Debra says she was horrified when she discovered that someone had been secretly videotaping her and taking intimate images of her inside her home — some of which ended up on a pornographic website. She says she felt even more shocked and violated when she learned — through her children — that her husband, Henry, was the peeping Tom. Can this marriage be saved? This show contains strong sexual content. Viewer discretion advised.
Debra says that her husband, Henry, secretly videotaped her in their bedroom and took unwanted, nude photos of her — some of which ended up on a pornographic website. “My son found the photos first,” she recalls, adding that her 18-year-old son, Michael, found the images on his father’s phone and immediately told his 22-year-old sister, Demi, about the discovery.
Demi says she noticed a pornographic website on her father’s phone and, after a search, found the images of her mother posted with degrading descriptions. She then showed Debra the images.
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“It’s so heartbreaking to be exposed that way,” Debra says. When Debra confronted Henry about the images, she says he denied posting them on the site. “His answer was, ‘I didn’t do it. I just sent a photo of you to another guy,’” she recalls. Debra says she feels so violated that she’s on the verge of divorcing Henry. “I know I can’t trust my husband again,” she says.
Demi and Michael say their relationship with their father is now severely strained. “What my father did was unforgivable,” Demi says.
“Words can’t begin to explain how upset and disappointed I am with my father,” Michael adds. “I don’t trust my dad. He betrayed my whole family.
“My dad’s a sick person, with a perverted mind,” he continues. “I don’t see him as a father figure.”
Debra describes the day that she found out about the secret images, and the impact it’s had on her family. And, did she give Henry permission to take racy photos of her?
Why Did He Do It?
Debra says she had gastric sleeve surgery a few years ago and lost a significant amount of weight — and that Henry became more “obsessive and possessive” as a result.
Henry says that after the surgery, Debra started drinking heavily, and their intimacy fizzled. “She would say to me, ‘You know what? I have no interest, but you have five minutes. The clock is running,’” he says. “It hurt me immensely.”
He says he started searching porn sites to find images of women who resembled Debra pre-surgery, and in the process, he befriended a man who shared nude photos of his wife. Henry admits that in return, he sent the man intimate images of Debra.
Debra claims that Henry initially told her he was setting up the webcam in their bedroom to see if their children were stealing vodka and Xanax from the room.
“That was partially true at the time,” Henry responds.
How does Henry explain his actions?
“Did she ever tell you that you could take pictures of her then, now or anytime in between, and send them to another man?”
Demi says she believes her father knew the images of Debra were online before she and Michael found them — how does Henry respond?
“She’s here because she feels humiliated, and hurt, and depressed, and shamed; and she’s trying to express to you how she feels … and in the middle of that, you choose to mock her.”
Dr. Phil tells Henry that, if he really wants to get through to Debra and show how sorry he is, he needs to change his approach. “You don’t need to lie down in front of a car. You don’t need to get publicly thrashed. You just need to be willing to say, ‘I understand what I have done to you, for whatever reason I did it. I understand its impact on you, and for that, I am deeply, deeply sorry,’” he says. “I certainly have not heard that from you. I’ve heard you say the words, but I’ve heard you follow them with ‘but’ and defensiveness.
“There is not a woman on the face of this Earth who would be OK with what you did,” he continues.
Dr. Phil offers advice to help heal this fractured family. “The first thing that you need to do is get out of this emotional tailspin that you’re in.”