Kitty says she is obsessed with getting to the bottom of the story. "I have this gut feeling something is wrong, the fact that he can't answer my questions honestly. This whole inappropriate relationship with his daughter is the main reason that I wouldn't even think about getting back together with him," she asserts.
James believes that there is an underlying reason for his ex-wife's suspicions. "Kitty is obsessing over it," he says. "If I did cross the line, I would like Dr. Phil to give me the guidelines to change what I've done."
Addressing the couple, Dr. Phil says, "You understand that I consider this to be a very serious topic and a very serious question. I assume both of you take it the same way."
"Yes, we do," Kitty replies.
"My whole point is the child is totally a victim in circumstances where molestation is taking place. They don't have a voice. They don't have the ability to fight back, and I'm the chance to be that voice. What is your reason for wanting to be here?" Dr. Phil asks Kitty.
"So you think he's guilty? You think he's been inappropriate with his daughter?"
Kitty mulls over the question. "I think he's been inappropriate. I know what I've seen, but I don't know how far it's gone."
"Because this is a major issue. I love my children. I'm going to see where this goes because there's nothing that's happened," James insists.
Dr. Phil addresses Kitty's concerns. "She's troubled by the fact that you're sleeping in the same bed with your 15-year-old daughter. It's a full-size bed that's 53 inches," he points out.
Kitty chimes in, "One time is too many to me."
"Is that inappropriate, as you look back on it?" Dr. Phil asks James.
"I don't think so," he replies.
Dr. Phil continues, "She says that she has observed your 15-year-old daughter sitting in your lap, having her hand on your leg, straddling your lap, while y'all are tickling and wrestling, while you're only wearing what you call sleep shorts. What do you think about that?"
"At the time, obviously, I wasn't thinking clearly about it, because we probably just woke up, and we were talking about what we were doing for the day," James admits. "It was just innocent."
Dr. Phil continues questioning James. "You said, 'I think I was doing it for guilt reasons because of the divorce.' Define 'it' for me," he says.
"The affection, the hugging, telling her I love her all the time, that I won't leave, that I'll always be there," James elaborates.
"Obviously, allowing her to sleep in my bed when she was scared, or nervous, or trying to adjust, coming to my new home so far away," James says. "She eventually ends up in her bed."
"There are two potential tragedies here. One is if something inappropriate is going on between you and this daughter, and nothing is done about it. That would be tragic," Dr. Phil observes. "The other tragedy is if a father who is loving and affectionate with his daughter gets vilified for doing that in a world where everybody is hypersensitive to it. That would be tragic and unfair to you and your daughter."Dr. Phil wonders why Kitty has not acted on her suspicions. "You, obviously, believe that something is going on here. If that's true, why would you not walk, but run, in the opposite direction?" he asks her. "Why have you not called Child Protective Services? Why have you not done any and everything you can to protect this child?"
Dr. Phil explains that the system doesn't work that way. "The Child Protective Service is what we call a false-positive system. We would rather investigate 100 circumstances that are unfounded, than fail to investigate one that is founded," he stresses. "Do you really believe this?"
"I believe everything that I've said and I've seen," Kitty asserts. "I know that in my heart of hearts, it's not appropriate behavior between a father and daughter."
"Is it inappropriate for a father to just scoop his daughter up, and hug her and hold her and pat her and love on her?"
"Absolutely. I think that's fine," Kitty replies. "But what I don't think is appropriate is some of the behavior that seems almost like a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, or sleeping in the same bed. Even if she's scared, take the scary movies away. If they're R-rated and she's not mature enough, take away what's causing her to need to sleep with him."
Dr. Phil wants Kitty to re-examine her beliefs about James's relationship with his daughter. "Is it possible that you're viewing this through a jealousy filter? Is it possible that you've got a dog in this fight, and you resent his closeness and affection with his daughter?" he asks.
Dr. Phil is unconvinced. "That's not genuine. You guys are talking about the potential of reconciliation," he notes. "You do have some interest here. Is that not true?"
"My main interest is that there's nothing else going on, and that he just crosses the line, and maybe is a little bit too affectionate," Kitty makes clear. "That's what I'm here to ask you, how it looks to you."
"I think if you believe what you believe, you do not have a right, but you have a responsibility to bring it to the attention of the authorities," Dr. Phil reiterates.
He turns to James. "I think you're a guy. I think guys can be really insensitive sometimes to delicate issues " issues of privacy, and issues of boundaries, and issues of separateness. I have absolutely not one shred of evidence to suggest to me that you are molesting your daughter. Now, do I see some bad judgment on your part? Yeah, you're a guy. You don't need to be sleeping with your daughter," Dr. Phil admonishes. "It's important for parents to create boundaries. I'm not saying to reject her " but you need to create boundaries where she understands issues of privacy and separateness. It may be that sexuality never comes to your mind, but you need to condition her. Not to be inhibited, not to be ashamed of herself or feel guilty for loving her dad, but you do need to construct some boundaries."
"If you want to lay this completely to rest, would you be willing to take a polygraph?" Dr. Phil asks James.
He replies, "Without a doubt."
"Would you be willing for your daughter to take a polygraph?" Dr. Phil inquires.
"Would you be willing for her to be interviewed by a professional?"
"I feel great about it. That's what I wanted to hear," she answers. "I wanted the reassurance that maybe it is just a boundary problem, that it wasn't taken any further. I'm thrilled that that's what you think."
Dr. Phil urges James to be more sensitive toward his teen. "If you do that, then I think this situation will cure itself up," he tells the couple.