Near Death Wake-Up Call

Crystal is a former all-state cheerleader who turned to prostitution after high school. She says she was also addicted to the money until a serious wake-up call made her stop.

"Let me show you the pictures of that wake-up call, taken after she was beaten by her pimp/boyfriend," Dr. Phil says. A photo of Crystal lying bruised and beaten in a hospital bed appears on the screen behind them. "You've been doing exactly what she's been doing," Dr. Phil says to Crystal, referring to Ashley, who sits beside her.

"Yes," she says.

"You say you got addicted to the money. You say you got arrested for prostitution three times. You were raped five times," Dr. Phil says.

[AD]"Yes."

"Twice at gunpoint."

"Yes."

"And once it was a gang rape."

"Mm-hm."

"You say you have been punched, kicked, choked, whipped and tortured for five hours," Dr. Phil says.

"Yes," Crystal says.

"Sheriff Dart, this is exactly what you're talking about," Dr. Phil says.

"I don't know how many more times these women need to be beaten and attacked before they wake up and realize these are horrid people they are dealing with, who will do anything, including " we have numerous stories where they will talk to somebody who is supposedly their friend, and after someone starts equivocating a little bit, they'll say, ‘This is a photograph of your house, where your family lives. Here are the names of your brothers and sisters. If you don't continue to do what we want you to do, they could get hurt,'" Sheriff Dart explains.

Ashley says, "I know that this is a risk. I know that it's real. I know that she's sitting next to me, and she's had all of these experiences that I'm afraid of having myself."

"This hasn't happened to you yet," Dr. Phil says, referring to Crystal's photo. "It's going to happen to you. It's not a matter of if; it's a matter of when. What do you tell your mother?"

"My friends and family do not know about any of this," she says.

"You realize that this show is going to air " "

[AD]"And that's another reason why I'm here. I think I need to force myself to come clean because I can't live like this anymore," she says.

"There's a point at which the cost is just too high. You say, ‘I have bills to pay.' You know what? I would live in my parents' basement or the back of my car before I would put my character in the ditch, my body in the ditch, my life at risk," Dr. Phil tells her. "There is no justification whatsoever for what you're doing. If you had to default on your student loans, if you had to ruin your credit, if you had to live with your parents, if you had to sling hash at the Burger Doodle, that beats doing what you're doing."


"I think I'm realizing now that it's not worth it," she says.

Dr. Phil asks Crystal, "It's been a year since you've done anything like this, right?"

"Yes," she says.

"How did you stop?"

"It took for me to almost face death to realize what I was doing," she says.

Dr. Phil asks Ashley, "Isn't it time to get out now? Don't you stop this now? Don't you tell your $400-a-week boyfriend, ‘Look, I'm not going to do this anymore'? You either do this or you don't. You don't just get a real job and a paid boyfriend and kind of mix those to where you're just sort of a prostitute. You either are or you're not."

[AD]"I understand," she says.

"So you've got to be willing to burn the bridge." Dr. Phil recommends that she downscale her life, get a job and earn a living like everybody else. "I mean, you have skills, you're smart, you speak well, you have an education. You fight it out and get your feet under you just like everybody else," he says.

Dr. Phil offers her psychological help to get her compass pointed in the right direction. He also recommends she go home and tell her mother the truth about what she's been doing.