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Jodi Arias: Psycho Killer?; Mental Illness & Addiction
Aired February 19, 2013 - 21:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Day seven. Jodi Arias on the stand. What we`ve waited years to hear. She details the minutes before she killed Travis Alexander.
JODI ARIAS, ALLEGED MURDERER: I just stood in the doorway looking at him for a minute. He wanted to tie me up.
PINSKY: And vicious texts between Jodi Arias and Travis.
ARIAS: I`m asking you to stop doing it before I start seeking revenge.
PINSKY: Plus, my exclusive with the man who delivered Travis Alexander`s eulogy. What did Jodi want from him after the service?
And, later, Mindy McCready`s death. Other former patients tell us what their thoughts are about their treatment.
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Welcome. I`ll have more on Mindy McCready`s death later, and I`ll address some misunderstandings that many of you might have about "Celebrity Rehab". We`re going to allow patients to speak for themselves later in the show.
But, first, the Jodi Arias trial.
I`m joined by co-host Laura Baron. Also, joining us, former prosecutor and author of "Guilt by Degrees", Marcia Clark; psychologist Cheryl Arutt.
Jodi left us with a cliffhanger at the end of the day. They tediously and graphically, Laura, they`ve been describing a sort of sex-filled day with Travis on the very day she killed him.
And again, I must issue a warning to people out there. This is graphic material.
Are you ready, Laura?
LAURA BARON, CO-HOST: Yes, it got dirty.
PINSKY: Let`s watch.
BARON: All right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it Mr. Alexander`s preference that your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) going to be hairless?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wanted to tie you up?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he tied you up, are you clothed at all?
ARIAS: No. He wanted to give me oral sex.
He wanted to get a picture of us having sex without somebody holding the camera. So he told me to put it on the timer. He wanted to take them, review them and then delete them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You described it earlier as this plain old vanilla sex, but it was more than that, wasn`t it, because you were videotaping it, right?
ARIAS: Yes, I guess so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you, at this point in time, fearing that he`s going to be physically aggressive with you?
ARIAS: He spun me around and bent me over the desk and pressed up against me and then started pulling my hands down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you submit to this sexual intercourse as an alternative to his wrath or anger? Is that right?
ARIAS: That would be accurate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: But yet she is describing calmly behaviors that were seemingly consensual and not particularly disturbing.
As we said, minutes before she killed this guy, they`re going to have to fill in with some pretty, I don`t know, something that helps us understand.
Shanna Hogan, true crime journalist, and author of the forthcoming book, "Picture Perfect." She has been in the courtroom every day.
Shanna, naked pictures, sex video, 15 minutes before they leave us today in the courtroom. What does this all leading up to?
SHANNA HOGAN, CRIME JOURNALIST (via telephone): Oh, my gosh. It was extremely suspenseful today, extremely dramatic. We heard now what we`ve been waiting for, for two weeks, and some of us have been waiting for, for years, exactly what led her to Mesa, what led her inside that house, what their sexual happenings were that day, how they took those photos leading up to the shower where in the story, he has 15 minutes to live. So it was extremely dramatic.
PINSKY: We heard about texts from Travis to Jodi calling her a sociopath. We`re going to hear some of those coming up later in the show. But, Shanna, tell us about that whole text exchange, and I want to know what they thought they were doing with all of those.
HOGAN: I thought that was one of the most interesting parts of the case. I mean, what kind of murder trial do you have where the victim is basically calling the killer a sociopath? Throughout the time, I talked to his friends and family and that`s what he said to everyone, that she had very sociopathic tendencies, that she didn`t seem to have a lot of empathy, that she didn`t seem to care what could emotional about anyone but herself.
And today in court, we saw these exchanges they were having back and forth, and that many times, more than once he said, you know what, you`re a sociopath. Stay away from me.
PINSKY: And so, Marcia, I want to ask you. Is this again the defense sort of stepping on their own toes? She`s sort of -- he`s building the case that we`ve all been building about her, and he`s sort of waking up to this fact.
And, by the way, again to Marcia, 15 minutes left in this guy`s life and he hasn`t been behaving badly enough to have his head chopped off.
MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Not that we could see, Drew. I really don`t -- I don`t see how this defense is helping her or serving her at all at this point. And I`ve been saying this for a while now that, you know, six days of all of this detailed minutia about their sex life and what he supposedly did to her and the ways in which he had done her wrong, I think it`s overkill. I think they have tipped to the point where you can turn the jury against her by making it too obvious that their vilifying the victim.
Look, the defense team vilifying the victim is not an unusual thing, very common, because if you can make the jury not care so much about the victim, then it`s much easier to acquit. But there are such a thing that --
BARON: Marcia, how about how meek? Marcia, how about how meek she is portraying herself? Do you think that the jury can even buy that?
CLARK: You know, no. I mean, that`s the point. For so long, I mean, at a certain point, the jury has to say, and, by the way, in my opinion, she has very flat affect. She`s not a very compelling witness. I`m not impressed that she`s very meek.
And now that we have texts saying, you`re a sociopath, from the victim, from Travis is more indicative --
CLARK: -- to me that she is somebody who has very little empathy. Yes.
PINSKY: And, Cheryl, you`re shaking your head vigorously. What don`t you comment here?
CHERYL ARUTT, PSY.D., FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: I think the fact he called her a sociopath so many times and he was so close to being murdered has got to make us think that he really had a sense that there was something very dark going on here. And I do agree with Marcia, I think that they do run the risk of making them look like they`re trying to vilify him and not really making people care more about her.
I`m wondering, Dr. Drew, do you think that her saying he`s up and he`s down, he`s mean and he`s nice might be connected at all to some of the personality things that we had talked about, about her seeing things in black and white and in a very big, stormy kind of way?
PINSKY: That`s right. I agree with you. And particularly when he wasn`t cooperating with her manipulations, with her view of the world, with how he is supposed to behave, and particularly when he tried to leave. That`s when he suddenly is perceived as rageful.
The other thing, Cheryl, it`s interesting to me, maybe you can comment on this, is that, the more she talks, I keep hearing more sympathy coming from women and more creep factor coming from men. What do you say about that?
ARUTT: Well, I think probably many women can identify with feeling like a guy is hot and cold or they`re not getting what they want or that some things are getting stormy, because women tend to think a lot about -- and maybe obsess a little bit more about relationships. But when we look at what happened following this particular lover`s ups and downs, this is very, very unusual, and I think the men are really thinking about what happened to poor Travis.
PINSKY: Yes, the men are thinking, oh, my God, this could have happened to me, she`s so creepy.
Laura, you wouldn`t be this way, I`m sure.
BARON: Well, thank you for the credit.
PINSKY: Shanna Hogan, thank you very much.
Next up, I`ve got an exclusive interview with a man who eulogized Travis Alexander at his memorial service -- there he is -- and then was actually approached by Jodi. What did she tell him there at the memorial? We`ll find out after the break.
And later, I`ll be addressing misunderstandings surrounding "Celebrity Rehab" with those who have been inside.
Back after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAS: We were in my bedroom. We were not on the bed, but we were standing next to it, and we were kissing, and I was in my church clothes, he was in his church clothes. He lifted up my skirt and he pulled down my underwear. I could feel an erection. He began to have anal sex with me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it pleasurable for you physically?
ARIAS: At that time, it was painful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: I`m back with my co-host Laura Baron.
Jodi Arias shared that incredible story with the world last week, and there`s been more just difficult to listen to material.
BARON: Especially about her church clothes. Like that small detail I just found so strange.
PINSKY: You know, and she brought that up again today, and there was some objections by the prosecution. She`s clearly trying to make him out to be somehow more deviant by donning himself in the robes of the church that he had convinced her to be a part of and then doing horrible things to her that way.
I don`t buy it. I don`t buy it. And I think my next guest will agree with me.
Joining me Aaron Mortensen. He`s a close friend of Travis Alexander. He actually gave the eulogy of Travis` memorial service.
Aaron, what do you say to what I`m saying here?
AARON MORTENSEN, TRAVIS ALEXANDER`S FRIEND: Well, I guess, I guess I kind of feel sad that it`s come to this. I mean, his character is trying to be shaped by people, and there are lots and lots of people, Dr. Drew, hundreds of people, men and women, who could sit right in front of you and your viewership like I`m doing tonight and tell you that Travis was a good person. He wasn`t a violent or angry person.
And so, I guess I`m surprised that this is the side that is being presented, because this isn`t the person that I know, and I don`t think who he really was.
PINSKY: All right. So, I`ve heard this from many of his friends.
So, let me ask you this. You give the eulogy at his memorial service. Jodi comes up to you I guess during or after -- this is the woman who had just killed your friend and she asks for a copy of the eulogy? Can you tell me about that?
MORTENSEN: That`s correct. I guess you can imagine how that would be an emotionally challenging evening for me, and he had been -- he had died a week before and the police had said that there were no people of interest at that time. And so, I gave this eulogy for Travis, talking about him as a person and what he meant to me and how he had made me a better person, and afterwards --
PINSKY: But then this woman came up to you, yes, and you now know -- in retrospect, you know she is the killer. What do you think about that exchange now?
MORTENSEN: Well, it seems - so she was tearful and she asked me for a copy of the pictures and the words that I said, and she was painting a picture of a friend in mourning. And I guess it just makes me think that she has talents as a manipulator. You know, at the time, I didn`t know, but now it makes me feel very vulnerable to the situation.
PINSKY: Thank you. That`s a very honest response.
Cheryl Arutt, Jodi attends the memorial, gives crocodile tears. Help us understand -- to me that`s a damning story of her character.
ARUTT: Absolutely, Dr. Drew.
Aaron, I`m so sorry for your loss, and that must have been such a difficult thing to give the eulogy for your friend. And to think that someone who had just murdered him could pretend, and really, it seems like the manipulation was really very much there about covering her tracks, about making people think that she was outside of that and felt bad about the loss.
It was really -- this is the thing that creeps out guys. This is the thing that makes guys think, oh, this could have been me, because she didn`t seem that dangerous. She didn`t seem capable of something like that, and yet now, in retrospect, doesn`t it look very different, very scary?
PINSKY: And, Marcia, I want to have you follow along with that, because I don`t deal with a lot of criminals. I deal with people who have emotional issues and may behave badly because they`re addicted or sick.
You see a lot of bad people, I`m sure, in your career. Help us make sense of her.
CLARK: Well, she`s your classic sociopath. And I`ve said it before to you, Drew, she`s really right down the line, along with all of the ones that I`ve seen and dealt with. It`s just a typical pattern.
But, beyond that, especially if this young man testifies, and I want to say I`m also very sorry for your loss. What a horrible experience. And what a terrible thing to look back and realize this woman is asking you for a copy of the eulogy and crying crocodile tears and she`s the murderer. I can`t imagine what that must be feeling like.
PINSKY: Yes, it`s really --
CLARK: But I must say this testimony -- this testimony is going to be --
PINSKY: Laura, go ahead.
BARON: This was clearly a passionate relationship. I mean, I obviously believe that there is a lot of B.S. going on with her. But I don`t know that her wanting a copy of the eulogy was not sincere. I think that there was a crazy love, but I think that there was an actual attachment, an obsessive attachment.
PINSKY: Well, you guys, Laura --
CLARK: Can I just jump in here? I don`t think it`s real.
PINSKY: Finish, Marcia, and then Cheryl. Marcia, go ahead.
CLARK: OK. Thanks, Drew. Sorry.
Laura, I disagree with that one, Laura, because I really think this was all manipulation. This was an act. It was a very good act.
I think she`s an adroit liar when you`re not hip to who she is and what she`s done.
PINSKY: We know that about her.
CLARK: But more importantly, if this man testifies before the jury, what they`re going to see is what a big liar she is. She`s an amazing liar. This is someone who can put on an act within hours of the murder and act, like, oh, cry crocodile tears. That`s got to be very compelling.
ARUTT: The creepiest thing about this is less about her wanting a copy of the eulogy, which is understandable, but that she can look in the eye the best friend of the man she just murdered and pose as another grieving friend. That`s the creepy part. That she could pull that off.
PINSKY: There you go.
But, Laura, I`ll tell you, you`re on to something, Laura, that she -- you know, I`ve characterized her as a love addict and sex addict. I think I`m wrong. I think it`s more pointed that she`s sort of a manipulator, sociopath spectrum and he`s just captured in her web and become obsessed with her and can`t get out.
Aaron Mortensen, thank you so much for being with us.
Next up, controversial witness, Gus Searcy, is back. I`m going to ask him why people dispute his account of what Jodi told him the morning after Travis died. And later, many of you want to know about what the patients think of their treatment on "Celebrity Rehab." So, we`re going to get those patients to speak out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAS: He said, I`m going to tell all your friends and family, basically, about all the -- I can`t remember how he characterized it, but I think it was something like the psycho things that you`ve done. I don`t ever want to get another freaking text from you again or a call unless it`s an apology and a thank you for constantly having to take on your ever-ceasing problems. Not one freaking more.
I`m sick of your soap opera and your ways. You purposely try to ruin every day. It seems you`re getting good at it. You couldn`t get off your lazy butt, because that`s the sociopath I know so well, it freaking figures.
I want you to understand how evil I think you are. You are the worst thing that ever happened to me. It made me feel not good, I guess. It made me feel yucky.
You are a sociopath. You only cry for yourself. You have never cared about me and you have betrayed me worse than any example I could conjure. You are sick and you have scammed me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: So it seems to me that Travis was sort of waking up to what he had gotten sucked into here. I love the fact that she, you know, uses the psycho term as though how dare he, yet everything we`ve heard about her were pretty psycho thing she did.
BARON: Yes, like sweetie, you just slashed the dude 28 times. That would ring psycho.
PINSKY: I`d say so. I`d say so.
PINSKY: And the question I`m asking is, did Jodi`s own defense deliver damaging testimony about her evil behavior.
I`m talking with my co-host Laura Baron. She`s with me all week.
Joining us, Gus Searcy, Jodi`s former mentor and one of the more controversial witnesses of the trial.
Take a look at this tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn`t your reputation sir that you want to make yourself the center of attention?
GUS SEARCY, JODI ARIAS MENTOR: Where do you get that from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m asking a question, sir. You don`t get to ask me questions. Isn`t it true that you want to use this situation so that the limelight can be focused on you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Gus, thanks for joining us again.
Now, you told us that Jodi called you right after Travis was dead in June of 2008, and others since you`ve said that disputed that Jodi never actually said that he was dead when she called you. So explain -- so clarify that for us, will you?
SEARCY: That`s interesting. How would they know what I heard? But OK.
PINSKY: Hang on, Gus, let me interrupt. I want to know what you heard, because it wasn`t clear when you reported it. So, I guess, Let me ask the question more clearly. Did she tell you Travis is dead, I`m devastated?
SEARCY: Yes. Here`s exactly what she said. The phone rang. It was 3:30 in the morning, so I don`t know how that relates to when he actually died, but I got a call at 3:30 in the morning. It was Jodi, and she was crying hysterically.
And I said, what`s the matter? She said, Travis is dead. And I said, what happened? And she started crying again, and I said, what happened? She said, I don`t know. And I said, are you OK? She said, yes.
I said, where are you? She said, northern California. Well, at this point I know he`s in Arizona, she`s in northern California, so someone obviously notified her. I asked her if she needed a ride anywhere, and she said no, she was going to rent a car. And that`s what happened.
Since then, people have said, well, why didn`t you call the police? Well, if I know he`s in Arizona and I believe she`s in northern California, then obviously people already know. There would be no reason for me to call anybody at that point.
PINSKY: Did you get her to clarify how she found out about this so you knew not to call the police, like somebody had notified her, something had happened at a distance, anything like that come into the conversation?
SEARCY: Well, no. Keep in mind it was 3:30 in the morning and I had been sound asleep, but I asked, where are you, and when she said northern California, and I had met her only like a couple days before, a few days before on her way to northern California. So I believed she was in northern California.
I knew Travis was in Arizona. They`re 1,200 miles apart. It would never have occurred to me -- you know, hindsight, of course, people say, well, she killed him. But I didn`t know that at 3:30 in the morning that day.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Laura.
BARON: Gus, you understand you are not coming off as the most credible of witnesses. I mean, it really -- if you look back --
SEARCY: Why is that?
BARON: I will tell you. If you look back at the tapes of you in the courtroom, you are just about missing your pom-poms. You look so excited to be there. I mean, it definitely --
SEARCY: That`s not true.
BARON: -- feels like this is more about being in the limelight.
SEARCY: You know I`ve never -- wait a minute. Wait a minute. I`ve never tried to be in the limelight. The people who said that have been on the shows for the last two and a half years. I only showed up once this all happened, and only because they said I was in the limelight and I took on the district attorney is the only reason I`m here.
You guys called me. I never tried to be here.
PINSKY: Gus, I get you.
SEARCY: One last thing.
PINSKY: Go ahead.
SEARCY: Everything I had was phone records. They never needed me at all. It was phone records.
PINSKY: OK, and you`ve been very kind. You`ve been very kind to come. And I appreciate it. You`ve been a good guest for us.
BARON: Sure, it`s just a credibility issue.
PINSKY: Well, you evaluate, Gus, your performance on the stand. How do you think you did?
SEARCY: I think I did fine. I answered the questions. I wouldn`t let him put words in my mouth. He kept trying to put words in my mouth like it`s a pyramid. Well, it`s not.
The limelight -- that was something they came up with to try to discredit me. I can`t help they did that. I`m not going to sit there and not defend myself. But I never tried to go on any show before that stint. Other people have been. It`s the pot calling the kettle black.
PINSKY: Gus, you`ve been kind to join us. I appreciate it. Thank you for being here. I also want to thank Marcia Clark and Cheryl Arrut.
Next, one of my jurors who sat -- my jurors, so to speak, who sat directly behind Jodi arias in court. She`ll tell us what she saw when we come back. There she is.
PINSKY: It is time once again for "Drew`s Jury." I`m back with my co-host this week, relationship coach, Laura Baron. Joining us from the jury, not the actual jury, but from our jury in the courtroom, Katie Wick, who sat right behind the Arias family today, and Kjerstin Pinc. Kjerstin, I hope I got -- I pronounced your name right. Kjerstin is a high school student doing a report about this incredible drama we`re seeing in the courtroom, Laura.
LAURA BARON, RELATIONSHIP COACH: Welcome to adult love, honey.
PINSKY: Hang on. I have questions about that, but I want to go to Katie first. Katie, is there tension in the courtroom as we`re building to those last few minutes of Travis` life?
KATIE WICK, DR. DREW "JUROR": Oh, boy. Today, the first half of court today was so -- I don`t like this word, but Dr. Drew, so boring. And, we came back and we thought it was going to be more text messages, more of the same. When Nermie (ph) got to the actual day of, the night of the killing, yes, you can feel the tension in the courtroom, and the jury started paying more attention. People were sitting up.
So, the tensions there, we were -- we actually thought he`d get to the actual event in the shower, but it looks like that`s going to come tomorrow. So, people are looking -- I don`t want to say looking forward to it, but we`re waiting for it.
PINSKY: I didn`t hear much that helped me understand how you get from where they left off to those last -- through those last few minutes if somebody getting their head chopped off, but Kjerstin, I want to go to you. You`re a high school student. You`re doing, I guess, a term paper or something about this case. I appreciate you joining us.
I got to ask the one question, does your mom have an issue with you sitting through all this very graphic material in the courtroom and how are you going to report on that?
KJERSTIN PINC, DR. DREW "JUROR": You know, she doesn`t really have an issue with me sitting through it because we`ve always had an open relationship. She`s never really shielded me from these kinds of event type things. And my paper is actually about battered women syndrome. It`s not about the specific case, but it has more to do with, like, the abuse.
PINSKY: Do you think that Jodi was a battered woman?
PINC: You know, it`s really hard to tell, I mean, whether she`s lying or not. You know, so it really all factors into whether she really was a battered woman. So --
PINSKY: It`s really interesting, isn`t it? Let`s go to a phone call. I`ve got Tom in Virginia. Tom, do you have a question for the jury or myself or Laura? Go ahead.
TOM, VIRGINIA: Well, Dr. Drew, I just want to make a comment. Today, you know, I`m following this trial. I`m like pulling my hair out. Basically, how does a woman that`s a Mormon that left her boyfriend and said she`s a Mormon she can`t have sex with him for this guy and doing the things she`s been doing?
And number two, I want to know about the slashed tires. How come this judge is not letting this in? You know, everything else is fair game for her, but then, I heard they`re not letting the slashed tires in and the stalking is, you know, just being covered up. They`re going to go over it a little bit. If I was the prosecutor, I would have gone crazy.
PINSKY: Laura, I`ll let you ring in on this. I miss a little bit of what he`s saying. I think he said that the stalking behavior hasn`t been brought out the way it should be, the psycho things as she refers to briefly in the text messages, right?
BARON: Yes. I mean, I think ultimately what we see is that the psycho came out in the shower with 28 stab wounds. I mean, I think that`s enough psycho for this whole case, quite frankly.
BARON: But I also think that it is unbelievable how much they are allowing about Travis and that is what`s kind of devastating. And girls, I wanted to know from you is, are you feeling at all protective of Jodi, like, because she`s claiming abuse, you kind of want to believe her or do you just feel she`s just a villain?
WICK: The thing that bothered me is last week, I actually started to kind of think, OK, she`s really in line, in tune with what an abused woman goes through. She knows it very well.
PINSKY: Right. And told a good story for that. Yes.
BARON: I believed it, too.
WICK: She did. But you know, the thing today that really bothered me is now we`ve reached the day of the killing, and Jodi seems to just have a memory loss. I mean, something that really, really infuriated me today was she said, oh, I don`t remember what I wore. You don`t remember what you wore the day you brutally killed your boyfriend?
BARON: Me, too. That bothered me, too.
PINSKY: She was recalling movements she made. Yes. She was recalling almost, you know, step by step what she was doing and yet couldn`t remember what she wore. It`s interesting. It made the rest of it seemed very rehearsed.
BARON: Do you know what else about the clothes is that she talked about unpacking pajamas. And I`m thinking to myself, if you have that kind of sex life, you are not wearing pajamas, sister.
WICK: She must have lost them.
PINSKY: Kirsten, I want to go back to you. I want to bring this back to the planet Earth here.
BARON: I`m sorry, honey. I`m sorry, Kirsten.
PINSKY: You are, Kirsten, more the age, closer to the age of some of the siblings of some of the players in this courtroom. Do you have any special empathy for the family?
PINC: You know, I really do, because they didn`t -- it`s not what they did, it`s what she did. And it really does like affect them in a negative way, I think, you know? But people feel more sorry for his family than they do for hers, and you know, I just think they look negatively on Jodi`s family, and you know, it`s not something that they did.
PINSKY: I want to ask the control room, do I have time for a call or am I running out of time here? Hang on a second, Katie. Do I have time for a call, everybody?
PINSKY: I`ve got to get out. Katie, thank you. Katie, I`ve got to get out I`m afraid. And Kirsten, keep up the great work.
BARON: And love is possible, Kirsten.
PINSKY: Kirsten, love is possible but not with a sociopath.
PINC: Thank you.
PINSKY: But more importantly, and this is the thing that`s getting swept under the carpet here, which is the domestic violence issue which is so massive and so important, and I`m so delighted a young person is getting into the nuances of this and raising understanding amongst your peers. Hats off to you, my dear, OK?
BARON: Job well done, honey.
PINSKY: Yes. Well done. Thank you, Katie, as always.
Up next, I`m going to address misunderstandings -- all right, Kristen, bye- bye - misunderstanding you may all have about "Celebrity Rehab." I`m going to have patients talk about their experiences, after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: We`re going to receive a gift from Mindy. Mindy?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MINDY MCCREADY, ENTERTAINER: When I was writing this song, I was in jail. And I never knew it, but I was writing it for all of you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That was a very special gift from Mindy McCready for those of us that were working with her that particular season, and it`s hard to watch that now.
BARON: I bet.
PINSKY: Welcome back. Laura Barron is my co-host. We`re talking about addiction for a reason. Mindy McCready, apparently, took her own life on Sunday. Now, some misinformation about Mindy, her issues and "Celebrity Rehab" keep circling around. So, I want to give people a chance to speak their mind about it.
I`ve been trying to clarify things and people don`t seem to hear it. I`ve been talking about mental health and the dangers of polydiagnosed patients for a long time and people still get this misunderstanding that, somehow, people should be able to be fixed or cured or conquer, all words that make no sense when you`re dealing with chronic, severe, dangerous, life- threatening illness.
Joining Laura and me, Shelly Sprague, resident technician of VH1 "Celebrity Rehab." She`s a chemical dependency expert and recovering addict, herself. I`ve got Bob Forrest, counselor of VH1"Celebrity Rehab." Also, Nikki McKibbin was supposed to join us. I think they`re having technical trouble and there`s Lisa D`Amato. Lisa was under our care our briefly on "Celebrity Rehab."
And Lisa, I guess, you have some -- I just want to give you a chance to speak up, and Laura, you probably have some questions about this, and I want to give everybody a chance to have at it. So, Lisa, you start.
LISA D`AMATO, ON "CELEBRITY REHAB" WITH MINDY: Yes. Just hearing everything that I`ve been reading on social media is insane and it infuriates me. I`m very upset about it. If Mindy were here now, she would be very upset, because "Celebrity Rehab" changed my life. Dr. Drew, you saved my life.
I mean, i could have gone in a much -- gone down a much darker path, and if it wasn`t for your education and all the counseling, I don`t know where I would be today. So, people need to, you know, try to listen. And, I wish that closed minds had closed mouths sometimes, because I don`t know why people aren`t trying to have more compassion.
BARON: Lisa, a lot of the pushback comes from the fact that it is airing on TV. So, what was your experience being in rehab and on TV? Did being on TV motivate you?
D`AMATO: No. Being somebody who was exposed to childhood sexual, mental, and physical abuse and growing up as a child and not having anything relatable on television was devastating for me, and it made me feel very alone growing up.
So, that being said, I wanted to go on "Celeb Rehab," not only for the treatment but to also be an inspiration so that maybe somebody else, teens, grown-ups, children, could have somebody, somebody who -- that they could relate to, who have stories that maybe are similar to theirs and they can learn from it.
I mean, I wanted to be part of the education process of teaching the world about this stigma that might be addiction or, you know, kind of sweeping under the rug of childhood abuse or any type of abuse.
PINSKY: And i guess Nikki is with us, too. Nikki, did you want to chime in as well?
NIKKI MCKIBBIN, "CELEBRITY REHAB": Yes. I hadn`t really heard much of what`s going on because I just entered the conversation. So, you know, I - -
PINSKY: Go ahead.
MCKIBBIN: Go ahead.
PINSKY: Just your thoughts about treatment. Was it helpful for you? Did being on television in any way make you feel harmed? Was this a positive experience, negative experience?
MCKIBBIN: No. This was absolutely 100 percent a positive experience for me. I mean, I think you know as well as anybody that, you know, I`m pretty hard-headed and pretty stubborn. I came onto this show, you know, and was an open book. I think you called me the -- you know, in many situations. I don`t think that I ever looked at "Celebrity Rehab," itself, as a television show.
I looked at it as a treatment facility, which is exactly what it was, you know? You helped me and your staff helped me.
PINSKY: I`m going to bring Bob in. Bob, that`s what we did. We just do our treatment and people document. Did you have something to say about that, Bob?
BOB FORREST, COUNSELOR, "CELEBRITY REHAB" & SOBER HOUSE: Well, that was the idea years ago, and the fact that -- you know, I don`t read social medias. I don`t really know what`s going on, but we`ve been saying for seven years on television that addiction, that alcoholism, that drug addiction is a deadly disease killing 30,000 people a year in the United States.
And then, when that plays out that the person doesn`t embrace a new way of life like Nikki and Lisa are talking about, they don`t accept the help. They don`t really follow the directions of the clinicians trying to guide them in the right direction. The inevitable thing is you`re going to die from this disease. I wish it wasn`t true.
BARON: And Bob, you bring up statistics. You bring up statistics, and I know that your team has been looking for statistics on the success rate of rehab, and it`s not out there. Why aren`t there statistics out there of these cases, whether the failures or the success rates?
FORREST: Rehab is only the beginning of the beginning of the beginning of getting well. This idea that you`re not going to stumble, you`re not going to make mistakes when you have the complex problems that somebody like Mindy has is going to be an ongoing process of learning and following direction and not following direction and moving forward and going backwards. That`s recovery. It doesn`t --
BARON: And I think, too, and I have heard -- and I want to throw it back to you and Shelly, Bob -- is that, sometimes, there needs to be a larger motivation similar to what Lisa was saying about maybe being a role model for people who haven`t seen people on TV before. Is that true that sometimes you need something bigger than yourself to get you into treatment?
PINSKY: Shelly, why don`t you comment on that?
SHELLY SPRAGUE, RESIDENT TECHNICIAN, "CELEBRITY REHAB": Well, I think it`s important that people understand, you know, like Bob is saying and like everyone is saying that this is the beginning of the beginning of the beginning going into treatment. You have to continue this, and this is a lifelong endeavor if you`re going to get better from this disease. And this disease kills people at an alarming rate, and if there is people who need treatment, they need to get treatment no matter they got treatment --
PINSKY: Hold on, Shelly. Shelly. Shelly, you mean you`re not cured? You`re not cured. You didn`t conquer your demons? You`re not fixed, Shelly?
SPRAGUE: No, I am not fixed. I have to maintain a level of recovery on a daily basis to maintain my sobriety, period, end of story. Anybody who tells you different is lying.
BARON: Is there some sort of philosophy with addicts as if there was like a superman to come in and make it all better?
PINSKY: Lisa, why don`t you answer that. Lisa, somebody is going to fix you. It`s something you got to work on, right, yourself?
D`AMATO: Well, the way that I look at it and the way that I take -- I`m so happy that I went on Dr. Drew`s show. I loved everyone, the counselors, everybody that was involved in it. It changed my life.
I just want to say that again, but I think that there`s still a huge problem, even though Dr. Drew is, you know, constantly on, you know, the battlefield with all of his heart to kind of educate the world of stigma instead of people just thinking that it`s like morally gross or something and we`re failures in this way. And that`s not the case whatsoever. I think that we still need a lot to work on. And actually --
PINSKY: There`s a weird technical problem right now with your satellite.
D`AMATO: Can you hear me now?
PINSKY: I do, but hold on, I got to take a break also. And I want you guys all to chew on this for a second. I think Mindy is dead because of stigma. I mean, she had addiction. She had a complex thing, but the reasons she didn`t stay in the hospital -- she went into hospital and left. Within a day, the press was chewing on the fact that she`d been admitted.
She`s not entitled to confidential mental health care, they found out about it. They went wild with it, it freaked her out and she left, and we have what we have now.
BARON: And they let her leave, Drew. They let her leave.
PINSKY: Listen, that`s the whole issue of the legalities -- because this is complicated. I`m going to bring a psychiatrist up next who`s going to help us explain why mental health and addiction is a lethal combination and why people can`t seem to think about illnesses above the neck the way they think about illnesses below the neck. It`s got to change. Stay with us.
PINSKY: Welcome back. Now, you know, Laura, a lot of people have been saying that the show, "Celebrity Rehab," exploits people. So, my thing is, ask the patients. And Lisa very kindly came on today and Nikki came in, and we have other people that wanted to come on as well. Maybe some other time. We`ll get them on in here.
But Lisa, you had a comment you were trying to make. We had a little technical thing with your satellite. I want you to finish what is you were saying.
D`AMATO: Yes. Thank you. The education that I received during treatment, I was appalled that that isn`t actively taught in school programs like growing up for me in high school, you have the D.A.R.E. program and that says, you know, this is before and this is an after picture, and this is your brain on drugs or whatever. That doesn`t sink in.
I actually learned about drugs and alcohol and what it does in brain scans and what it does to your personality and who actually is more apt to develop an addiction. Is it somebody who went through child had abuse and all these things.
That was so -- that flipped my head around, like looking it -- my life and everything that I`d been through as a child and understanding that it had an effect in my whole life. It`s the American way like sweep everything under the rug and make sure -- and just pretend everything is fine.
BARON: Lisa, that is such a great point and that`s actually why we are doing this segment. Drew did not want to, I mean, just to be frank with you. I mean, this is something that I requested just based on the fact that I do think people need to understand that information. This is about rehab.
Drew, I get that this is also the television show, but this is also about bringing mental illness to the forefront and not having that stigma about that.
BARON: So, that`s really where this conversation could and should be heading. I really want to go back to the question of the statistics because that has been really boggling me. I know that the team has been researching statistics on the success and failure rate of rehab.
PINSKY: And Laura, the reason people come up with those is addicts, when addicts that stay in treatment do well. An addict that leave and sort of stray from the treatment teams get lost the follow-up and often die. We know that, but those are very difficult data to come by. But I do want to go to our psychiatrist who is joining us now.
He wrote an unsolicited article online -- oh, he`s not with us. Shoot. He wrote an article online about addiction and the complexities of mental health. So, Bob, I`ll go to you because you and I have talked about this forever, how to get people understand how complex these things are? How much work is needed? People need to restructure and rebuild their entire lives and work for years to stay sober.
FORREST: Well, I always say it`s like having cancer and heart disease at the same time. And they play into one another. And that`s the complexity of dual diagnoses that you see so frequently now in treatment, addiction treatment centers. The one thing I wanted to say, though, you know, the difference between having mental health issues and addiction issues and regular, what is considered, legitimate diseases, cancer.
When you survive cancer, and my mother did just like four or five years ago, when you`ve survived it, you tell everyone you know, everyone you meet. You tell people at the supermarket, oh, my God, I had cancer, Hodgkin`s lymphoma, and I went through it and I`m well, and I`m cancer free, but you tell everyone.
When you get healthy or on the better side with addiction and get sober, and you get your head together, you keep it a secret because of the shame and the stigma attached to mental health issues.
PINSKY: Right. And God forbid --
PINSKY: Hang on a second, Laura. But God forbid, Bob, you need to be re- hospitalized the way some cancer and diabetes patients needed, then you`re to be shamed for taking care of yourself. Nikki, I want to give you a -- you have a chance to ring in very much. Anything you want to say before we take a break? Is Nikki there?
MCKIBBIN: Yes. Can you hear me?
PINSKY: I got you now. Go ahead.
MCKIBBIN: OK. I was going to say exactly what Bob just said. You know, I don`t understand why people don`t look at addiction as a disease like it is. Just like cancer, I mean, when cancer patients go into remission and they get cancer again, it`s called a relapse. It`s exactly the same thing as addiction, you know, as far as a disease.
You know, and it`s unfortunate. I love you to death, your entire team. You guys have helped me so, so much in my life. I owe my life to you. I would not be alive today if it were not for you guys. I would be --
PINSKY: Thank you. That`s very sweet of you.
MCKIBBIN: -- you know, six feet under. I am very, very sure of it. And I just think that it is so sad that we`re playing the blame game here where you`re concerned, you know? You don`t blame your oncologist when the cancer patient, you know, passes.
PINSKY: I`ve got to go out. Thank you, Lisa. Thank you, Nikki. I got to go to break. Be right back.
PINSKY: Laura will be back. Tomorrow, you and I talk about Jodi Arias. "Nancy Grace" starts -- we`re out of time -- starts right now.