Onstage Showdown

"Dr. Phil, as a relationship expert, I have to look at things pragmatically and objectively," Lucia says. "When people hear the world ‘gold digger,' there's an automatic negative, knee-jerk reaction."

"Well, yeah," Dr. Phil says. "Look it up in the dictionary."

"I think it goes back to biology. Men are programmed " especially men of money, power and status. They want the best-looking women that their money can buy, so they want 9s and 10s. Someone who is a 5 is not going to be able to be a gold digger. Conversely, a 9 or 10 is going to want someone of money, power and status."

Dr. Phil questions Lucia's logic. "Well, I have a pretty cute wife, and I had, like, two dimes to rub together when I met her. We've been married 32, 33 years," he says. 

He addresses Lauren. "You think this is despicable," he says, referring to gold digging.

"I do. I think it's such small thinking. We live in a day and age where women can do and become anything they want to be," replies Lauren, who is married to an NFL coach. She turns to Baje and Michelle. "You would really set your sights this low that you would attach yourself to a man with money without having your own? Just say to yourself, ‘I don't need to manipulate anyone to get anything on my wish list. I can work, and buy it for myself and get sheer satisfaction out of it.'"

"I agree," Baje says. "Making your own money should be your number one priority. If a man wants to give you his money, if he wants to wine you and dine you, take you on trips, shopping sprees, then take that also."

[AD]"I don't think you have to take that, because you think you're getting something for free, but you're paying a bigger price than you want to admit," Lauren replies. "Everyone in this audience can see the price that you're paying, Baje. You get so angry as you talk about every time a man approaches you, it's about sex."

"You seem angry," Baje shoots back.

"No, I'm passionate. I'm passionate about young women like yourself who are beautiful and capable, and you underestimate and you limit your living, because you base it on money and 10 pairs of sunglasses," Lauren says.

Michelle speaks up. "I have to disagree, because there was a point in my life when nobody taught me about men or whatever. When I went away to college, I had all these types of men hitting on me," she says. "I went on dates, and I was naïve about men. I got taken advantage of."

"We've all been taken advantage of," Lauren interjects. She polls the audience. "Ladies, how many people out here have been taken advantage of once by a man? You don't turn into a gold digger because of that."

"Hold on. There are some nice guys out there," Dr. Phil says with a grin. He asks Dwight how he screens potential mates. "You don't give any presents for, like, two or three months?"

[AD]"It depends on the relationship, but for the most part, I have to know her, and it has to be something real," he replies. "It can't be some superficial, ‘Oh, I just met her, and all of a sudden I'm giving gifts to her,' and all of that."

"Exactly. Those types of men, they only do that to get in your pants," Baje says. "The men who give me stuff up front are the men I'm very leery of."

"So is it on lay-away or something?" Lauren cracks. "You're not something at the store for them to purchase later. Who cares if they give it to you now or later? You can buy it yourself."

"I do buy it myself. All of my money goes to investments, it goes in my bank account," Baje says. "Their money buys me the stuff I like."

Before the show, audience members were asked for their thoughts on gold digging. Dr. Phil turns to a man named Cameron. "You say they just make you bitter."

"Yeah. It's sad, because it seems like our society is getting to a point where if you don't have the $76 million dollar contract, if you don't have the private jet, then you're just taking up space," he replies.

"You don't think these girls would give you a chance?"

"From the things that I've heard, you know what? I don't think it would be a match made in heaven anyway," Cameron answers.

[AD]"I'm already in a relationship, so I'm not looking for anybody," Michelle says. "That's why I gold dig, because I already have a man. If somebody else approaches me and wants to give me money, or gifts or whatever, I'll take it."

"Wait a minute," Dr. Phil says, throwing his hand up. "You're in a relationship, and you still work men for money?"

"Yeah, why not?" she answers. "I don't work them for money. They offer."

"Men just walk up and say, ‘Can I buy you an iPod?" Dr. Phil quips.

"I'd like to address something that Lauren said, the fact that she said to be a gold-digger is demeaning and undignified," Lucia says. "Well, you know what? Some people would find going on welfare and using food stamps demeaning and undignified. They find living paycheck to paycheck and wondering if they're going to be able to pay the bills next month, or if they're going to be homeless, or have their home foreclosed on, demeaning and undignified. So you may find it that way, but gold diggers actually find it empowering."

"Actually, I think you're fooling yourself if you don't think this is two sandwiches short of what I call the 'prostitution picnic,'" Lauren counters.

[AD]Jessica, another audience member, has a comment for Baje and Michelle. "I just think that you guys are horrible role models for young women, because you guys have nothing to offer but a good piece of arm candy for a man," she says. "Fake breasts and Botox can only get you so far."

"I'm sorry you feel that way, but I have a lot more to offer than how I look," Baje says.

"Well, it seems that way, because you just fool these men into thinking that you are going to give them something," Jessica says.