Conned By a Con Artist: Sandra and Julie

Julie and Sandra's marriages to Ed Hicks and the lies he told them have had a huge impact on their lives.

 

"I've gained nearly 100 pounds since this has happened. I've used food as comfort. Usually, after a long, emotionally charged discussion with Sandra, the first place I head is the fridge," Julie

admits. "Ed always made me feel like nothing I did was good enough. It was always a criticism about something. 'Julie, you are seriously overweight and are continuing to put more on.' Once again, I did everything wrong. It's always me."

Sandra has dealt with the situation much differently. She created a Web site to expose Ed. "I spend nine hours working on my job, and I come home, and I spend four hours working on this," she explains."

Julie is concerned that Sandra has taken this too far. "She's alone a great deal of the time. She seems to be so obsessed. She doesn't
seem to have anything else in her life right now."

 

"Why is he not in jail?" Dr. Phil asks Julie and Sandra. 

"There's a twist in the bigamy law in Virginia," Julie explains. "Because Ed was married to someone else when he married me, my marriage was considered null and void. So therefore, when he married Sandra, he wasn't really married, and so her bigamy case was null and void."

"I could be legally married to him," Sandra adds. They are trying to pursue the case in a different city in Virginia.  

The Dr. Phil show invited Ed to participate, but he chose not to. Dr. Phil plays a tape of a producer who caught up with him.

 

"Do you have anything you want to say to Sandra and Julie?" she asks.

"No," Ed replies.

"They're coming on the show.  We'd love to have you," she continues. "What about their allegations that you're a bigamist?"

"Well, that's fine," Ed says. 

"He will never admit he's wrong," Julie says. 

"When we mentioned y'all's names, the conversation dried up. He didn't much want to say anything," Dr. Phil says.

 

 

Dr. Phil tells Julie and Sandra why he is concerned for them. "You've put on 100 pounds," he says to Julie. "Because you are angry. You are hurt. You are bitter, and you are medicating yourself with food."

"It is true," Julie agrees.

Dr. Phil addresses Sandra. "You are on a crusade," he says to her.

"Yes, on a mission," she replies.  

"You are spending four or five hours a night in there working on this Web site, posting stuff up, talking to other people who have been in a similar situation," Dr. Phil says. "Which, on balance, is certainly OK and a good thing to do, but do you want him having that control and power in your life?"

"No, I don't," Sandra says.

"The best revenge is to not give him the power to dominate your thinking and feelings, but to get it behind you and move forward," Dr. Phil tells them. "What do you think about what I'm saying?" he asks the women. 

"I think you're absolutely correct," Julie says. "Food is a crutch. It's a habit. I was heavy when we were married, but obviously much heavier now."

"I'm not being critical about that, I understand it," Dr. Phil assures her.

"It worries me about you health-wise. It worries me about you self-esteem-wise, and body image-wise."

"There is no self-esteem. It's gone," Julie says. 

"No, no, no. It's buried," Dr. Phil tells her. "You've internalized everything. You've put on this big layer to protect yourself, and make you what you think is irrelevant. And you sit home and say, 'You know, my life is over. I can never trust anybody again. I could never believe anybody again. I could never bond with anybody again, and so I'll just sit here and eat.'"

"That's true," Julie says. 

"And, besides health-wise, you are a beautiful woman," Dr. Phil tells her. 

 

Dr. Phil addresses Sandra.  "What is it about this guy?  He's got you huddled up over a keyboard."

"I just don't want him to do this to somebody else," Sandra explains. "He's an Internet predator. He's got ads out there. You know, no one should have to go through this." 

"I understand that," Dr. Phil tells her, "But you know what's worse than going through it? Is going through it for your entire life. This can't be a life sentence. You can't do that. I won't let you do that! I won't let either one of you do that. If you want to post that Web site up there because you think exposure is going to be revenge for him, then, boy, you just took a giant step forward today, because you know, there's 10 million people watching this deal."

"What I want both of you to do is decide, 'You know what? I'm going to set the goal to get past this,'" Dr. Phil tells Julie and Sandra. "You're not being your own best friend."

"True," Julie agrees. 

"He lied to you and ran out on you," Dr. Phil says to her. "And you're lying to you and running out on you now. Your lie is, 'It's over. I have no self-esteem. I'm an idiot. I just don't deserve to be out here.' That is a lie, and you've run out on yourself. And that is not OK." He addresses Sandra. "The same thing is true with you. You said, 'OK, I'll tell you what. You got me, but I'm going to spend the rest of my life kicking your ass. I'm going to be up here. I'm going to be putting this up everywhere. I'm going to hunt you down. I want a picture of you in handcuffs. I want to see you under the jail, buddy!' At that point, you're full of anger and bitterness. And y'all have to stop that."

 

Dr. Phil offers to arrange professional counseling for the women so they can get some closure. "You can do that minimal effective response that lets you get closure," he explains. He tells Sandra that Julie is worried about her.


"I am very worried about her," Julie agrees. 

"You know what you guys need to do? You need to celebrate coming back out. You need to have a party. You need to declare that this is the rest of your life," Dr. Phil suggests. He offers to get a trainer and dietitian for Julie to help her lose weight. "I will get you whatever you need, and we will get you some help where your self-esteem comes back up, because you're not checking out."

 

Julie and Sandra both agree to participate.