Although they said all those things, I was initially very skeptical. I didn't believe they would follow through with their promises and didn't see how the show would be a positive resource or outlet (and definitely not a final solution) for helping me help my sisters be safe from our dad's abuse. After years of the court system failing me and my sisters, my sisters running in July 2014, and all the ways my dad has attempted to keep me silenced in court since then, and all the ways my dad and his supporters have tried to scare me into backing down, I was almost to the point where I didn't think there was anything that could do to help my family's situation. I was losing hope.
Around this time, a lot of people told me they thought it would be a good thing to go on the show. I had family and friends who had seen highlights of shows where Dr. Phil stood up for the child, and the producers continued to tell me the same thing: that he was going to let me speak. I was very hopeful for that, because I felt that if my dad and I were able to civilly talk without him interrupting me like he had always done, maybe we could be a step closer to finding a compromise; a resolution.
I made a deal with the producers that I would go on the show only if I didn't
have to be with my dad, and they agreed. They said he would be in a different hotel, in a different part of the city, and they would make sure we didn't even run into each other at the airport. I began to have a lot of hope that the show would go how they said it would. I agreed to do the show. I began interviewing on the phone, and I was completely open. Hours of details of my private life were gathered. My emotions, beliefs, experiences, fears, and everything else I expressed were on the line. They made me feel safe over the phone. As we began speaking of booking flights, I was confident in the producer's ability to keep my information as confidential as possible, and I believed that they would protect me.
A week before the show, I was informed that Dr. Phil wanted me to meet with my dad. I felt trapped--I was terrified to be on TV with my dad, and hurt that they went back on what we had discussed, but I agreed. They assured me I would never be alone with my dad, and I knew that he usually keeps his worst abuses away from the public eye. Everything was already set up, and I had already given them everything in the interviews. It was all or nothing, and since I decided to do the show, I decided to continue with the plans.
On the first day of interviews, we interviewed on a set with a camera crew that seemed very kind and understanding. The woman I was talking to told me to talk to her like a friend, so I did. We basically went over everything I had been interviewed about over the phone before, but they had obviously combed through the entire story to pull out the bits and pieces that seemed more intriguing for the show. It was a very long and rigorous interview, and by the time it was over, I was exhausted.
Before the next interview a few days later (with Dr. Phil), I was told before stepping onstage that Dr. Phil would bring up the "hard stuff" and to wait for his lead. Multiple times, I was told to wait for him to turn to me. I was told that "He will give you a fair amount of time to speak" "He will let you say what you want to say to your dad" "He will ask you the same amount of questions and give you the same amount of speaking time as your dad, or even more". I feel naive to have believed that those things would be true. I did as I was told and waited for Dr. Phil's lead, only to find the show was over and he hadn't done it at all and so neither had I.
Dr. Phil's Misinformation-The first sentence out of Phil's mouth was something about my parents being divorced for 7 years (it's been 10). From the beginning, I knew all his facts were off.
-Said the girls ran on July 11th. (They ran on the 17th.)
-Dr. Phil read aloud some lines of the list Sydney wrote of lies about our Mom that our dad would say to us on a weekly basis, which Dr. Phil misread as things Mom actually said. It was painfully clear that Dr. Phil had not investigated our documentation well enough to understand it.
-Dr. Phil chose to focus on the alienation lie my dad crafted for the public after he had tried to quietly find them for 6 weeks before seeking help from outside the family. I have no idea why Dr. Phil chose to focus on that instead of on the REAL reason my sisters left: to escape our dad's abuse. Especially since Dr. Phil's producers had already received all of the stories of Dad's abuses, with documentation, including the document that showed my dad is an admitted pedophile, who has a history of sexual contact with a child.
Important Parts They Edited Out (If you were in the audience, please comment to confirm to others that these things did happen.)-After Dr. Phil talked to my dad about how long it had been since he'd seen Syd and Dani, he turned to my dad and asked, "And how long has it been since you've seen Brittany?" My dad responded that it had been a year, and I agreed, saying: "December 2013." HERE is where they cut it: Dr. Phil then asked my dad, "You haven't seen your daughter Brittany in a year and you hardly even acknowledged her?" My dad continued to say that it was my choice to have alienated myself from him, and Angie spoke up in the audience to back up my dad. It was hurtful, and dishonest, because that's not the case at all. I was the last one to attempt contact with them (I have emails as evidence). I talked to them when they called from Kansas.
-When Troy was addressing where the girl's new video came from, he starting zoning in on Troy (which it showed), and asked him where it came from. Troy said something to the affect of, "I put it out there on social media..." HERE is where they cut it: someone started speaking into Dr. Phil's earpiece, and he said, "I'm receiving word that my producers put out a message to the girls and Michelle, and they responded to them." What he meant was that the video came as a response to the producers. (FYI, the producers told Troy to put out a message. They made it sound like it came all from Troy.)
-When Dr. Phil asked my dad why he didn't allow Angie to be interviewed. They cut out when Dr. Phil asked my dad, "Brian, why didn't you allow us to interview Angie?" She said that she didn't like being on TV because her voice shook, but Dr. Phil proceeded to say something like "No, I meant interview her in private". My dad tried to cover, but it was already obvious that Angie had no clue my dad refused for her to be interviewed without him. Later in the show, Dr. Phil said, "Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing." He directed that quote towards my mom. It makes me wonder why, when there were so many things my dad has done that were hidden from the show.
-They cut out when my dad admitted to his marital affairs (It was one of the pre-interview questions, in the very beginning.) How I know this: When we were on stage during the interview with Dr. Phil, we saw every single cut to the previous interviews. The stage would darken and we would see everything on big screens surrounding us. In the beginning, after Dr. Phil explained the situation (and botched most of the major facts), it cut to my dad in his previous interview and he started telling his side (when in reality, my dad was sitting next to Dr. Phil and I). He talked about his marriage with my mom, saying my mom was constantly abusive, and then it cut HERE: he said, "I did have marital affairs, but I never had sexual intercourse." For more information about dad's admitted 5 actual affairs and 30-40 internet affairs that he'd had by April 2003, read Dad's psychosexual evaluation. Dr. Phil didn't bother asking me about the abuse I witnessed while Mom and Dad were married. The physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive one was my dad.
-After my dad said, "They aren't the kinds of girls to run away." They cut HERE: He said something (talking to my face) to the affect of, "They would have told someone if they were planning on running. They would have told family, or emailed a friend, but they didn't." I said, "Of course they wouldn't, you had all of our email passwords and everything else. You monitored everything, we were watched by you all the time." A few seconds later, Dr. Phil made a lighthearted joke to my dad: "They wouldn't have told you they were going to run, they were running from you." (The audience laughed.)
-When Dr. Phil brought up all the ways the courts found my mom unfit (first listing the custody evaluator, then the GAL, etc.), he turned to me and asked me how I responded to all of that. I opened my mouth, and they cut it HERE. This is what I said to him when he asked me what I thought, had they let it continue: "The people that made those determinations didn't ever talk to us. The GAL, custody evaluator, the officials who said those things about my mom alienating us never talked to the children who they were making the determination about." Dr. Phil then told me he used to work in the courts and basically said that they're always right.
I also added in my reply to Dr. Phil that "Dad told us that he was friends with the people in the courts, and that they would do what he asked them to."
This was a very interesting cut, because they literally cut it right as I took a breath, and cut to commercial. There was no, "We'll find out right after the break" coming from Dr. Phil's lips. It was the only break like that. They seemed to do everything possible to add in all the negative court stuff about my mom, but avoid the answer that made the courts look like they failed.
-Dr. Phil totally dodged my dad's brother & wife's offer to be a safe home that Troy brought up. Completely changed the subject. I'm fairly shocked that Dr. Phil wouldn't address this point, because Dad's unwillingness to offer a safe home is, to me, a direct sign of his obvious guilt. An innocent, loving father would do everything in his power to at least know his daughters are safe and sound and getting therapy, right? Dad has failed to do anything remotely like offering them safe harbor. It should be obvious to anyone, especially Dr. Phil, that Dad seeks to keep them in hiding where they can't officially talk about his abuse of them.
-The obvious fact that the custody evaluation that showed my dad admits to being a pedophile wasn't brought up. Again, I was told that Dr Phil would bring up the hard stuff and to wait for his lead, only to find the show was over and he hadn't done it at all and so neither had I.
Quotes From the Edited Show That Reveal Dr. Phil's Bias-Dr. Phil, speaking about the girls to my dad: "All of this is going to bring close scrutiny. The girls are watching you. They're looking to see whether you're worried about your image, or if..."
-"You work the system!" -Dr. Phil.
-"The girls never said they were molested, abused, or physically harmed by Brian." So there's no emergency. -Dr. Phil
-"Brian, there will be a great deal of transparency." -Dr. Phil
-"Brittany, you know as well as I do that there were plenty of people they could turn to in Utah, but they didn't." -Brian
-"In the future... you may need to lighten up with them a little bit," -Dr. Phil. ('Lighten up' a 'little bit', huh?)
-When they showed a video of me laughing while my dad said I crave attention for what I'm doing, or whatever, and twisted that.
-Near the end, Dr. Phil looked at me and said, "What your mother is doing is not righteous." Twice.