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Gunman Opens Fire at Seattle House Party; Man Forced to Pay Child Support for Child That is Not His; Miss Teen USA`s Tweet Controversy. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 1, 2016 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s how badly I feel about what he did to that man. He`s a bully and a punk.
DREW PINSKY, DR. DREW ON CALL HOST: Three people dead, one seriously injured after a gunman opened fire at a house party in Seattle. The alleged
shooter just in court. We have new details about a possible motive. Take a look.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went downstairs, and I saw two friends laying on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was in this home when a shooter stormed in and killed three of his friends.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anna Bui, Jordan Ebner, Jake Long. All of them knew the 19-year-old shooter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sources confirm, this is the suspect, 19-year-old Allen Christopher Ivanov. Friends tell us Ivanov had previously been
romantically involved with one of the victims.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Friends of the suspected shooter Allen Ivanov and Bui recently broke up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Joining me, Loni Coombs, attorney, Bradford Cohen, criminal defense attorney, Evy Poumpouras, security expert, former special agent secret
service, and by phone, we have Beth Karas, investigative journalist, founder of Karas on Crime. Beth, can you hear me at all?
BETH KARAS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST AND FOUNDER OF KARAS ON CRIME: Yes, I can.
PINSKY: I thought my ear piece just went out. Can Beth hear me?
BETH: I hear you.
PINSKY: Give us an update there.
KARAS: Okay. Dr. Drew, Ivanov was just in court. He was denied bail, no surprise there, and ordered to have no contact with the victims` families.
Now, according to the probable cause statement which has been released and HON have obtained it, he went to a party, with his assault weapon, his AR-
15 semiautomatic rifle. It was a party his former girlfriend was at.
He was there from about 10 o` clock until just after midnight hiding outside. Now, someone at the party spotted him, and at that point, when one
of the young men at the party saw him and said no, no, no, he decided it was too late to turn back, and he opened fire on that man and then, he says
his adrenaline just kicked in once he pulled the trigger and he went inside the house and he found his ex-girlfriend, and he shot her in the head twice
then he shot another young man then he went to the balcony, and he shot at two men who were running towards the house.
Now, two months ago, he broke up with his girlfriend, but he realized that he had made a mistake, and he wanted to get back with her. Actually, the
week before the shooting, they had started spending some time together, but she wasn`t exclusive to him, and he learned about that. So it appears he
was jealous because she started dating other men.
PINSKY: Fantastic. That`s a terrible story. According to the police report, someone in Kentucky told officers that Allen had texted him a few days
earlier regarding committing a mass murder shooting.
And he had bought a gun the week before the shooting, and while he was outside the party, he even had to sit in his car and read the instruction
manual how to learn to operate this gun.
So, Bradford, this is a terrible, terrible situation, but, really, does a 19-year-old need a weapon like this?
BRADFORD COHEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I mean, here`s the thing. This incident, I mean, obviously, it`s the individual that had some kind of
psychosis. I mean, this is the individual`s fault, certainly not the weapon`s fault.
And the thing is, he could have bought a handgun, he could have bought a shotgun, he could have bought anything. I mean, he shot three people and
killed three people and wounded some others. It wasn`t a mass shooting-type situation where you needed a 30-round clip, and he was emptying it into a
crowd. He could have done this with any kind of weapon.
So, does -- does a 19-year-old need an assault weapon? My answer would be it depends on the 19-year-old. It depends on the situations that are --
that are going on.
I mean, we trust 18-year-olds to sign up to the army, navy, marines and serve the country. So, whether or not a 19-year-old can buy a weapon, I
don`t think is the question. Whether or not this 19-year-old should have had a weapon is the question.
There was an e-mail that was passed on to someone saying that, you know, he was considering doing something crazy. That individual who got that e-mail,
really, there needs to be more communication with the police department when individuals make threats like that...
COHEN: ... individuals say things like that...
PINSKY: That`s right.
COHEN: ... there has to be notifications.
PINSKY: I couldn`t agree more strongly with you. The amount of denial that`s involved in this case is extraordinary. But Loni, you get what I`m
getting at here.
LONI COOMBS, ATTORNEY: Yes.
PINSKY: And sort of my -- my -- behind what I was saying was, this kid did -- he would have been pretty subtle to know that this kid was gonna act out
PINSKY: There were not a lot of good signs here.
COOMBS: Right -- right. I mean, look, this kid apparently before this incident, he was very smart. He had developed his own computer program,
company, whatever when he was 16 years old.
People thought he would be the next Bill Gates. He was going to be a sophomore in college at the age of 19. I mean, he didn`t have anything like
this in his background. He was not a weirdo loner. He was smart. He was popular. He was handsome. He had this one breakup.
My problem with people that always say, and, you know, I understand they say it`s not the gun, it`s the person, but we keep putting these guns in
the hands of people who end up doing things like this, and we want to look back and say, oh, sure, we should have been able to see that this kid
shouldn`t have had the gun. No, we don`t know that.
At some point, we`re going to have to be willing to say as a society, we are going to put restrictions on these guns. We are gonna put limits ahead
of time and, sure, some people who wouldn`t go out and commit mass murder are going to maybe have a harder time getting a gun, but we can`t do it in
hindsight. It doesn`t work that way.
[19:05:00] PINSKY: On the phone, I actually have Zachary Wagnild, he`s the attorney for Allen Ivanof, the kid in this case. Thank you for joining us.
Zachary, we saw your client in court today. Has he -- is he remorseful about what happened?
ZACHARY WAGNILD, ATTORNEY FOR ALLEN IVANOF: Well, here`s what I`d say, you know, I had a brief time to meet with him. He`s -- I think he is in shock
right now, honestly. He`s very reserved. His family is, obviously, devastated. They were close with the young woman who was killed. She was
like a member of the family for them, you know, because they had dated in the past.
So, you know, when you ask if he`s remorseful, I have little doubt that he is remorseful. We had a quick conversation, but I -- I think that you have
to understand, when you think of a 19-year-old, we call him a man, but if you see the boy that walks in the court, you realize that he`s still a kid.
PINSKY: You mentioned the family`s reaction. How do they put this together? Are they able to in some way?
WAGNILD: I think they are still trying to piece it together. I mean, this is not something that they saw coming. You know, any family in a situation
where they got a troubled young man who acts like this, they look back on it.
They start to see things that they think, well, maybe this should have clued me in, but because, of course, there`s a lot of guilt and a lot of
second guessing, but I think that, you know, for them, right now, they are just recovering from the devastation of, essentially, losing a son and
somebody that they felt like was a daughter to them.
PINSKY: According to court documents, he had admitted to doing the shooting. Given that, what is your defense going to be?
WAGNILD: Well, I mean, you have to understand that we`re -- we`re so early on. We were early. I was retained yesterday to represent him. I have not
received all the discovery in the case.
So, when you say what`s the defense gonna be at this point? What I tell you is we are going to be looking at every angle of it, and there are a number
of big decisions that are gonna have to be made here.
This Snohomish County prosecutor who I believe is a very thoughtful man and he needs to consider, one, is he looking to, you know, pursue the death
penalty in this case...
WAGNILD: ... and obviously that`s -- that`s our first...
WAGNILD: ... thing to look at. There`s -- there`s a 19-year-old boy whose in jail here. We want to make sure that`s something that`s hopefully taken
off the table.
And so that`s the first line, just -- just looking at trying to make sure that his life is saved, and then we start looking at, you know, other
avenues of both defense and also mitigation.
PINSKY: Thank you, Mr. Wagnild. I appreciate your commentary here. Evy, give your last thoughts before we leave this, and take a little break, but
I`m having trouble making sense of this one.
EVY POUMPOURAS, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT, SECRET SERVICE: Yeah. You know, we talked about weapons before and there`s no business for somebody whose 19
years of age and his -- his attorney called him a boy, to be able to get access to that type of weapon, an AR-15.
And this is the situation and as far as, you know, people having access to these types of guns, we do have, yes, young men in the military that are 18
and 19, but these young men go through a major screening process...
POUMPOURAS: ... by the military. That`s psychological assessments, Dr. Drew. They do a psychological assessment on these recruits to see their
stress level, how they can handle it from a behavior standpoint, and then there`s training.
It`s not just physical training. It`s not just pointing a weapon and shooting at a target. It`s the psychological understanding of how to carry
a gun, how not to use it.
So, this is somebody who is premeditated. He went there with the intent based on everything that we`ve seen to carry this out...
POUMPOURAS: ... and it`s a very terrible situation...
PINSKY: Really bad.
POUMPOURAS: ... and we do need to figure out how to stop these things from happening. Putting guns in the wrong people`s hands is a problem...
POUMPOURAS: ... if he didn`t have this weapon, this wouldn`t have happened.
PINSKY: All right. We got to keep going. We got to take a little break. We`ll get back to this in a minute.
But later, a man is forced to pay more than 700 dollars a month in child support for a girl who is not even his. He is here with his story. Don`t go
[19:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(START VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was pretty in shock, like, everything just happened so fast, and then, just, like, my mind was just going crazy. I went
downstairs, and I saw two of my friends laying on the ground, and I ran back upstairs to find my other friends, and then I looked down on the
porch, and that`s when I saw Jake lying on the ground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: 19-year-old Allen Ivanof allegedly hid outside a house party with a loaded AR-15. As soon as he was spotted, he opened fire. Back with Loni,
Now, his former classmate told reporters about an incident which Allen had threatened him after he told the teacher Allen had cheated from him. Take a
(START VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then he got really angry, saying that, you know, he said, one of the sentences was, I`m not just going to break your neck or
anything, and then the sentence after that said, I`m going to get you kicked out of school, and you won`t know how.
Not like a violent behavior, but like a explosive, getting angry explosively, not taking no for an answer. Being, like, a control -- control
freak, and sometimes, like -- like always wanting to be in control of the situation.
And then, like, if we went against him or we told him, you know, hey, you have to pay gas money, you know, there was, you know, some situations he
did get extremely profusely angry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Joining me by phone, I have Stacy Kaiser, psychotherapist. So, Stacy -- Stacy, just based on what that peer was saying about this kid,
there`s some sort of rage or some sort of uncontrolled affect that he was explosive, and should the parents have been aware of that or the teachers
STACY KAISER, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: A 100%, but the first thing that I want to say before I get into this, a lot of serious mental illnesses begin to peak
in the late teens and early 20s.
[19:15:00] PINSKY: Right.
KAISER: So it`s completely possible that this guy who seemed totally normal and was super bright and all of that stuff is beginning a budding mental
illness, psychological disorder, and that`s what it`s looking like to me.
PINSKY: Well, I`ll stop you, Stacy, and say well that could be much like the kid who shot up the theater in Denver, it came on later when he was in
graduate school, but -- but I don`t know.
It doesn`t sound like he was psychotic. It sounds like he had sort of a progressive problem with anger and being controlling with his peers. I
think the question or the point I`d like to make is, how different adolescents are many times when they do begin to manifest mental illness.
It`s not what adults necessarily manifest.
KAISER: Right. And I think that`s a very good point. And that may have been why his parents missed it, if they did miss it. It is they were not looking
for what -- what you and I know they need to look for.
And I also think it`s possible, a lot of times, you know, the parents have not spoken yet, and a lot of times what we end up hearing parents say later
is, his lawyer alluded to this, in hindsight there were things we noticed, we`re not concerned because he was a smart kid, he was a good kid, and so
we sort of let them go.
PINSKY: Just that sort of let them go makes my heart break to think that parents do that, especially let them go and do what they want, especially
when it`s buy a gun.
Wouldn`t we just say, generally, parents of adolescents out there, just as a blanket policy, it`s not a great idea to give an adolescent a gun. They
don`t have the frontal lobe development. They just don`t to be able to assess what the consequences of their actions are. Stacy, right or wrong?
KAISER: A 100%. You know, we talk about gun control laws, but this boy was still living with his parents. So, I`m not blaming them. I think they are
victims in this. Their hearts have got to be broken.
PINSKY: Of course.
KAISER: But -- but a 100%. They are under your roof and you have control over them, no gun, absolutely not.
PINKSY: Now, three days before the shooting -- thank you, Stacy. Three days before the shooting, he posted on Tweeter, first and last tweet, I`ve been
through it all, and then he sent this one out, what`s Ruger gonna think? I think he`s referring to the firearms manufacturer, is that right?
POUMPOURAS: Yeah. You know, I can`t comment to the tweet, but, you know, this is the thing, there`s all these red flags with him, and I get the
parents are saying, you know, we didn`t see it, but you got a 19-year-old, he`s buying a gun, he just broke up with his girlfriend.
You think he`s acting a little bit strange, but you`re saying, okay, you know, that`s our son, we`ll let it pass. All these things don`t let you
stop and take a moment to say, you know what? There might be a problem. Maybe we shouldn`t be helping him get a gun, and kids use social media.
They use social media, and parents do not monitor it. It`s the parents` responsibility. We put too much onerous on the community and law
enforcement to say, hey, find this needle in this haystack.
Parents, if your kids have social media and you`re buying them a gun, you know what, maybe you should monitor their social media.
PINKSY: Evy, I have to agree with you thoroughly.
COHEN: I don`t remember...
PINSKY: Go ahead, Bradford. Yeah, go ahead.
COHEN: ... did they say that he -- that they -- that they say the parents bought him the gun? Because I don`t remember reading that the parents
bought him the gun?
PINKSY: Anybody. Loni, you`re saying no. I don`t remember that`s the case either.
COOMBS: No, I don`t.
PINSKY: But I do know they -- they knew he had the gun, though. They knew he had a gun.
POUMPOURAS: But if they know they have a gun, it`s their responsibility. He`s living in their home.
PINSKY: Yeah, but...
POUMPOURAS: And they need to monitor their children.
PINSKY: But -- but Bradford, she brings up an important point, which is if people...
COHEN: I understand. It`s just dangerous that...
PINSKY: Go ahead.
COHEN: It`s very dangerous to go down that road, to blame the parents. I understand. Yes, they should be monitoring their child if, you know, he
just went out and bought a gun, and he just broke up with his girlfriend.
A lot of weird things are taking place. Yes, I understand. But, you know, to blame the parents, it`s a heart breaking thing. They`re losing their son
PINSKY: I`m with you. Listen, Bradford. Listen. Not my intention. If it came out that way, really, rather I want parents to learn something from
this so they don`t end up in this position.
That -- that they need to monitor their kid. They need to go down on social media, not just look at what their kids are doing, but what other kids are
saying about them. Look at the other websites they are visiting.
You have an obligation to monitor all of this. And in the 18 to 22-year-old window, if your kid starts changing in some way that really seems
inappropriate or problematic to you, doesn`t feel right to you, get them assessed by a doctor. 18-22 is when major mental illness emerges. Loni.
COHEN: I agree with you. I agree with you on that.
COOMBS: Yeah -- yeah. Dr. Drew, I think that`s one of the most important messages that you say consistently on the show that I hope that your
viewers get because I don`t think most parents or adults are aware of this, that onset of 18 to 22, it is a time to watch.
It`s not just kids going through changes as they become an adult. You do need to watch for these red flags, and the red flags are really important.
Any time somebody breaks up and then turns around and the response is to go out and buy a weapon, everyone should be on red alert for that.
PINKSY: Yes. Thank you, guys. Thank you, panel. Next up, a man is being forced to pay child support for a child that is not his. It`s not his
daughter. How does that happen?
And later, the new Miss Teen USA is in hot water for publicly using the N- word. Should she lose her crown? Back after this.
[19:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(START VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When their daughter was born, it`s his name, Chris Atkins, that went on the birth certificate. By the time their daughter was
two and a half, the couple divorced.
Chris still enjoyed visitation, but when the girl turned 11, he says Lori wanted to change the girl`s last name, because Lori was getting remarried.
He refused, it got heated, and he says Lori told him their daughter wasn`t really his anyway.
CHRIS ATKINS: So alarms went off and we had a DNA test done, and she`s not my biological daughter. I can`t even see her. But, you know, I`m still
paying child support. And the biological father has been found. And he gets to spend time with her. I don`t get nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:25:00] PINSKY: Should that man be forced to pay child support for a daughter that is not biologically his? The DNA test proved that Chris
Atkins is not the father, but because his name`s on the birth certificate, the court requires him to pay 730 dollars a month.
Back with Loni and Bradford, and joining us, Spirit, psychotherapist. Loni, are you telling me that DNA, biological proof, does not supersede the birth
COOMBS: Yeah. So this is kind of a sticky area of the law, Dr. Drew, and on the face of it, this case does not make sense at all, but...
PINSKY: Wait, can I interrupt you? Is sticky the right word or just weirdly inaccurate? Like, way, way, way primitive?
COOMBS: ... yeah, that too, that too.
PINKSY: Yeah. Alright. Okay.
COOMBS: But -- but I understand there`s a societal desire to make sure that the children are protected, and so they essentially get whoever is there
with the mother, and say, look, we want you to pay the child support.
So what happened in this case was the mother and this guy were dating, and she says, hey, I just got pregnant, and he goes, okay, let`s get married.
He thinks that they are -- he`s the father, and so he has his name put on the birth certificate.
Once the name`s on the birth certificate, now the law says, okay, were gonna presume that you`re the father. Well, he did too for 11 years, he was
paying child support, he was seeing her, he believes, you know, that that`s his daughter.
Then when the mother says, hey, by the way, all this time, I was perpetrating a fraud on you. She`s not even really your daughter. He says,
are you kidding me? Now he`s stuck because the name is on the birth certificate.
Now, there`s a little strange thing that happened here. He says he went to court and he tried to let the judge know, look, there`s a DNA test, I`m not
the biological father, I need to be released. But according to him, something happened in court because he was...
PINSKY: Let me find out, actually, that`s why I got Beth Karas back on the phone. She is an investigative journalist from Karas on Crime. Give me the
KARAS: Well, as you -- were just saying, Atkins represented himself and he went to court when he was trying to prove paternity he`s not the father. He
made a technical error in the way he submitted it. He did not follow the proper procedure for Colorado Law, and the judge said, you`re out. I mean,
you didn`t follow the rules.
And then when he appealed it, going, well, he lost because they said, you had a chance to prove that you were not the biological father and you blew
it, so it sounds rather technical, and it seems like the judge might have been a little harsh, but, you know, the procedure rules are the rules when
it comes to the court.
It may be he wouldn`t be in this predicament, though, if he had an attorney initially and did not represent himself.
PINKSY: Spirit, you`re shaking your ahead.
SPIRIT, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Yeah. You know, because I look at this, and I say why should he have to spend more money after he`s already paid child
support for a child that`s not his for all these years, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: And he can`t visit her.
SPIRIT: And this is not the first that we -- exactly -- this was not the first time that we`ve heard of cases like this. One, I think he should be
entitled to visitation. This is the only father that this daughter has known forever...
SPIRIT: ... so the idea that you remove him from her life is detrimental to her and to him.
SPIRIT: And that`s horrible. But I also think that the biological father and the biological mother should be responsible for paying restitution to
this man. They should be paying him back support with interest.
PINSKY: Yeah. Because as Loni said, this was a fraud perpetrated by this woman that he lived up to well beyond his obligation. Now, on Skype, I have
Mel Feit. He`s a men`s right advocate. He`s the director of the National Center for Men. Mel, you say there`s a double standard as it pertains to
DNA results and our legal system. Explain this to me.
MEL FEIT, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL CENTER FOR MEN: Yeah. And actually I just want to say, I don`t think this case is as crazy as it may seem. I actually
think that a relationship that a man has with his child is more important than DNA determining a parental responsibility.
The problem is that there`s a huge double standard because if you`re a man who is a defendant in a paternity case and they want child support from
you, in every state in this country, in every courtroom, they`re gonna ask one and only one question and that is, is there a DNA match?
That`s all we want to know. We don`t want to know the circumstances of the conception, what agreements a man or woman may have made. They only want to
know about DNA and how much money you have.
So, in the Atkins case and many cases like that, men go into court, and they say, you know, there`s no DNA match. In those kinds of cases, courts
say, you know, this DNA stuff is not so important after all.
I think it looks to me as if what counts is getting money. It`s not so important to be consistent. The law is not consistent. And in this case,
you know, this man, Mr. Atkins, does want a relationship with his daughter.
It is absolutely unfair and wrong to now force the biological father to pay restitution because the biological father was also cut out of this child`s
life for 10 or 11 years. Why is it fair to make him pay restitution?
The only perpetrator of the fraud is his Mr. Atkin`s ex-wife, and it is fundamentally wrong for the courts to be on the side of the person who is
committing the fraud and we should always be on the side of the person who is victimized. It`s exactly the opposite.
[19:30:00] PINKSY: Bradford, what do you say? Do you agree with that? And what is your solution?
COHEN: Yeah. I mean, this is a tough one because really he -- you know, he wants to be the girl`s dad. So on one hand, I don`t think he minds paying
the child support because he wants to be in her life.
On the other hand, I absolutely think she should be responsible for paying him back. I mean, he`s paid tens of thousands of dollars, and the mother is
not taking responsibility whatsoever for perpetrating that fraud. I think he should be allowed to sue her for the fraud.
The law is crazy in this area, and -- and that gentleman who was just on is absolutely correct, in that on one hand, they say, oh, we always want to
see the DNA. The DNA results matter.
And then in this case, they say, no, the DNA results don`t matter. He`s the guy on the birth certificate, that`s enough. But I can`t stress it enough.
When you come into a situation, it`s like this. You need to hire a lawyer. That`s what lawyers go to school for.
COHEN: You don`t want to perform surgery on yourself.
COHEN: So, hire a doctor. Hire a lawyer. That`s it.
PINSKY: Yeah, I would agree with that. But Mel, what do you think the solution is here? If the courts don`t protect the victims, how do you help
FEIT: Look, I think I have a solution. I am over reluctant because it`s not a perfect solution. But I think in every time there`s a birth of a child,
always, routinely, automatically, there should be a DNA test that`s ordered.
That test should be offered to the biological or the named father, and it is up to him. You know, he should be given the envelope, and if he wants to
open and see, that`s fine. But if he decides to throw it away, and some men would, some men would say, I don`t want to know.
Then, in my mind, I wouldn`t allow him to come back ten years later and say, oh, I should have opened that darn envelope. But the rule is this. My
rule is this. He should have a right to know what she knows. It`s simple. It`s very basic when it comes to children and child support. He should have
a right to know what she knows.
PINSKY: Bradford, agrees with Mel. Loni, agrees with Mel?
COOMBS: Yeah, I think so. I think in this case particularly it is very simple. He wants to be the father. He`s been the father. He`s not
complaining about the money. He`s complaining he`s now been stripped of being able to see her. He has all the burdens and not the privileges of
being a father.
PINSKY: Okay. Hold on. Spirit, should he be the father?
SPIRIT, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I agree that he should and is the father, but that has nothing to do with financial support. Finances is very different than
time and quality of time. I think he should get the parental opportunities. I don`t think that he should have the financial burden.
PINSKY: All right. So we`re saying he is the father, he should know he`s the father, he should know what she knows, and he should be the father.
He`s here. The guy caught up in all this is here with me. We`ll talk to him after the break.
And later, is the new Miss Teen a racist? Miss Teen USA. Some are asking that question after tweets from her past have surfaced. Back after this.
[19:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(START VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris Atkins has not seen his daughter in four years because he says courts refuse to enforce visitation, but they do enforce
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it greedy of you to continue to collect child support from him when he`s not the biological father and he has no role in her
LORI LONNQUIST: Maybe, but I don`t feel bad about it.
CHRIST ATKINS: I tried to do the right thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he gave up his parental rights, would you stop collecting the child support from him?
LONNQUIST: Absolutely. And I`ve told him that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don`t you approve seek child custody from the biological father?
LONNQUIST: Because he has his own family. He has his own life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But isn`t it his responsibility to provide child support for your daughter?
LONNQUIST: I don`t think that`s fair to come on to somebody when they didn`t know for 14 years or 11 years that they didn`t have a kid and say,
hey, by the way, you`re going to pay child support for a kid that you didn`t know was yours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it`s fair to make him pay child support for a kid that we know isn`t his?
LONNQUIST: Yes, because his name is on the birth certificate. That is the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: After 11 years of having raised a daughter, Chris Atkins found out the child was not biologically his. If the court still requires him to
continue to pay 730 dollars a month in child support, back with Loni, Bradford, Spirit, and Mel. On the phone, I have Chris Atkins, the man at
the center of this case. Chris, thanks for joining us.
CHRIS ATKINS, FORCED TO PAY FOR CHILD SUPPORT: Thank you for having me.
PINSKY: Are you surprised when -- were you surprised when you found out your DNA results had really no meaning in all this?
ATKINS: Yeah. Kind of shocked. Even my attorney, you know, I have attorney, he says, in 25 or 28 years, he has never heard anything like that before.
PINSKY: And my understanding is that you would like to still sort of be a parent to this child, right?
ATKINS: Well, I raised her. I was there, I cut her cord. I mean, you know, we had a ball together. She`s my little bug, you know, I`d like to have her
back in my life, but, you know, the mother won`t let me see her and keeps her away from me. I`m sorry.
PINSKY: There`s a piece of this that`s really not been explored which is how painful this must be for you.
ATKINS: It`s devastating, to say the least. You know, for the past five years, it will be five years shortly, you know, I think about her all the
time, I have pictures all around the house, and it makes me sad.
PINSKY: I -- I bet. How about the -- the daughter -- your daughter`s biological father not stepping up? What`s up with that?
ATKINS: I don`t have anything for him. You know, when she told me -- when she told me that she`s pregnant and that it was mine, I barely even knew
her, you know, so I stepped up to the plate the way my father raised me, and I said, let`s do this.
Let`s get married, see what happens, and so I think he should step up to the plate. He`s not going to.
PINSKY: Chris, if this entire thing sort of resolve itself, if she allowed you, the mom allowed you to have parental visitation?
ATKINS: Absolutely. You know, it`s -- everybody thinks it`s about the money. It`s not. I just want to see my daughter. I don`t mind paying. You
know, I`d like it lowered a little bit. You know, I like a little wiggle room so I can, you know, have a little extra myself.
[19:40:00] PINKSY: Yeah.
ATKINS: To get some food once in a while, but I was just want my relationship back with my daughter.
PINKSY: Chris, hang on a second. thank you for -- for being with us. Mel, why does the court enforce the child support, but not visitation? Isn`t it
the idea of what`s good for the child, protecting the family, protecting the child. She needs her father, and they won`t protect that.
FEIT: Maybe we don`t value fatherhood as much as money. I think the solution in this particular case and the solution that would be in the best
interest of the child would be, if I were the judge, I would say, let`s change custody. Let`s give Mr. Atkins custody, give his ex-wife liberal
visitation, lots of visitation, and let`s have her pay him child support. Because that actually might be in the best interest of the child.
PINKSY: Chris, do you think the -- your ex-wife would go for that?
ATKINS: Absolutely not, but you know, amen, brother, that`s what I want.
PINKSY: But Bradford, you and Loni, which of you are gonna represent him?
COOMBS: I -- I love the idea. It`s great idea. I do. Especially after listening to the mom talking and the way she`s so -- yeah. Yes, she`s so
flipping about it. Now, she says it`s not fair to bring the biological father, and he is the biological father. He didn`t know because she lied to
So, I love Mel`s idea. I think the person that`s really being responsible here is Mr. Atkins. He was responsible from the beginning. He is still
trying to be responsible now.
PINSKY: Spirit, I love the mom`s sort of sudden moral compass telling her that she doesn`t want to bum rush somebody after 14 years saying he has a
child. Anyone wouldn`t want to do that.
SPIRIT: Right. And to make him pay child support because it is the law. I mean, it`s just outrageous. But I will say this as a parenting coordinator.
I would take his case for free and I will set down with all three of them to see if they can work out a parenting plan. If his attorney ever calls
Because I think here is a travesty of justice, and I think the person that`s hurting the most here, Dr. Drew, is the daughter. That is her
father, and not seeing your father for four years, it`s a travesty.
PINSKY: Chris -- Chris, do you have an attorney now?
ATKINS: I have a lot offers. I have a lady from Boulder. Her name is Anne Mitchell. She`s a family rights, fathers rights activist. So, I haven`t
really talk to her a lot, but I think I`m going to have someone here shortly.
PINKSY: Bradford, any comment on this?
SPIRIT: You don`t need an attorney to have a parenting coordinator. Call me.
PINSKY: Yes. Spirit offered her services. But you need...
ATKINS: Always helps.
PINKSY: ... you need an attorney. Right. He needs an attorney, Bradford, right, ultimately?
COHEN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. If Anne Mitchell is willing to help you and do a pro bono, which a lot of lawyers have been in that area. They were required
to do pro bono hours. I do pro bono hours for cases that are unusual like this. I would definitely give her a call. She`ll help you out. And then
take everybody up on their offer.
Listen, the more help, the merrier to me. You know, you can`t turn down things, especially in this situation where it`s very unusual. You`re going
to need a lot of expertise in this area.
PINSKY: Mel, last thoughts here. Is this an area of the law that is changing? Or is it -- is it stagnating? Is it stuck?
FEIT: No, I think it`s stuck. I think we have complete lack of consistency when it comes to DNA. We`re in love with DNA. We hate DNA. But the other
thing, you know, the only person who is getting it wrong here is the judge.
FEIT: And you know, as a general rule, maybe what we should ask judges to do is to see that the parent who wants the child to have two parents, that
should be the one who has custody.
In this case, it seems to me the ex-wife who is obstructing that, and the general rule should be that the parent who obstructs should not have
custody. That would solve a lot of these problems.
SPIRIT: Biological dad has visitation here too. Why wont he split his time? There`s a lot of people that are making or putting the child`s best
PINKSY: Hang on. You got that right. Bradford, last thought.
COHEN: Dr. Drew, this is what happens with the law, and this happens a lot, all lawyers always agree with me, it`s like, common sense gets thrown out
the window and we jut follow the black letter of the law.
And it`s, like, when do we get to the point where we start using some common sense and using some common guides. You know, it`s nuts. Normal
people, this is why they get frustrated...
PINSKY: Listen, man. I deal with this in medicine all the time. You know, constantly, it`s ridiculous. Listen, fix it, guys. Let`s fix it.
Next up, Miss Teen USA is supposed to be a role model for young women. Well, she apparently tweeted or used on social media some N-word. We`ll see
about that after this.
[19:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Teen USA 2016 is Texas!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Karlie Hay`s crowning moment as the new Miss Teen USA 2016 later quickly tarnished by controversy as the series of old tweets
This picture shows that Hay appears to have used a racial slur on at least four occasions from 2013 to 2014, tweets that have ignited controversy
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Shortly after Karlie Hay was crowned Miss Teen USA, her currently deleted tweets from 2013 began to surface on social media. The tweets had
been screen grabbed, and in them, she appears to address friends as the N- word.
The Miss Universe pageant says that although her language was, quote, unacceptable, she will retain her crown. Back with Loni, Bradford, and
Spirit. Spirit, your reaction to this?
SPIRIT: Well, you know, I think this is a teachable moment like any other, Dr. Drew. I`m sad that they went ahead and deleted everything. They should
have left it there, and if this is going to be what the organization gets behind, then I hope that they have a plan, and I hope that they use this to
show that what I said I was then, I`m not now, and I will spend every day teaching people how and why I changed, if I, in fact, did, and how you can
do the very same thing.
So they can use this as a form of inclusion and diversity if they choose to. I just don`t -- I`m surprise that they left it where it is.
[19:50:00] PINSKY: I -- I`m glad you said it because people tend to get so frightened. You know, they get -- they lose their -- you know, they lose
their perception with their judgment when it comes to these things.
Now, Karlie Hay responded to the controversy on Instagram. We have an audio reenactment of her statement. Here it is.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
KALIE HAY: Several years ago, I had many personal struggles and found myself in a place that is not representative of who I am as a person.
I admit I have used language publicly in the past, which I am not proud of, and there`s no excuse for. Through hard work, education and thanks in large
part through the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that I am today a better person.
I am honored to hold this title and will use this platform to promote the values of the Miss Universe Organization and my own that recognize the
confidence, beauty, and perseverance of all women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And Loni, she was about 15 when this all went down. Although I must say I don`t see an apology in there nor do I see an intent to tell people
from an educational standpoint exactly what she was going through, what happened, what did she learn. I see the beginnings of it but I`m not sure
that`s where it`s going.
COOMBS: Exactly, Dr. Drew. I hope they take this further. I hope they push her to explain more. Because this is a really great opportunity. There`s a
lot of young people who will look to this young woman and say, you know, what can she teach me? What`s going on here?
And you know, when you look at those tweets, let`s be honest, there are a lot of people who think, okay, you should never say the N-word under any
There are a lot of other people who say, it`s okay under certain circumstances by certain people. And there are some teenagers out there,
both, you know, white, black, of all races who might use that in a certain way and not understand that -- that can be very painful to other people.
And this is great time to teach that.
PINSKY: Right. I`m going to take a break. When I get back, I have somebody from the pageant who is going to comment on this. We`ll be right back.
[19:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PINSKY: The new Miss Teen USA will keep her crown despite having used the N-word in several tweets, stating back to 2013. The most recent Miss
Florida of USA, Genesis Davila, lost her crown because the pageant officials say she had help doing her hair. That`s apparently a pageant no,
Back with Loni, Bradford, Spirit, and Kim. Kim Gravel, joining us. She is a former Miss Georgia herself and a pageant coach. She is with the pageant
place. Kim, some might argue that it looks as though having a stylist will get you kicked out of the pageant or make you lose your crown but racist
slurs might not.
KIM GRAVEL, FORMER MISS GEORGIA AND PAGEANT COACH: Well, rules are rules, Dr. Drew. And let me just tell you, If I had had a pageant stylist, I
probably would have gone a lot further in pageants. I had to do my own hair and make up, and I was a hot mess.
So, as far as Miss Florida goes, I`m telling you, they`ve all got stylist, Dr. Drew. She just got caught.
PINSKY: But I get you. I know that she is very upset. I have footage of her speaking at a news conference. Let`s take a look at that.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
GENESIS DAVILA: I will first like everyone to know that I am innocent. All these false allegations have taken me completely by surprise. I have faced
many challenges in my life, but nothing like this. I am honest, hard working, who was raised in ideals and principles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Kim, she -- she was arguing that she had been prejudiced against because of her Puerto Rican heritage. We have these racial epithets by the
recently crowned Miss Teen USA. What does all this mean?
GRAVEL: This means that social media will come and bite you if you do not edit and control what comes out of your fingers on social media. That is
the biggest thing I teach all my girls.
I travel the country, colleges, young adults, schools, elementary schools. My biggest thing is social media. I don`t think as parents and as mentors
and leaders to our young people, we understand the magnitude of what this beast of social media has become.
But I tell these young girls, Dr. Drew, and you know this, you don`t have got to have a filter. Listen, Dr. Drew, I got a filter as big as Brita
(ph). You have to know and own what`s coming out of your mouth onto social media.
PINSKY: Loni, do you feel the pageants themselves have any liability here?
COOMBS: Well, you know, it would be interesting to see and how ironic the pageants that are supposed to celebrate, you know, all these differences
end up being perhaps racist and, you know, the background here, I don`t know, but that sounds like these allegations are going towards.
So, you know, the pageants have kind of run themselves all these years. Kind of set their own rules and then govern themselves. I don`t know if
this is necessarily any liability but now that there`s all these endorsements and ends up translating to lots of money for the winners, this
Miss Florida, she is suing for 15 million dollars in a defamation lawsuit.
So, it is interesting to see if that goes anywhere. It might set a precedent here for these pageants.
PINSKY: Bradford, these were the Trump pageants, right? USA pageants?
COHEN: Well, they used to be. I believe he told them. I don`t think there were -- there were not that much trouble when he owned them. So, maybe --
maybe he needs to buy them back because it seems like he was running them a lot more effectively than these people are.
But that being said, I think it is a little ridiculous. That apology is off the chain. Like, it`s not even an apology to me. And the way that she used
the word, I don`t think she meant to harm people, but that`s the part of the education that needs to take place.
COHEN: The way that she was using it, I think, was like, as a common term that she thinks was okay.
PINSKY: Yeah. You`re right.
PINSKY: You`re right. This is a potentially hurtful term, bottom line. Nancy Grace, up next.