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          Self Matters

          Muhammad Ali’s Daughter on Her Crime

          December 13, 2002

          For the first time, one of Muhammad Ali’s daughters, Hana, 26, speaks about how the urge to steal turned into one of the worst decisions of her life.

          The third youngest of Muhammad Ali’s nine children, Hana was arrested for the intent to shoplift, which is a crime in Ohio. According to Ali, she was shopping at Linens ‘N Things when she switched the pricetag from one item to another, and then put it on hold with a cashier.

          According to reports, after driving a few blocks, she was pulled over by a police officer. “From that point on, I knew my world would be different,” she says.

          Asked why she did it, Hana, who’s never done something like this before, responds, “I don’t know what it is I was thinking. I don’t know what was going on, honestly…Everyone wants to know why. I’m dumbfounded.”

          That’s why she turns to Dr. Phil for a better understanding of what might have been going through her head. Knowing that Dr. Phil will tell it like it is, Hana asks him to “bring it on.”

          “I thought I made the right choice,” says Hana, “because I didn’t go through with it. So I’m conflicted.”

          Dr. Phil asks if Hana’s privileged upbringing may have given her a sense of entitlement, or a sense of being above the law.

          “No, that’s definitely not it. I was always raised to be humble,” she says, though she does acknowledge that she gets special treatment because of her celebrity status.

          Dr. Phil digs further. “Do you think that it’s possible that a lifetime of being treated differently has caused you to see things differently and have a different respect for other people and their property and what’s going on?” Dr. Phil suggests Hana stop to think about it, because she may not even be conscious of it.

          This was an important wake-up call, explains Dr. Phil, for two reasons. Not only does he believe Hana will never do something like this again, but she’s also gotten this message: “I may be privileged. I may have grown up in a wonderful world. But I’m 26 years old. I’m accountable.”

          The true measure of a person’s impact is what people say behind his back, when he’s not listening or when he’s gone. “Look at the impact of what you think, say and do on people who aren’t in your world,” Dr. Phil suggests.

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