DP Family Returns: Custody Battles: Cheryl

Grandmothers on Opposite Sides

Chris served nine months in jail for violating his probation, so the judge ordered that he only have day visits with Leilah before they transition into overnight, so he can build a bond with his daughter.

Dr. Phil asks Cheryl and Erin, "Do you two have a relationship?"


Cheryl pauses and says, "We did at one point."

"I think you two are very important anchors in Leilah's life," Dr. Phil says to the grandmothers. "I would sure rather see a cooperative thing than a combative thing."

"We did share the load," Cheryl says, explaining that she and Erin each took care of Leilah during the week. The rotation continued until Alex got Leilah back. "I asked Alex, â€˜Whatever happens, can we still see Leilah?' We love that baby just as much as everybody else does. And she said, ‘Yes, ma'am, you will,' and until this day, she has not let me take Leilah."

"We've got to have two mature women here who are focusing on the best interest of this child," Dr. Phil points out. "Where's the breakdown here?"

"It's probably been that I have disagreed with how Chris speaks to me, and this is her son," Erin says.

"When I'm around you, I don't say two words to you," Chris says to Erin. "I try to give you a hug when I come to get Leilah, and you don't give me a hug."

[AD]"There's so much tension when we come to your house," Cheryl adds.


Dr. Phil repeats his question to the woman. "What do I have to do for you two to deal with each other as individuals and not judge each other based on your kids?" he asks. "You two need to rise above the fray and deal on a completely different plane in the best interest of this child."

"I agree on that part," Cheryl says.

Erin says that she and Cheryl have good communication when it comes to Leilah's well-being.

Dr. Phil asks Cheryl for her concerns about the bruises discovered on Leilah's neck.


Cheryl says she wants to know who caused the marks: Alex, Tony or someone in her household. "She was still under Alex's care. Why didn't Alex do anything or bring up anything about it?" she asks.

"We are very concerned about that," Dr. Phil assures her. "There are innocent explanations for how those bruises could get there, but I think you have to assume the worst to make sure that you provide the protection that's necessary."

Chris reveals new information about the bruises.


Dr. Phil asks Cheryl if she's seen her son become physical with Alexandra.

[AD]"I've never seen him hit her or pull her around the apartment," she says. "Never once did she ever say Chris put his hands on her." She adds that Alex didn't mention the allegations until she found out Chris was being released from jail.

Dr. Phil addresses Erin and Cheryl. "I'm asking you two to make the effort to rise above all of the fray and have the one peaceful plane where somebody can be running no agenda, except that of Leilah," he says.

  • Erin shares her thoughts about co-grand-parenting Leilah on her blog.