A Controversial Costume
Wendy sparked a media firestorm after she dressed her then 3-year-old daughter, Paisley, as the prostitute character from the movie Pretty Woman for a pageant, which was featured on a reality television show. Some critics called the display an example of child exploitation or abuse, and others flooded Wendy with hate mail.

“I did not dress my 3-year-old as a hooker,” Wendy says in a previously-recorded interview. “I stand firm that I did not do anything wrong.”

“I haven’t quite figured out whether Wendy is just naive or has bad management,” fellow pageant mom Susanna says regarding the costume choice. “There is no way that I would have dressed Isabella as a prostitute.”

Both moms join Dr. Phil onstage. He asks Wendy whether she thinks it’s reasonable for people to be upset over the Pretty Woman costume.

“I learned a big lesson from that pageant,” Wendy confesses. “My intention for dressing her like that was to do something cute, comical and funny.” She says she will never put Paisley in the outfit again and insists her child was portraying a character portrayed by Julia Roberts, not a prostitute.

“But that was an iconic role in her career where she played a hooker,” Dr. Phil tells Wendy, and she counters that it’s similar to kids dressing up as icons on Halloween.

“When I dress my daughter up for a pageant, and I tell her to go onstage, I tell her what she’s going to portray,” Susanna interjects. “So when you dressed your daughter like a prostitute, what did you tell her to go onstage and act like?” she asks Wendy.

“I told Paisley to walk across the stage and wave. She’s 3 years old. I didn’t say, ‘Go out there, and act like a hooker,’” Wendy responds firmly. She insists [AD]that she made the outfit respectable, not sexy.

She then accuses Susanna of coaching her daughter, Isabella, to bash her in the media. “I never expected to take heat from a 5-year-old little girl,” she says, referencing a video shown on national television. In the video, Isabella accuses Paisley of trying to copy her and says, “My mother doesn’t dress me up as a hooker.”

Dr. Phil asks Susanna how Isabella came up with the word “hooker.”

Hear Susanna’s response!



Dr. Phil asks Wendy about her decision to dress Paisley in yet another controversial outfit following the scandal: Madonna as portrayed in her “Material Girl” music video. “Is that an odd choice after all of this?” he asks her.

Wendy says the outfit was cute and appropriate. “I don’t see anything wrong with it,” she adds.

Susanna brings up a photo of Paisley posing provocatively and wearing what she describes as a “sexy biker chick” outfit, which was posted on a tabloid website.

Wendy says the private photo showed Paisley in her Halloween costume and was posted on her Facebook page. She says the tabloid site claimed a family member gave them the photo, and they posted it along with the headline: “Hooker Mom Turns Daughter into Biker Vixen.” She says that headline started a whole new firestorm of criticism. “My family had just been through hell with this other outfit. Why would I want to put my family and my daughter through that again?”

“That’s exactly my question for you,” Dr. Phil tells Wendy. He says he can understand being blindsided by the media once. “But you had one lap around the track,” he tells her.

Sparks fly as the moms criticize each other’s parenting decisions!


Dr. Phil reads emails exchanged between Wendy and Susanna in December 2011:

Wendy to Susanna: “It doesn’t matter what type of mom you have been your entire life. You will always be known as the mom who coached her 5-year-old daughter into bashing another little girl for dressing like a hooker.”

Susanna’s response: “Isabella already has her own reality show, so people will know us soon enough. You dressed your daughter like a hooker, that's the only reason people know you!”

Another email from Susanna to Wendy: “... just so you know, I was led to believe you threw the first punch …”

[AD]Wendy’s response: “If I did … and you feel the need for revenge … to punch back at my kid! Yes, lots of negative remarks. The only thing you did was to add yourself to psycho pageant mom list!”

Dr. Phil asks Susanna whether Isabella knows what the word hooker means, and she says no. She explains that the media used that word, and Isabella picked up on it. She also says she wants to separate herself from Wendy’s controversy at all costs.