Julie says for the last two-and-a-half years, she’s been living in fear of her boyfriend, Danny. She claims that Danny is verbally and physically abusive, tries to control her, isolates her from friends and family and monitors her every move. She says she’s terrified of Danny’s angry outbursts and is afraid that one day, he’ll go through with his threat to kill her. Danny completely denies being physically abusive with Julie but admits that he struggles with anger and jealousy, is scared that she will leave him and has “terrible tantrums.” He insists that he loves Julie and says, “The only way we are ever leaving each other is when we both die in our 80s.” Can Dr. Phil help Danny rein in his anger and controlling ways? Don’t miss this explosive two-part series!
“Help Me Get Away from Him”
Before the show, Dr. Phil meets with his senior producer, Justin, who explains what’s happened since Julie and Danny arrived in Los Angeles: Julie says Danny wouldn’t allow her to use the restroom on the seven-hour plane ride to Los Angeles. She says that he attacked her at the hotel for receiving a text message and left her with bruises. And earlier that morning, after having her hair and makeup done, she says Danny disapproved of the way she looked and rubbed her makeup off her face. Justin tells Dr. Phil that Julie says she is afraid of facing Danny onstage.
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In a rare occurrence, Dr. Phil meets with Julie in his office before the show to assure her that she’s going to be safe while she is onstage. “If you want to never see him again, then that will be your option today,” he says.
“I want that. I don’t want to see him again,” she says, crying. “I don’t want this anymore. But I’m scared he’s going to find me. He always does.”
“There are ways to keep that from happening,” he advises her.
Together with Robin, they walk Julie to the stage. Dr. Phil encourages her to speak up for herself when facing her boyfriend and not let him intimidate her. “Say the truth as you know it, and don’t let him bully you out of that,” he says.
Julie pleads with Dr. Phil, “Just help me get away from him.”
“I will help you help yourself, but you have to make the choice up there,” he tells her. “Your first step in reclaiming who you are is today.”
Julie says she is terrified of her boyfriend, Danny.
Danny demonstrates what he does when he loses his temper.
Dr. Phil reviews Julie’s claims of physical abuse, which Danny denies. “She actually forced her face into me very hard and rough.”
In an earlier interview, Danny discussed his history with women. “I treated my ex-girlfriend worse than I treat Julie. I’ve always been controlling and jealous. Ten years ago, my ex had an order of protection against me. I physically attacked her and a man she was with. I went to jail for a year and a half. I love Julie. I’m really proud to have her, and I’m just scared to death that there’s somebody else out there that’s going to take my girl away from me.”
Back onstage, Dr. Phil asks Danny, “What gives you the right to impose your will on this woman? If she wants to leave the room, the house, the county, the state or the country, what gives you the right to tell her she can’t go?”
Danny says he doesn’t want Julie leaving when she’s upset after they fight. “She’s crying, she’s nervous. Who knows what will happen? She might have a black out and get hit by a car walking across the street because of the argument we just had.”
“Or she could stay there and get smothered with a pillow,” Dr. Phil says, referring to Julie’s earlier claim that Danny threw her down on a bed, tried to smother her and then stabbed her in the leg with a pen.
“She’s not going to get smothered with a pillow,” he says. “She’s only being forced to stay with me so this little argument or whatever we had gets calmed down.”
Dr. Phil asks Danny whether there was a protection order against him that, in part, said he was to “refrain from a criminal obstruction of breathing circulation that creates an unreasonable risk of health, safety or welfare,” and he responds, “A long time ago, yes.”
Danny first claims that he doesn’t remember smothering Julie with a pillow, but then says he never smothered her, nor did he stab her with a pen. Danny also denies preventing Julie from using the restroom on the airplane. He says she wanted to walk up and down the aisle.
Julie describes in detail her version of the incident that took place at the hotel. What does Danny say?
Dr. Phil plays for Danny the recorded phone call between Julie and a producer, where she tearfully explains her version of what happened in the hotel room. Danny admits his behavior that night was not acceptable, but says, “I’m going to tell you something right now. She is a compulsive liar.” He looks at Julie and angrily says, “She is a liar! Always been a liar!”
“Are you squeezing her so hard that you’re going to create what you fear the most?”
Julie explains how she tries to make Danny happy so he will stop being mean to her. And, Danny angrily responds.
In front of a shocked Dr. Phil and studio audience, Danny accuses Julie of being a “slut” and a “whore.”
Dr. Phil asks, “Then why do you want anything to do with her?”
“Because I love her,” he says. “It’s something that just magnetized me to her. I really thought she was going to be the one.”
“Why do you not let her talk to her family?” Dr. Phil asks.
“She can talk to her family,” Danny responds.
Julie says that’s untrue. “I don’t talk to my family much,” she says.
“Yeah, because they don’t want nothing to do with her!” Danny erupts. “OK? You want to get down and dirty? Let’s do it!”
The discussion continues. Don’t miss the dramatic conclusion in Part 2!