A camera installed in Heather and Kevin's home captures their 3-year-old daughter, Penelope, screaming and kicking as Heather tries to tame her behavior. "Sounds like
"What would you suggest, honey?" Heather asks him.
"I am devastated by everything my daughter has seen. Penelope witnesses Kevin being abusive to me all the time, because she's with me all the time," Heather explains.
In the couple's bedroom, with Penelope sitting right beside him on the bed, Kevin
Penelope pleads with her dad, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, calm down. Calm down. Come on. Calm down!"
"Penelope acts out from what she sees from our conflict," Kevin reveals. "I know that it's affecting her, and her tantrums, and the things that she says, such as, â€˜I hate you, Daddy.'" He explains why he taught his daughter the
Heather says that Penelope no longer acts like a normal child. "When my daughter is angry with another child, she runs over to them and wants to strangle them," she shares.
Footage taken in Kevin and Heather's bedroom shows Penelope sitting next to her father saying, "Daddy cheated."
Kevin directs his response toward Heather. "Isn't that such a nice thing for her to know?" he asks. "I wonder where she learned that."
As Kevin and Heather sit in their living room, Heather says, "You told me if you murdered me, that you could just ask God's forgiveness."
"Look, don't speak like that in front of our daughter," Kevin says.
"Well, unfortunately, she woke up, and you know what? We're running out of time," Heather says.
"You will be speaking to yourself now, because I'm not going to have a conversation with you li
Heather worries for Penelope's safety when she is with her father. "When my daughter was about 2 or 3 months old, her crying annoyed him so much that he told me if I couldn't get her to shut up, that he would crush her skull with his bare hands and kill her," she recalls. More recently, Kevin took Penelope to the bathroom and spanked her. "I heard my daughter scream, and then he spanked her two more times," she says. "My daughter told me that she was worried Daddy was going to kill her." She also points out that Penelope doesn't like to be upstairs when Kevin is there. When she asks her daughter why, Penelope says, "He's really mean."
Dr. Phil asks Heather, "What are you doing carrying that baby around with you while you are engaging in these yelling, screaming fights with your husband?"
"Most of the time, I carry her away and get in my vehicles and leave, if I can," she says. "A lot of times he follows me out, and he's punched my vehicles."
Dr. Phil is incensed. "I am not blind," he tells her. "You are carrying this child into the battle. I have you on tape carrying the child. You didn't think about that when you were wanting to show us how ridiculous his behavior was."
"She doesn't like to be without me because she's worried about me."
"Every time I ask you something, you have an excuse. You have a dodge," Dr. Phil tells her. "What I see is somebody who is nagging and antagonistically pecking away at another person with your child in the middle of it." He asks her why she
"Sometimes, because I want to resolve the conflict," she replies.
"She does say that our child needs to see healthy conflict resolution, and I just kind of laugh at her," Kevin says.
"Do you think that's healthy conflict resolution?" Dr. Phil asks Heather.
"No, it's not," she says. "I want to get some help ... I leave and I go to shelters."
"Do you have any ownership in your bad judgment?" Dr. Phil asks.
"Yeah, I should not have her in the middle of it," Heather says. "But where do I go?"
"Well, then we need to be apart so I can work on these things on my own then, because I can't do it with constant bickering in my ear. She criticizes every single thing that comes out of my mouth," Kevin says.
Dr. Phil faces Heather and tells her, "Let me be real clear. I think you are incredibly naïve. I think you simply want to be right. You are a right-fighter. You want to have the last word. You want to be right, and that's so wrong. It ain't working for you."
Dr. Phil addresses Kevin's mother, Candice, who is sitting in the audience, and asks her, "What do you think needs to happen here?"
"I wish that Heather would get some help or testing, or see if there is anything she might need, so that she can stay on the same page," she says.
"What do you think about your son's behavior?" Dr. Phil asks.
"There's no excuse for that," she says. "A lot of it I didn't know."
Dr. Phil addresses Heather's mother, Eli, who joins the show via Web cam. She has said that Kevin is rude, and that she's never liked him. "What would you like to add?" he asks.
"When we finally met him, there was just something in my stomach. It has nothing to do with him. It's that mother's instinct," she explains. "I said, â€˜There's something not right.'"
"You think there's been tension from the very beginning?" Dr. Phil asks.
"Yes," she says.
Dr. Phil turns and asks Kevin, "If you knew then what you know now, would you still have married Heather?"
"I don't believe I would," he says.
Asked the same question, Heather says, "No."
Dr. Phil shows another video captured on the home camera where Kevin tells Heather everything that's wrong with her, while Penelope is present.
"You have problems from your past that you have not resolved," Kevin says, listing them. "Being molested, being abused, being kidnapped, being raped, running away from home numerous times, being emancipated when you were 13 years old, living on the streets and running away, living in people's back porches, hitchhiking to school with truck drivers when you were in middle school."
"That's right," Heather says.
"And you think that you're OK," he continues. "Look at the camera and say, â€˜I think I'm OK.'"
Heather holds Penelope's hand, faces the camera and says, "Dr. Phil, I think I'm healthy and normal because I don't want to be abused. Just because I went through those bad things, doesn't mean that has to continue for me and my daughter."
"You are an abuser," he tells her. "Do you get that?"
"I understand that, and I won't do it anymore," she says matter-of-factly.
"Well, problem solved," Dr. Phil says sarcastically.
Heather addresses Dr. Phil. "My husband's told me if I take her, and he finds us, that he will take her and prostitute her out to get revenge on me. So, I've been scared to leave," she says.
"Did you tell your wife that?" Dr. Phil asks Kevin.
Shaking his head, he says, "I've said some stupid things. I don't ever recall saying that."
"That's something you don't forget," Dr. Phil points out. He looks to Heather and continues. "You have, not a right, but a responsibility to get out of this marriage, with your daughter, right now," he tells her. "It is dangerous if you stay there. You have a job. You are a fiduciary for your child. She cannot protect herself. You have to protect her, and walking around with her on your hip, or your leg, or in your lap, going through this ridiculous thing you call a marriage is unacceptable. You need to get out before dark today."
Dr. Phil turns toward Kevin and says, "I believe that you really love your daughter. I think you may even love [Heather], but I don't know. I think you married her because she was hot and handy, and you've said as much." He points out that once Kevin got into the marriage, he realized it wasn't what he wanted. "You've got to change who you are." He tells Kevin that no matter how Heather reacts, she will probably still trigger a response inside of him. "You've got to get away from her right now," he says. "And you need to stop this rhetoric about what you're going to do if she leaves you. I'm telling you two, you have a higher calling. If you're going to get serious about living and walking the talk, you're going to find out that the role of the man in the family is to be a provider, a protector, a leader and a teacher, and you are doing not one of the four, and you can't do it until you get at peace within yourself."
Dr. Phil introduces Heather's Uncle Eddie, who has been a father figure to her since her father left her at 8 years old. He offers that she can
"I'm concerned for Heather's life and the child's future," Eddie says.
Dr. Phil asks Kevin, "You would be comfortable with her being with Eddie, would you not?"
"With Eddie, yeah, I would. But what does that mean? I want to see my daughter," he says. "That's another thing, Dr. Phil. Since birth, she hasn't let me see my daughter at all by myself, and it's ridiculous."
"You threatened to crush her head in anger, Kevin," Dr. Phil reminds him.
"She threatened before, her life as well," Kevin says.
"Then I will call CPS, and we will start actions to put this child in child protective services," Dr. Phil says. "This child is going to find a safe haven, and I will try to broker that with you guys. I think Eddie is a very generous and stable individual."
"You need some alone time," Dr. Phil tells Kevin. "You two need to be apart, and you need help." He offers to provide resources for the couple.
They accept the help.