Shaming the Family Name: Ken, Susie, Tiffany, Christi

Family Issues
In a previous interview, Tiffany explains her issues with her family. “I feel like my dad chooses my stepmom and my half-brother over me all the time because he got remarried, and even before I was on drugs, they never would call me,” she says.

“Unfortunately, because of the drugs, we don’t have a relationship like we should have,” Ken admits.

“I was with my dad for a while. He basically said, ‘The only way you can live here is if you’re clean.’ He would drug test me. He knew, and he kicked me out,” Tiffany says. “My dad tells me all the time, ‘You need to be stronger,’ and ‘What you’re doing is stupid,’ and ‘You’re just weak-minded.’”

“Tiffany’s addiction has had a major impact on my relationship with my current wife,” Ken says. “I love Tiffany like there’s no tomorrow, but I won’t allow her in my home unless she’s clean and sober. She needs to be locked down. She needs to be taken away from her friends and deal with her issues.”

“My stepmom and I do not get along at all. I feel like my dad has changed so much. My stepmom has changed him. It makes me hate her,” Tiffany says. “My dad has helped me a lot financially, but if I go to his work to have lunch with him, he won’t tell her. He’ll keep it secret from her because she’ll get mad or get jealous.”

[AD]“I feel that Ken favors Tiffany over myself, and it’s hurtful,” says Ken’s wife, Christi. “When it comes to Tiffany, Ken will put everything on hold for her.”

“I definitely think my stepmom uses my drug use to keep me out of the family,” Tiffany says.

“Grow up, Tiffany. If you’re not going to care for yourself, then no one’s going to care for you,” Christi says. “I believe in tough love, and she doesn’t like that at all. I think Tiffany has been at the point where she will do anything she needs to do to get her drugs.”Christi joins the conversation.

Tiffany explains that she doesn’t hate Christi but says, “I feel like I don’t have a dad anymore because of her.”

Dr. Phil asks Christi about her relationship with Tiffany. “You’re happier when she’s not there because of what she introduces?”

“Yes,” she says. “Ken and I will argue and fight. For the most part, it has not been a happy situation when she’s around.”

Dr. Phil turns back to Tiffany. “Do you resent your father because he divorced your mother and left you?”

Tiffany nods. “He traded one family in for another. Even before my drug use, she has said, ‘I am jealous of you and your father’s relationship because me and my dad weren’t close growing up.’ This was like when I was 14. We were close. I was the only girl. We’re going to have a different relationship than he and my brothers. It’s different, you know? And she’s always said she’s jealous of that. If I go have lunch with him, he can’t tell her.”

Ken admits that he hasn’t always been honest with Christi about time spent with his daughter, but says Christi has valid concerns. “I’ve given things to you that I really shouldn’t,” he tells his daughter.

Tiffany says she takes offense at Christi’s tough love parenting style, saying she already has parents and doesn’t need another one. She explains that she didn’t grow up with Christi; she was just suddenly in her father’s life. Her father promised her he wouldn’t remarry, but then he got engaged without telling her.

[AD]“Is that your theory of why you’ve chosen to medicate yourself?” Dr. Phil asks.

“No, I don’t blame them,” she says.

“Who do you blame? The fact is, you are a heroin addict,” Dr. Phil says.

Tiffany nods, admitting that she used that morning. She says if she doesn’t get a fix before the day is out, she’ll start getting really sick.
Dr. Phil points out how Tiffany used her parents’ love to betray them.


Dr. Phil tells Susie that her habit of dropping everything to rescue her daughter has to stop. He tells Tiffany, “You need somebody to tell you the truth. And the truth is, you’re a spoiled brat, missy, and they have spoiled you.”

“I know,” she says.

“And you come out here in your sanctimonious, self-righteous way and criticize the manner in which they parent, and the fact that your father deceived you — You’re the biggest liar in the building,” Dr. Phil says.

“I know I am,” Tiffany says.

“I take a very different approach to this than you do,” Dr. Phil tells Tiffany’s parents. “My approach is that you call a spade a damn shovel. And I’m saying that this is a spoiled, entitled heroin addict who expects you to bail her out and let her abuse herself in a way that is life-threatening. That cannot happen.”

Ken says they’re on his side. “I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve thrown in the towel. I don’t know what else to do for my daughter,” he says.

“I want you to pick the towel back up and put it around your neck, because you’re going to need it,” Dr. Phil warns him. “You’re a cop. I need you to bring the professional skepticism to this that you would if you picked up [someone else’s] kids.”

[AD]Dr. Phil tells them they need to make it clear to Tiffany that this is her last chance, and they are no longer going to enable her. Dr. Phil sends the family to the greenroom, to talk it out and get on the same page. “No more coddling this kid,” he says. He says it’s up to them as a family to decide what happens next.

He warns Tiffany that if he chooses to send her to rehab, it may not be a short stay for her, and she may never return to her hometown because that’s where her triggers and bad influences are. “Your life as you know it is going to change dramatically, or I want no part of this,” he says.After their talk, the family rejoins Dr. Phil onstage. He asks what their decision is.

Ken says, “We’re hopeful you can give us some guidance, or put us on a path to whatever it is we need to do to save our daughter. She’s whole-heartedly shared with us that she wants help. I’m just pleased to know that she is still reaching out for some help.” Ken says he’s enlightened about his mistakes and is committed to changing.

Susie agrees that she’s no longer going to enable Tiffany.

Christi agrees she’s on board as well.

“There’s no leaving this time,” Dr. Phil warns Tiffany. “If you start making noise about leaving, we’ll get a 5150 commitment and put your ass right back where you were.”

Tiffany nods and smiles.

“They’re now on my side, and I’m on your side, so we’re all pulling for you,” he says.

[AD]Dr. Phil tells the family that they will also be working hard while Tiffany is in rehab, to make sure they don’t sabotage her when she finally gets healthy.  

Dr. Phil introduces Velvet Mangan, CEO and founder of Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women. She will escort Tiffany straight to rehab.