"My daughter, Lisa, is alienating my grandson from me. Lisa tells Koal that he should stay away from me, that I am a bad person," says Rita. "Lisa is brainwashing Koal against me. They recite this
"Rita wants everybody to think that I'm poisoning Koal, because that's how she gets the attention," says Lisa, who calls her mother by her first name because she doesn't feel a mother-daughter bond. "I just feel hatred. Rita has no ethics, no honesty, no loyalty. She's not a mother; she's an evil person." She says Rita forces Koal to spend time with her, but Koal is not interested. "Rita doesn't care what Koal likes. It's a power struggle. This is about Rita trying to control my life," she says. "Rita's crazy. I heard that she's placed a tombstone in her backyard with my name on it. She's obsessed with seeing Koal to hurt me."
Rita says Lisa's husband, Brian, is the person who's really trying to control Lisa. "Had she not married him, I would still be involved in her life
Brian says that Rita stalks his family. "We've moved, but her mother, once again, stalking my wife. It could be a phone call, it could be a letter, it could be an e-mail, it could be driving by our house. She will find a way just to antagonize you," he says of his mother-in-law. "I'm fed up with all the torment. I have never seen Rita treat my wife like her own daughter. There's no mothering there. There's no nurturing. She is a cold person. I don't believe Rita loves anyone. I don't think Rita knows what love is."
Lisa says she fears for her life. "I take a camera in my car. I watch around me when I drive. I don't trust her husband. I don't trust what she might push him to do," she reveals. "When I think of Rita, my gut says, Run as fast as you can and keep running, girl. Just get as far away from her as I can."
"Lisa is very confused, and as a result, I've been forced to take Lisa to court," Rita says. The women have stood in front of a judge over 10 times. "I had to go to court for a restraining order against me. Another time was the restraining
"Rita attached my ex-husband's wages and levied our bank accounts. I was pregnant at the time. I had a miscarriage. She said, â€˜I'll take her husband's motorcycle. I'll take his truck,'" Lisa says. "Every time I get paid, I know I had better put a percentage away for the next attorney. I've already claimed bankruptcy once. My house is in foreclosure. If you really, really love your grandchildren, why would you want your daughter to lose everything?"
In 2006, Rita won her grandparent's rights case. "The court awarded me one weekend every three months, plus Christmas Eve with my grandson, but Lisa is not obeying the court order," she says. "It makes me angry. I am going to stand up for my rights. I am going to see my grandson and have a re
"Rita doesn't care what the consequences are. She's determined to destroy my wife's life, if she can. She's a very vindictive person," Brian says.
"Koal won't go to Rita's house and spend the night there, unless they're going to handcuff him, force him into a car, and duct tape him to a chair. Somebody needs to hear what Koal is saying. She needs to listen. No child wants to be forced to love somebody. That's not how love works," says Lisa. "Rita's made us all miserable. I want Rita completely out of my life. I don't want to see her. I don't want to hear her name. I'd like to have her name taken off my birth certificate."
Dr. Phil is joined onstage by Rita, Lisa and Lisa's husband, Brian. "I have one interest in this, and it's Koal. That's the reason I'm here, and that's the reason I'm talking about this," he tells them. Turning to Rita, he says, "You said
"There have been threats against me by him in the past, and I just don't feel certain it would be good for me to be on the stage with him," she says, adding that she's worried for her physical safety.
"That ain't going to happen," Dr. Phil assures her. Turning to Lisa, he says, "You believe that this is not a loving, supporting mother and grandmother, but an evil woman."
"I do believe she's evil. She's a bag of crazy," Lisa says.
Turning to Rita, Dr. Phil says, "She says you call her an ignoramus and a mental case."
"I have never called her that. I have never called her a bad name," she says.
"Did you burn her baby pictures?"
"No, I did not."
"Did you throw away all of her hope chests?"
"No, I did not."
Turning to Lisa, Dr. Phil asks, "Did you sue her for that?"
"Yeah," she says.
Lisa explains that she blames her mother for her miscarriage in 1993 because Rita filed a restraining order against Lisa and her then husband, Keith, filed a lawsuit stating Lisa owed her money, and she levied their bank account.
Dr. Phil asks Rita, "Did you sue her for money damages?"
"I appealed a lawsuit, so I would say, yes," she says.
"Why are we suing each other?" Dr. Phil asks.
"I sued for my grandparent's rights because I love Koal, and I had a relationship with him," Rita says, adding that Koal and Lisa lived with her at one point. "I want what's best for Koal, and having grandparents in his life is what's best for Koal. [Lisa] wasn't deprived of her grandparents."
"She says that you caused them to file bankruptcy, that you asked for her car at the bankruptcy hearing, that they've run up $30 to $40,000 in legal fees, that you don't care if their home is foreclosed, that you treat her like road kill," Dr. Phil says.
"I've never asked for her car. I have never called her a bad name," Rita says.
"Have you told people she's a drug user?" Dr. Phil asks Rita.
"Yes, I probably have," she admits. "That's one of the reasons that she's in the state of mind that she's in today, possibly." She explains that her daughter doesn't do drugs currently but has in the past.
"Did you go online and pretend to be a teacher and harass her?" Dr. Phil asks.
Rita says she pretended to be a teacher so she could find out about her grandkids, not to harass her daughter.