Desperate for My Daughter: Adrienne

"Angela is my daughter. She is the love of my life," says Adrienne. "I desperately want my baby home. She told me once, ‘I'd rather live on the streets than live with you.'"

 

Adrienne says her daughter started changing when she was sexually assaulted. "She was barely 13. We brought rape charges against the person. They were actually indicted and everything, but unfortunately, we lost the trial. Angela's personality did a 180. It was like she died, but I know that she's in there somewhere," says Adrienne. "I put Angela on the Missing and Exploited Children database in 2005, because that's when she'd run away to Vegas with some adults who were basically using her."


"I first ran away when I was 13 years old. My mom and I got into an argument," says Angela, who is now 17. She describes the horrors of street life. "There were a couple of instances where I had to prostitute. There was one pimp who told me that he would murder me out on the street if I didn't make any money."

Adrienne hearkens back to brighter days. "Angela, as a child, was a joy. Angela was a star student," she recalls with a smile. But Adrienne acknowledges that her strict parenting may have darkened Angela's childhood. "I never abused Angela, but I believed in spanking, which was with a belt."

"My mother would beat me nonstop," Angela says. "I would go to school, and the principal would see that and say, ‘Oh,
what happened?' And I would tell them, ‘Oh, I fell down the staircase,' or 'I fell in class.'"

"What I'd like to say to Angela is, ‘I've never stopped loving you. I've never stopped believing in you. You had a lot of letdowns. I want to be a part of your healing. I want you to be whole,'" Adrienne says.

"I do miss my mom, but we can't live toge
ther," Angela says adamantly. "I've had more freedom than I've ever experienced in my life, without my mother. I feel like I am doing wonderfully by myself."

Adrienne fears that Angela's reckless choices will destroy her. "My daughter has been living a very dangerous, promiscuous lifestyle for the past two-and-a-half or three years," she says. "I need to bring my baby home."

"Why did she leave, in your estimation?" Dr. Phil asks Adrienne.

"Angela left because she was hurt. I honestly, Dr. Phil, never truly knew why," she replies.

"Is she lying when she says you beat her nonstop? That was her quote. ‘She beat me nonstop, and I had to tell the school lies to cover it up.'"

"She's talking about one isolated incident, about 15, 18 lashes. I'm not very proud of that," Adrienne admits. "She'd been with a man in the house, that didn't belong to me. It happened more than once. I had taken her to the doctor. We were moving into a new place. We actually moved to another part of the country for her. Eighty percent of the reason we moved was so she could get away from her history."

"On that one isolated incident, did you lose it and beat her unreasonably?" Dr. Phil inquires.

"I did not beat her unreasonably. I believe she grabbed the belt. We started tussling. I had marks. She had marks. I'm not proud of that," Adrienne replies. Then she concedes, "Yes, sir. I'll say so. I think I went over the edge. I did. I'll admit that."

"And you had a lot of confrontation in the home, right?" Dr. Phil probes. "A lot of arguing, yelling, screaming " that sort of thing."

"A lot of that."

Dr. Phil confers with Bishop Jakes. "This goes on behind a lot of closed doors and sends a really bad message," he says.

"Absolutely," the pastor replies. He turns to Adrienne. "I think the really pervasive problem with your daughter is that she really doesn't believe that you all can have a whole and wholesome relationship. It's difficult to get her to understand that it is possible to live with you and be happy."

"Is that possible? If she were home today, would you be right back where you were?" Dr. Phil asks Adrienne.

"We're hearing only part of the story. I've never abused an
y of my children. I have two," Adrienne begins.

"She says otherwise," Dr. Phil interrupts.

"That's a lie. I've always been on her team. We had a wonderful relationship when she was growing up. Let me tell you. This is in her diaries: ‘I'm going to stay pure until I get married.' Do you know how much of an honor that was for me? She didn't say, 'I want to stay pure' and then run away," Adrienne says. "We were happy. She was happy. My problem with this whole situation is, she's a whole different person. Our problems started when she changed."

Dr. Phil runs down a list of Angela's aberrant behavior. "In '04, she threatened to kill you in front of the cops when she was high on ecstasy," he reminds Adrienne.

"Yes."

"She lied, and you got into this court situation where she said she had been raped and changed her story so much that the person charged with it got away, no accountability whatsoever."

"No accountability whatsoever," Adrienne reiterates, her voice tinged with regret. "Got his job back and everything. The worst part about the thing is not just that he got away, but before, [Angela] was telling people stories: ‘I'm a crack dealer.' ‘I dance at a topless bar,'" she says. "After she was raped, I feel that she took on a different identity."

"Is it your understanding that the first sexual assault occurred with this particular incident you're referencing?" Dr. Phil inquires.

"No," she replies. "I believe that she was touched, fondled. She did tell me about that when she was 6 years old."

"You say she's been prostituting in Oregon and in Las Vegas?"

"Yes. She was in very dangerous situations," Adrienne says. "She actually never, truly, to this day, has admitted to me openly, with her mouth, that she's prostituted. I've got to hear it from an officer who says, ‘Well, I picked her up off this street,' or that street."