Fixing the Feuding Family: Christy and Jackie

Fixing the Feuding Family: Christy and Jackie
Dr. Phil gets in the middle to settle some family feuds.

"My daughter and I have been feuding for over a year," says Jackie, right. "She owes me over $100,000. I've given Christy $55,000 to start a restaurant, $6,000 for the air conditioning for the restaurant, $12,000 to buy a home, $10,000 on two different occasions just to help her out. That's my money. I wake up every morning with regret that I loaned her that money."

"I refuse to talk to my mother," says Christy, left. "She's living with a man who could ruin her financially. I'm withholding the money until my mother's partner, Clay, is out of the picture." After learning that he used her mother's credit card to take another woman out to dinner, Christy did some research and learned Clay is a registered sex offender. "I don't trust Clay. She defended him my saying he's found the Lord. I feel that my mother's in jeopardy," she says.

"This is insane. Christy's blackmailing me," says Jackie, explaining that she and Clay were romantic for a short time and are now business partners who sleep in separate rooms. "My relationship with Clay is strictly business," she says.
It all started just a few months after Christy's father passed away. Christy received phone calls from friends who were concerned about her mother. "When I went home, I saw someone else's shirts in my dad's closet. She was already involved with Clay. She had gotten a face-lift. She had invested in a large, 18-wheel truck. He was taking control. When I asked him, 'What are you in this for?' He said, 'Well, I'm in it for the payoff.'"

That's not all that made her uneasy. "Clay threatened my
mother," says Christy. "He told her he would cut her head off and roll it down the hall like a bowling ball." Christy is engaged, but says, "If I got married right now, my mother would not be invited."

"I'm not going to get rid of this man," says Jackie, turning to Dr. Phil. "Could you please help us settle this family feud?"

"What do you think gives you the right to not pay back the money you owe to somebody who extended it to you in good faith?" Dr. Phil asks Christy.

"I feel that I represent my father and everything he stood for," she says. "And I feel, looking at the situation, he would want to see some changes ... I don't feel like it's time to repay it. I don't feel comfortable. I don't feel that my father would feel comfortable."

"But you agreed to. And you've breached that agreement," says Dr. Phil.

 

"Right," she agrees.

When Dr. Phil asks what Jackie thinks, she says, "This is just tearing me apart. This is not a lot of money — it's a lot of money to me, but it's not worth losing a daughter. And to sit and hear her say that I would not be invited to her wedding, it hurts deeply."

"Does she have some valid points here that you need to weigh and consider?"

"She does have some valid points, and we've talked many times about her concerns," says Jackie.
Clay spent nine and a half years in prison for sexual assault. Dr. Phil turns to him in the audience: "You were guilty of what you were charged with. And you served the time."

"Correct," says Clay.

Dr. Phil turns back to Jackie. "Does it strike you as odd that your daughter would be concerned that you would take up with someone with this history?"

"Oh no, it doesn't," admits Jackie. "Especially knowing the relationship that her dad and I had. We were married for 35 years."

"And then in less than a year after that, you're involved with a convicted felon who's been in prison for nine and a half years," says Dr. Phil. He summarizes Christy's viewpoint: "You're saying, 'I don't want to give that money back because he's going to get his hands on it and it's going to be gone and she isn't going to have anything.'"

Christy agrees. "It's everything my dad worked for to make sure she's taken care of when he was gone."
"You're not concerned about that?" Dr. Phil asks Jackie. He points out that Jackie and Clay are partners in a business. Though it's a 50/50 partnership, Jackie puts up 100 percent of the money.

"I do 100 percent of the work," justifies Clay, and Jackie agrees that their agreement is fair.

"Did you tell Christy you were in this for the payoff?" Dr. Phil asks Clay.

Clay explains, "Jackie showed me a whole better way, a whole new life. And helped me begin my life over again in a positive surrounding, compared to going right back to the same path I've followed once before." About being in it for the payoff, Clay says, "I'm in it for what we can build, absolutely." He also clarifies that his threat about cutting off Jackie's head was done "in the heat of an argument."
"I'm not the sharpest pencil in the drawer, but there are some warning signs here that I think would have any child that was concerned about their mother to have some concerns about your well-being, your future, and your judgment, frankly," Dr. Phil tells Jackie. "You have a registered sex offender living in your home," he says, acknowledging that Clay has paid his debt to society.

Dr. Phil turns to Christy: "This is your mother and you don't have the right to tell her what to do ... You borrowed money on one set of understandings and you agreed to pay it back and you haven't done that and you don't have the right to do that."

Dr. Phil warns Jackie that she could be in a compromised position since the business is all her money and Clay has 50 percent ownership. He asks her, "Would you be willing, out of deference to your daughter's concerns, to get an independent consultant that would really look at whether or not you, and therefore your husband's estate, are protected? So that [Christy] won't feel the need to hold the money hostage? Would you be the hero and step up and create some middle ground where your daughter has some peace of mind about you not being left with nothing?"
They both agree, and Christy says she will also invite her mother to her wedding.