Teens: Life on the Street: Paula, Michael

Meeting "The Devil"

"Growing up, up until 12, Bonnie was happy, wonderfully talented," Paula remembers. "When she was 13, she got into drugs. Bonnie left home about a month ago. Her boyfriend Danny had been in L.A. for about six months, and she chose to stay with him, and we thought she was only going to stay for a couple of weeks. I thought they were going to stay in hotels because she did have money saved up, but then, come to find out, she started sleeping on the streets and that they were homeless. She wants to be with Danny.

"What goes through a mom's mind: all kinds of horrible things: Sex trade, drugs, just living on the street. It's a horrible thing, and I don't understand why she chooses to do that. These kids are so vulnerable. My greatest fear is that she could overdose. She knows that she can come home any time, any time. I am worried about her being kidnapped off the streets, and we would never see her again, and we wouldn't know where she went."

Paula's interview is interrupted by a phone call from Bonnie.

[AD]"Bonnie just called from jail," she says. "And she said that she and Danny were in the hotel, and Danny wanted to do heroin, and Bonnie said no " and I believe her. Bonnie's always been honest. And she went into the bathroom for a couple of minutes, and she came back out and Danny had overdosed. He was lying on the floor, not breathing, blue, so she said she did CPR for what she said seemed like half an hour, and she called 911, and the ambulance came and also the police. They took Danny to the hospital and Bonnie to jail. She said that she hadn't done anything at all. She didn't have anything on her. They didn't do any kind of urine test or blood test or anything. She said she wasn't high. Now she's spending the night in jail because we can't get her out until tomorrow."

Paula meets with Dr. Phil. "You've been watching this tape backstage," he says. "Did you have any idea what your daughter's life was like right now?"

"None. I was listening to myself say she doesn't lie to me, but you know what? She does lie to me. She's a drug addict. And I've known in the past that she's addicted to heroin. She was off for six months, and she was clean, because you can tell when they're clean, but over the phone, I can't tell, and the fact that she's shooting up again, I mean, anything she says is suspect, because she's a drug addict," Paula says.

Paula explains she didn't just drop her daughter off in Hollywood and leave. "We came out on a family vacation," she says. "She wanted to stay for an extra week with Danny. I did not know he was homeless. I thought he had an apartment and a job. She had money. She had a cell phone. She called me every day. I thought everything was fine, and she continued to call me every day, and after a while, she wouldn't come home, and I kept asking, ‘When are you coming home? Come home any time. The bus is there. The ticket is there. Come home.' And she'd have excuse after excuse, and now I know why, because she's addicted to drugs."

Dr. Phil explains that Bonnie and Danny were going to join the show, until their events last night. "They said they would love to have a lock on a door, so they could be safe and have a shower, so, as with all of our guests, we had them in a hotel last night before they came on. And I suppose that if he had overdosed in one of these hidden, remote places, he would be dead now. It was just happenstance that he was in a hotel with trained security guards, a location that 911 could respond to, and find and get there, or I suppose this young man would be dead." He asks Paula, "Has it occurred to you that her being in jail right now may be the safest place she's been in a long, long time?"

[AD]"After watching that tape, yes," she says.

"I'm not sure you want to race to get her out of jail," Dr. Phil says.

Kelly agrees.

See more of the disturbing reality that has become Danny and Bonnie's life:

The teens give a tour of what they call the dungeon.

 

Danny and Bonnie talk about the one man they've encountered who scares them the most.

 

"They talked to you about The Devil," Dr. Phil says to Kelly. "We need to find this guy."

"I am on such a mission to find out who this guy is and have him arrested, you have no idea, Dr. Phil," Kelly says. "It's the fact that he's walking the streets of Hollywood, finding young boys to take them home and offer them things they can't refuse " basic essentials that if you have a home, you have. And they don't even have soap to wash their hands. They don't have a toothbrush to brush their teeth, so if someone is offering you $200, that can be like ‘Oh, my God, this is everything that I've needed, and all I have to do is have sex with this guy.' It's so heartbreaking to think that these young boys and these young girls are abusing their own bodies in such a way just to get $200."

[AD]Dr. Phil tells parents, "Listen, you do need to talk to your kids, but more importantly, you need to listen. You need to hear what they have to say. You don't have to agree with it. They just need to be heard. And this is a dialogue, it's an ongoing dialogue. When Robin and I were raising our boys, like a lot of kids, they would come home, ‘Where have you been?' ‘Nowhere.' ‘What did you do?' ‘Nothing.' ‘Who'd you do it with?' ‘Nobody.' And then the door would slam. But then the door would open back up. ‘Tell me where nowhere is, who nobody is and what nothing amounts to.' And before long, they'd just realize, ‘I might as well give it up because they're going to hear it.' And I did a lot of listening, and Robin did a lot of listening. She could get them to talk with food. She'd get them in at night, feed them, and they'd tell her anything. We really have to listen to these kids."

Bonnie's attorney, Michael Kraut from the Kraut Law Group, joins the discussion.

"You can probably get her out of jail. Do you want to? Is that the best thing for the client?" Dr. Phil asks.

"That's the quandary," Michael says. "The best thing for the client is what the client wishes. While everybody wants her out of jail and in a program, the best interests of the client " she makes that determination. As much as everyone may want the best for her, she's on a conveyer belt and the end is either prison or death, and she has to choose when to get off." Michael says even if he gets Bonnie out of jail, she will be charged and have to face a judge. "If we can get her into a diversion program, then she's going to have a heck of a mountain to climb, and if she doesn't climb that mountain, as the courts, and the police and the prosecutors want, she will end up in prison," he says.

Bonnie could be facing three years if she doesn't comply with what the courts want her to do.

Dr. Phil shares that his impression is that Bonnie is tired of living on the streets, but doesn't know how to clean up her act.

Kelly says she thinks Bonnie doesn't want to be called a hypocrite. "They don't want to accept failure, because they had this big dream of coming here, and making it on their own, and being artists and living in Hollywood, and it didn't work out that way, and it's not going to work out that way unless they get the help that they need, but it's all if they want it."

"Danny said it pretty clearly. He said, ‘You know, L.A. looks like the land of milk and honey, but it is anything but. It's nothing but a pack of lies,'" Dr. Phil says.

 

[AD]Dr. Phil tells Paula that he will continue to follow Bonnie's progress, and if there's a chance to get her serious help, he will do so.

Don't miss the follow-up with these teens, coming soon!