Childhood Secrets: Hearing From the Stepfather

Childhood Secrets: Hearing From the Stepfather


Cathy and Micki also share a concern for Hollie's daughter. "Hollie leaves her 2-year-old daughter with her dad to baby-sit, sometimes overnight. For me, it's a huge concern," says Cathy.

"My worst fear is that he's going to do to her what he has done to all of us," says Micki.

"My daughter has my dad wrapped around her little pinky. He pays so much attention to Brianna. She's got his heart. Papa's heart," says Hollie.


Dr. Phil plays a portion of a phone interview with Hollie's father. His voice is distorted, to protect his identity: "I touched their butts. There was a little bit of fondling. There was no physical abuse whatsoever. That was mild. A little bit of fondling, that's all I did. And that's it. It wasn't even enough to get me put in jail or nothing. Yeah, I touched their butts, and that's all I did. It hurts me, OK? It wasn't anything major. I'm sorry for what I've done and I'm willing to make it up to them and be part of their lives. I'm not a monster like I was. I'm a good person. I don't know what to say, I mean, I might say something wrong and p**s them off again."


"'I touched their butts and fondled them. Big deal, it wasn't enough to go to jail'? That's not the statement of someone who recognizes that what they did would tragically affect two girls' lives," says Cathy. "That's not the statement of a father who is now a good person. And my biggest fear is that Hollie doesn't recognize that he is still capable of violating other children. He's not ever received any kind of proper treatment. Hollie leaves her child with him and trusts him completely, and that terrifies me."

When asked for her reaction, Micki says, "'All I did was touch their butts.' Are you kidding me? He's completely minimizing it. If that was all he did, I guarantee if I would've gone to the cops, that would've been enough to put him in jail. 'It hurts me, OK?' That's him playing the victim, because he's really good at that. 'Please feel sorry for me. I'm not the monster.' And I don't think he's a monster, I just think he's sick. He has a sickness. And I wish people would acknowledge that."

"What's your reaction to what they're saying?" Dr. Phil asks Hollie.

"I don't have a reaction to what they're saying," she says. "This is all they've said for so long. I've heard it over and over and over. What I see is completely different. What I live with every day is completely different."


"But you allow him to take care of your daughter unsupervised?" he asks.

"He's had professional help," says Hollie.

"I need to tell you this as a professional. I've been in this for 30 years. I have worked with child molesters. I have worked with sexual molesters, pedophiles, I've done it all," says Dr. Phil. "And I can tell you that the chance that they ever change is so miniscule that the risk/reward ratio for someone to entrust their children to them is so disproportionate, that it is never a prudent thing to do. I'm not saying there aren't exceptions to that rule, but I'm telling you the truth. And I certainly, as a trained professional, would never allow someone with that history, alleged by you, confirmed by him, to be alone with a child in my care, unless and until a trained professional had seriously evaluated that person, had a long history with them, understood their motivations, their impulse control, skills, abilities, and they would have to tell me that they had every confidence that that person was capable of doing that, and it wouldn't even get on the radar screen until then. I mean, if you are shutting him out of private time, unsupervised time with your children, and it's unfair to him, that to me pales in comparison to what if you're wrong? What if you are wrong? That's the issue."

Cathy breathes a sigh of relief. "Thank you," she tells Dr. Phil.


Micki speaks to her little sister. "I don't by any means, for one second, doubt the kind of mother you are. I think you are a fantastic mother. I just think you've been fooled, the same way that Mom's been fooled. From the time you were little,

Hollie, he has groomed you, and he has brainwashed you, or manipulated your mind. And I know you want to love your dad. I know you do. And I really hope that one day you can love him and trust him the way that you should. But I think you've been fooled. You're by no means a bad mother."