at this time.

PINSKY: Well, Jade, there`s armies of people out there. I mean, these days, listen, we live in a time where there`s an epidemic of abuse. Kids are coming out of horrible, disturbed (ph) family systems with physical abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment, neglect, and most mental healthcare providers are well equipped to handle this.

I say you go out there, because it`s not, Jillian, we`ll finish with this thought. It`s not about just existing, it`s about flourishing. And everyone deserves that opportunity.

REYNOLDS: Absolutely. It`s about life. And I would suggest, when I was going through -- there was an online -- there`s groups. You can talk to other people, you go, I`m not so whack doodle crazy. OK, maybe, I am, just a little bit, but there are support and this help and there are people that are like you.


REYNOLDS: And you realize, it certainly -- listen, I didn`t go through my life. It didn`t affect me to the point where, you know, obviously, I went to school for journalism and I was always doing something to keep myself --

PINSKY: Well, that`s what led you to believe you were fine.

REYNOLDS: All right. I am still fine, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: You`re more than fine now. You were fine before. Now, you`re great. And that`s why we`re telling the story.

REYNOLDS: I know. And I`ve not told the story. I only have told it with you because I`ve always felt safe with you.

PINSKY: I appreciate it.

REYNOLDS: And you were the original person that I called. I mean, I called Dr. Drew out of the blue, didn`t even know you and you didn`t know me and you did point me in the right direction. It took a lot of years later of therapy, but, you know, here I am with you today.

PINSKY: It takes what it takes.

REYNOLDS: That`s it.

PINSKY: And I`m glad you`re here and flourishing.

REYNOLDS: Yes. Me, too.

PINSKY: And you`re an example for others. So, I hope others who are suffering in silence feel the courage based on your inspiration to speak up. So, thanks again.

REYNOLDS: I hope so. Thank you for having me. Adore you. Say hello to your family.

PINSKY: All right. Changing directions again. You know what I`m doing, Jillian. I`m going to speak to a woman who was married it -- you guys were in the makeup booth.

REYNOLDS: By the way, I`m obsessed with her show, the "L" word.




PINSKY: But here`s the "L." She married a man, she was in the "L" word. She was lesbian. Now, she`s back to dating men again.


PINSKY: You know what you could do.

REYNOLDS: Why do people want to put people in a box? She falls in love with the person.

PINSKY: Do you want to stay here while I interview her? You can stay

REYNOLDS: I swear, I`ll zip it, lock it --


PINSKY: So, you stay with me, because here`s -- I could like a woman to help me out.


PINSKY: Because here`s what`s happening to this poor woman.


PINSKY: Romi is getting hate mail from people who say that she is abandoning the lesbian community. It`s very strange. I mean, my question -- the reason I want to deal with this is, what business is this of anybody who she`s dating? Why do people feel entitled to act out on somebody who`s living their life? Call us 855-DrDrew-5. Jillian will stay with me. Romi comes in. Stay with us.



PINSKY (voice-over): Thirty-year-old Romi got married when she was 23, but after four months, got a divorce and started having sex with women. Now, she`s back to dating guys. Romi says whom she sleeps with is her business, so why is she getting hate mail with people calling her traitor and slut?


PINSKY (on-camera): Yes, that is what I want to know. Now, Romi Klinger is from show time`s "The Real L Word." Jillian and I misspoke before the break, calling it the "L" word. Jillian, obviously, has stayed with me, and she loves the show. One of the reasons I kept her here is she`s a fan of the show. The other is --

REYNOLDS: And Romi and I made out on the commercial break.


PINSKY: That`s what I wanted to share with the viewers.


PINSKY: I was fearful that -- whatever. So, first, I want Romi to tell us your story and then what people`s response have been to it and what business is it of theirs? But go ahead.

ROMI KLINGER, HAS HAD SEX WITH MEN & WOMEN: OK. It`s a little bit crazy. So, my mom is here. You met her in the back. Just to kind of catch everyone up, my mother was married to a woman growing up. She was married to my father and then married a woman when I was a little girl, and I grew up with two moms.

Very much in the gay community, going to gay pride, gay people at the house, wore rainbow necklaces --

PINSKY: So, you felt very fluid with your sexuality.


PINSKY: Which by the way, women are generally more fluid than men.

KLINGER: I wasn`t even more fluid. I was just really like everyone can love everybody.


KLINGER: And when I was going to school, my moms drop me off, one had a suit on, one had a dress on, have a great day, honey. I thought it was normal. And there was definitely the wall taken down as a little girl that it didn`t matter what sex I was loving (ph).


KLINGER: It didn`t matter the gender. The possibility of being with a woman was very clear to me considering my mother was with a woman, my aunt was with a woman.

REYNOLDS: But your mother said she fell in love with the person.

KLINGER: My mom doesn`t identify herself as a bisexual or lesbian. She just fell in love with this woman. She`s with a man now.

PINSKY: No, but did you identify as a lesbian on the show and that`s why people felt you abandoned the community?

KLINGER: Yes. I was trying -- I mean, my story is so complicated that I was searching myself for my -- within myself for what I was and who I identified with. And there was a time when the show started that I was with women.

PINSKY: And you, at that point --

KLINGER: And at that point, I identified as a lesbian. I felt that I found my community. I felt support. Everyone`s been so about labels and who`s your team and who`s not your team. At that time, I was, like, OK, well, I`m in love with women. Here`s the community I`m supposed to be a part of.

PINSKY: So, is that the community that`s now hating on you that your --

KLINGER: Yes. And so --

PINSKY: That seems weird to me.

REYNOLDS: Yes. Why are they so invested in what, like, honestly, I don`t care what floats your boat.


REYNOLDS: As long as you`re not hurting --

PINSKY: Now, you have an interesting story, too. You want to share that.

REYNOLDS: Yes. I was telling Romi, you know, in my world, I`ve always been a free spirit and so, yes --

PINSKY: But it`s a different thing, because sexual abuse creates boundarilessness and can spin your identity a little bit, sometimes. It can make you a little unclear about what your sexual identity.

REYNOLDS: I understand.

PINSKY: It doesn`t have to be a bad thing. It just can make it more problematic to form a cohesive sexual identity.

REYNOLDS: Three times in college does not a lesbian make. Although, my one was in Miami (INAUDIBLE). But I always knew that I would marry a man. It wasn`t something that defined me, but I was telling Romi earlier in the make-up room that to have experiences with women and then go and get married, nobody thinks about it. Nobody cares.

If you think about penthouse magazine when they used to be around, two women in the back always, that wasn`t for lesbians, that was for men. So, men are socially conditioned to think it`s OK. So, I go and I marry a man and it`s fine.

Romi is with women and then she decides, you know, that`s her community and she says it, and now, she`s with a man and they`re freaking out about it. I don`t understand.

KLINGER: The interesting thing is, though, it`s like they showed, I was married before at one point. It was a very quick marriage. It happens. It was on the show. They showed a little bit of that last season, like a little clip of it. The show didn`t focus on my history with men, because at the time, I was identified as a lesbian. I have been dating women. That`s what the show was capturing.

So, that was the story they told. When they asked me to come back for season three, the producers called me and said who are you with? We want to bring you back. My stomach dropped, and I was like, I`m with a man. How is this going to work? I`ve been traveling and working with the community and been on the show, and now, we`re coming back.

And my life kept going. It didn`t go with the show. It was my life. And I found myself really questioning whether I wanted to be with men again and if that was for me and had I shut them out for the wrong reasons? And that was my story. It wasn`t everyone`s story.

REYNOLDS: But it`s yours.

KLINGER: It`s mine.

REYNOLDS: But did you worry, like, I`m coming back --

KLINGER: Of course. When they said you`re coming back, I was like, here we go. I was like --

PINSKY: You knew there was --

KLINGER: I knew but not this bad.

PINSKY: Let`s take a couple quick calls. See if there`s anybody out there supporting or can explain to us what this reaction is all about. Karen in Indiana. Go ahead, Karen.


PINSKY: Hi, Karen.

KAREN: I`m a lesbian. And as a part of the gay community, I know the hardships of coming out, it`s really hard. So, when in a relationship, like, when it`s abandoned to the opposite sex, it leaves a deeper wound.

PINSKY: OK. Hold on. Karen, hold on here, because this is exactly what I want to understand.

REYNOLDS: She said abandoned --

PINSKY: So, you feel that Romi has abandoned your community because she is now with men. Is that right?

KAREN: No, not necessarily the community. I`m just saying like individually like -- I have personally been left for a man, and it hurt deeper than when I was left for a woman.

KLINGER: That is an issue a lot of people are bringing up. And they`re like, poor Kelsey, that my ex-girlfriend who I break up with on the show for, you know, different reasons, we go back and forth and stuff with different people. But everyone`s saying, poor Kelsey, poor Kelsey that Romi likes men.

PINSKY: Is that her in this footage we`re looking at?

KLINGER: Yes, that`s her, and they feel so bad for her. But it`s like -- if it was another woman, would it be OK if I was -- because the fact that it`s a man makes lesbians go oh, my gosh, she`s doing it with a guy. How could she do that to us? But if you`re a lesbian and you`re dating people, it`s OK for you to fall in love with someone else, leave someone, break someone`s heart, as long as it`s in the same like --

PINSKY: It`s weird. It`s the flip side of men being OK with women being with women.


PINSKY: Exact contrary, which is women are absolutely not OK with men.

REYNOLDS: May I bring up to the caller. Is it because you feel like you`re in a minority group as it is that you want to sort of hold on to what you have and when someone leaves and it`s a man, it`s sort of like a little stab at you? But really, it`s not at you.

PINSKY: Is that it, Karen?

KAREN: It does. It does hurt in that aspect, yes.


KAREN: Because there`s already a hardship coming out.


KLINGER: Well, that`s the thing. A lot of people right now with the equality and the fight for equality. They`re standing up and they`re going, we`re fighting for equality and you`re on the show and you`re supposed to represent us, and instead, you`re making us look bad. And when the show brought me --

REYNOLDS: That`s scary that one show should represent all lesbians.


PINSKY: Yes, I`ve got to take a break.


PINSKY: I`m disturbed for you.


PINSKY: It`s not fair.

KLINGER: No, it`s not.

PINSKY: But we`ll talk more about it. I want to take -- Romi and Jillian both stay -- your calls, 8-555-373-7395. Don`t go away.


PINSKY: I am back with Jillian Barberie Reynolds who just said that she`s planning to be on "The Real L Word" next season.


REYNOLDS: You never know.

PINSKY: I also have Romi Klinger here. Romi, I have to tell you, your story -- I`m having like an emotional reaction to what you`ve been through. You`re with men, you`re with women, you identify as gay, now you`re going back with men, and people are being abusive.


PINSKY: And I understand Karen made a point that the community feels abandoned, they feel wounded by you leaving a woman for a man. I get that. They identify with that.

KLINGER: Yes. And I get that. I do understand that they`re hurt by the fact that they thought that I was representing something, but I want to be really honest that I`m telling my story and it`s not everybody`s story. And I was telling somebody earlier that we`re all different and we all have a different story.

And we -- I think that people are so quick to identify and hang on to something that`s like them, but that`s the problem. Everybody wants everyone to be just like them for it to be OK.


KLINGER: It`s OK to be different.

PINSKY: It`s OK, and we live in such a divisive time. Jillian, it just makes me sick that people want to take issue. Now, I`m having a really powerful reaction. Do you have a relationship with your biological father?

KLINGER: He passed away a few years ago.

PINSKY: Because I have this very -- you and I were earlier talking about co-dependency. I have this very powerful rescue feeling.

REYNOLDS: With Romi?

PINSKY: Very powerful.

REYNOLDS: Interesting.

PINSKY: And I notice Dave, you had it, too, that we want to like rescue you from all this. Where do we get that?

KLINGER: I don`t know.

PINSKY: Do men come to your aid?

KLINGER: No. No. I actually way more -- my father was a very different kind of person.

PINSKY: Did you miss that? Do you want men that really take care of you?

KLINGER: I think, yes. I think that there was a part of it that was looking for that and maybe because my father not being around women for so long, there`s been kind of a search for who`s going to be the protector and who --


PINSKY: -- be careful, because, you know, that`s not necessarily the greatest way to form a romantic relationship.

KLINGER: No. I don`t think so. I think that -- I think that I shut it off, though, for a long time. And when Howard (ph) came into my life, I shut off really doing research in myself and who I loved and I just went, no more men, women for a little while. This is my -- this is who I`m connecting with. And then I reopened my heart up and you know, I got sober last year, I changed a lot.

PINSKY: Hold that thought.

REYNOLDS: Congratulations.


PINSKY: Hold that thought. I got a lot more --

KLINGER: And I started opening myself up.

PINSKY: -- with Romi and Jillian after the break.

REYNOLDS: Oh my goodness.


PINSKY: Well, I just wish you all could have been here during the commercial break. We had this amazing conversation with Romi and Jillian Barberie. Romi just talked about how this being a very rough year. Not only have you been back and forth in your sexual identity. You`ve been attacked by the lesbian community.

You`ve been attacked by viewers of "The Real L Word" Showtime show. So, you`ve had a tough day.

KLINGER: It`s been a rough day and a rough week. And, I was just explaining to you guys just with my year and the sobriety and the show and it coming to an end and a lot of the insults. Today was one of the harder days. The week has been hard.

PINSKY: Jillian and I both -- we got your back.

REYNOLDS: Absolutely.

PINSKY: We got your back.

REYNOLDS: And thank you for sharing your story, because you`re helping so many girls out there that might feel like I don`t fall into that category, whatever.


PINSKY: I`ve got to go out, but it`s a story of tolerance. Isn`t that we`re supposed to --


PINSKY: OK. Ladies, Jillian, Romi, thank you so much. Very interesting show. And remember, we are taking your calls the entire show every night. The number, 855-DrDrew5, and Nancy Grace starts now.