Sister-in-Law from Hell: Jennifer

"Kelly is my best friend. I feel the family is definitely ganging up on her. I've seen quite a bit of e-mails and letters from Marlo, and I do think she can get quite nasty," says Jennifer. "Marlo should have her nose more in her own marriage and her own life. Greg used to be a nice person, but the way he treats Kelly " I don't think the family actually sees it, or maybe they don't want to see it. It's downright rude."

 

Jennifer addresses the gossip surrounding her f

riend. "There's a lovely rumor that Kelly tried to take Tim, who is Marlo's husband, to a strip club. That rumor is definitely not true. I can squash that right here," she says. "I was there when this incident happened. I definitely think that Tim instigated that whole thing just to save his own you-know-what. Kelly is definitely getting a bad rap from this. I think she's the scapegoat most of the time. When there's no one to blame, let's blame Kelly."

Dr. Phil turns to Bill. "You also think your wife is getting a bum rap," he says.

"Yeah, 100 percent," Bill agrees.

"You think you don't catch hell when you go home after interacting with the family?" Dr. Phil asks. 

"Bill, you told me that you catch hell from her. That's why you don't come around us because when you do, when you bring her around, when you get home with her, you catch hell. You told me that, Bill," Austin interjects, heatedly. 

"And Bill, you've also told me," Lynn adds.

"I'm a grown man. I'm free to hang around my family whenever I want," Bill says.

 

"Do you resent him interacting with these family members?" Dr. Phil asks Kelly.

 

"Oh, absolutely not. I've never tried to stand between him having a relationship with his family," she replies.

Marlo faces her sister-in-law. "Over the last year, you've just crossed the line. You've crossed the line with myself, with Tim, with Greg," she says. "When you sent the text message responding to Tim about the strip club: 'Yeah, Jen and I will meet you there.'"

 

"Did you do that?" Dr. Phil asks Kelly.

 

"To my knowledge, no," she replies.

 

Dr. Phil takes her to task. "How do you forget that?" he asks. "You either did or you didn't."

 

"I have emphatically denied that I did that," Kelly says.

 

Tim gives an example of how Kelly crossed the line with him. "Just the fact that she would show up with Greg's ex," he begins.

 

"So, she was betraying your brother," Dr. Phil summarizes. He turns to Greg. "What is one thing that she's done to cross the line with you?"

 

"When she showed up at my court hearing to testify against me," he replies.

"We know at least two right here have a problem with you showing up as an adverse witness to a family member," Dr. Phil tells Kelly. "In managing your family relationships, do you think that was a good idea?"

"I don't think that it was a good idea, but I can tell you that it wouldn't have made a difference," she replies. "The attorney spoke to three people. I'm the only one who went voluntarily. The other two were subpoenaed."

 

"Can you acknowledge why a family would object to an in-law giving adverse testimony to a family member in that kind of situation?"

 

"Absolutely, but it was the right thing to do, and I would have done it for anybody," Kelly replies. "I guess my question is would it have been better to just let them subpoena me?"

 

"Oh, absolutely, unequivocally," Dr. Phil says. "I've been through these family disputes before. Voluntarily showing up to give adverse testimony against father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law " anybody " is not a good way to endear yourself to the family."








Dr. Phil asks Marlo what her role is in the family conflict. "I guess I wrote the e-mail, and that's why we're on the show," she begins.

 

"That's a self-serving answer if I ever heard one," Dr. Phil says. "Do you think calling [Kelly] egregious names contributes to peace and harmony?"

 

"Absolutely not," she replies. "I said some mean things."

 

Dr. Phil addresses Tim. "You're a yeller, and a screamer and a very passionate individual. Do you think that advances peace and harmony?" he asks.

 

"No, probably not," he replies.

 

Kelly explains how she contributed to the chaos. "I've probably gone about some things the wrong way. I've probably sent e-mails when I could have made a phone call," she tells Dr. Phil.

 

"You've got a pretty self-righteous attitude, don't you?" Dr. Phil asks. "Do you agree that you've been aligned in a way that anyone would expect to take offense to?"

 

"Probably," Kelly replies.

"Do y'all want to resolve this?" Dr. Phil asks the family.

 

When they all reply in the affirmative, Dr. Phil says they don't have to like Kelly, but they must take their power back. "If you let anybody " Kelly, or anybody " affect the way you feel to the extent that y'all have, you're giving your power away," he says. "This situation needs a hero. Sometimes somebody has to step up and say, 'You know what? There has to be somebody here who is not going to respond, not to going to take the bait, not going to react, not going to get involved in the vitriolic rhetoric.' Everyone of you can qualify in that way."

 

Dr. Phil says that Kelly and her in-laws have said offensive things to each other, and no one is without blame. "Not even God can change what has happened. What you can do is go forward from today," he advises the relatives.

 

Dr. Phil urges Kelly to take on the role of peacemaker. "You ought to be encouraging Bill to go out with his brothers and have a good time," he says. "He will resent you later if you are a block between him and his family."