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CNN Larry King Live

Larry King Interviews Dr. Phil McGraw

Aired May 03, 2006 - 21:00   ET


DR. PHIL MCGRAW: You don't gain 400 pounds because you got bit by a spider. You just didn't die. You can't control it. You don't make the choices.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Dr. Phil takes your calls from finding love to escaping abuse. He keeps it real and solves your problems as only he can. Dr. Phil McGraw for the hour is next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. It's always great having Dr. Phil with us. He's the host of the highly-rated daytime show "Dr. Phil," the number one "New York Times" best-selling author.

His most recent book is "Love Smart, Find the one you Want, Fix the one you got." And later this month he will host a Dr. Phil primetime special on CBS called "Escaping Danger."

But, before we get to any of that what's your reaction to what everybody is talking about the Moussaoui life sentence?

MCGRAW: I think a lot of people are really shocked about that. I mean whether you favor the death penalty or whether you don't, this is the only person to ever be prosecuted inside the United States of 9/11 and I think people expected, you know, the full measure of justice about it.

But, you know what I think. Having spent so many years as a jury consultant I've watched what happened, watched what they've done. I think that the argument that this guy is a self-inflated wannabe rather than a key actor in the 9/11 drama probably resonated with the jury enough to save his life.

KING: In other words, he doesn't deserve to die because he didn't do what he says he did?

MCGRAW: Well, I think that might well be what the jury concluded that this guy is obviously deranged, you know, saying "Kill me, kill me. I'm not sorry," all the things that he said that were so outrageous and then his lawyer's argument just saying, "Look, this guy wasn't involved, it happened without him. I mean he wasn't even there. He wasn't involved" and still it came off so he wasn't a key player. I'm not saying I agree with any of that but I think that's probably what resonated with the jury.

KING: Do you think jury consultants were involved in advising on this concept?

MCGRAW: It wouldn't be a bit surprise to me. I mean I think jury consultants are not really spin doctors. I think what they're basically involved in doing is helping both sides to prepare their case and tell the truth effectively to focus on the things that can be understood and comprehended.

You know what we know is what we've seen in the press. The jury sees all the evidence and my experience has been by and large juries get it right. I mean there's an old saying that the I.Q. is at least 1,200 if you got 12 people in there with even average I.Q. All together they tend to get it right.

KING: Another item in the news, what's your read on this Duke University thing?

MCGRAW: Well, you know, that's a real drama that's yet to unfold. You know, I don't know whether there are racial issues involved in that or not but I'm really surprised when the DNA evidence apparently came back without confirming active involvement by any of the now defendants in that that they elected to go forward. I think it's going to be real tough to get a jury to overlook the fact that there's exculpatory evidence with the DNA.

KING: You're doing an upcoming special "Escaping Danger."

MCGRAW: We are.

KING: Elizabeth Smart is going to be here tomorrow night, the young lady who didn't die, thank God.


KING: But faced danger. What's your overall read on all of this going? Is there more of this going on?

MCGRAW: Larry, I don't think there's more of it going on. I mean clearly we're in a fast-paced, high stress society and maybe that causes somewhat more of this to come about.

But I think what we have now with the Internet and so many 24-hour news channels, like CNN, where you've got to feed the news machine, I think more and more of it has been determined as being newsworthy now than what it has been in the past. But I don't think this generation has invented domestic violence. I don't think they've invented spousal abuse.

And, what we're doing with our special on May 19th on CBS is we're calling it "Escaping Danger" because we're talking about if you're in that situation what do you do? How do you handle it? And, the one thing you don't do is confront your abuser.

KING: You don't?

MCGRAW: Absolutely not. If that happens, you are very likely putting yourself in real harm's way with confrontation. It could escalate. You could be seriously injured or killed.

What we talk about is how you can make a plan where you can get help, where you can make your escape. And, we work with a lot of the organizations in the United States, the shelters that work with and help and support these women, and talk about how to do this.

And, Larry, this was an amazing story. We got an e-mail from a woman that says "I'm basically being held prisoner in a basement. I'm allowed to go out and work but I can't go anywhere. And, please don't write me back because if he sees this he will kill me. Wait for me to contact you."

And, we're like "Oh, my gosh, what's going on?" Pretty soon we get a phone call. She says, "I've got just like maybe a minute and a half to talk because if it takes longer to get home than I'm supposed to he'll know something is wrong." It just keeps unfolding and unfolding and unfolding.

And, we essentially went in and helped this woman escape and we document how she does it. And, we took her through the channels that a typical woman would have to do, not someone that had Dr. Phil intervening.

KING: How do people, children, others, allow themselves to be victims?

MCGRAW: Well, look, the number one thing, the number one tool of the abuser is isolation. The first thing they've got to do is isolate their victim, get them cut off from friends, family, church, you know, the telephone, where they can't reach out because if they isolate them, then they can dominate them. Then they can brainwash them. Then they can control them financially, physically, emotionally, every possible way.

But, if they can't isolate them, so they go talk to their pastor, they go talk to a counselor. They tell their mom what's going on. Then, people who are not under that abuser's thumb are going to intervene on their behalf so the number one tool is isolation.

KING: Will Elizabeth face years of trauma?

MCGRAW: You know, I have not met her but I have read a number of interviews and watched a number of interviews. I think this is an amazingly resilient and resourceful young woman. Just I admire her so much.

Does that mean that she has not been changed by this? I don't see how you can go through that and not be changed by it. I don't know how you can go through that and not begin to pull back within yourself a bit and become self reliant because you know you're all you have to survive and hang on.

But, I have seen that she is such a strong, resilient woman. She seems to have a real spiritual center about her as well. And, I'm just very impressed with how she seems to be doing.

KING: The obvious question and I'm sure "Escaping Danger" will deal with this and all laymen ask it, why don't they just run?

MCGRAW: You know there is a poignant, poignant moment in "Escaping Danger" where I'm interviewing this woman, interviewing this woman, and in the most horrific, painful cry I think I may have ever heard she said, "I'm sitting there staring death in the eye. I couldn't run. I just couldn't run."

And, you know, unless you've been in that situation it's impossible to know how paralyzing the fear can be. And, oftentimes there are children in the home and by the time you get the children together and make your escape it is very, very difficult.

KING: Dr. Phil is our guest. We'll be taking calls later. "Escaping Danger" is an upcoming special on CBS and here's a clip from it.


MCGRAW: And he attacks you threatening to slice you into pieces with a razor knife. Tell me how that's your fault.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn't run. I actually felt like I was going to stand there and die. I felt like I couldn't defend myself at this point. I couldn't run. I mean I really couldn't run if I wanted to. It wasn't holding the baby. Something inside me made it so I couldn't run. What happened to me? Where is Carrie (ph)?




MCGRAW: And in the last few weeks he's threatened to jab your eyes out with a screwdriver.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like it's my fault somehow.

MCGRAW: OK. I want you to look at me. I want you to forget about everything else and I want you to look at me and hear me very clearly. This was not your fault, not any part of this was your fault.


KING: We're back with Dr. Phil. "Escaping Danger" will air on the 19th, on the 24th "Escaping Addiction," two specials in one month, both on CBS. How is that woman doing now?

MCGRAW: She is actually doing very, very well. We completed the process. She has been relocated, new home, new job, new life, doing very, very well.

KING: I can't hear Dr. Phil because I'm hearing the tape. OK. The ABC show "Primetime" while taping a show on step families, I want to get this right, in 2002 cameras caught a teenage girl's father apparently beating her. ABC did not air the video until last month and never reported the beating. Because of the time that passed it was too late for authorities to file any charges. Is that television gone too far?

MCGRAW: Well, Larry, first I don't know the facts of all that. I know what you know and I know what I've read in the paper. Let me say one thing. You know Diane Sawyer, as I do.

KING: Very well.

MCGRAW: And, is there a more compassionate woman around? I mean...

KING: It may not be her decision when...

MCGRAW: That's right. I mean and I'm not sure that she may have known everything and what the timing is because Diane Sawyer would not leave a child in harm's way. I can tell you that much for sure because I know her personally.

Look, we may be the first ones that have put home cameras in. We do that a lot on our show as you know from seeing it. We have a show airing Monday about an angry mother that is very abusive with her son.

And, as a professional, I have a responsibility. In fact, we were going to -- we had those home cameras in. We were going to air -- we were going to tape that show about two weeks from when the tape came back to us.

And, I said "Stop the presses. Change the schedule. I want those people here right now. This cannot go another day." We brought them in. It's a woman that is severely, in my view severely abusing a child physically, mentally, emotionally.

And, I told her on stage, you will see in the show Monday, I just said "Lady, you understand that before you leave here today I will report this to Child Protective Services."

You have to do that. I don't -- now apparently they looked at the fact pattern and felt like maybe this was an isolated incident that there were protections in there. I don't know the facts about that. But I know when I see it, I am required to report it.

KING: You would think. That's logic.

MCGRAW: Well, the whole theory is that it's not up to lay people to decide whether or not this crosses the line and is abusive or not. The whole idea is the reason we have the agencies there is trained professionals can make those decisions whether it's crossed the line or not.

And, we have in our child protective system what is called a false positive system. In other words, we would rather investigate 1,000 circumstances that do not cross the line than fail to investigate one that does.

KING: We just happen to have that tape. Let's watch a little of it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the outside, we appear to be a normally functioning family. However, on the inside I am a screaming bitch.

What is the matter with you? Get in your room!

I am an angry mom. Don't act like you're a stupid idiot. I take out my anger on the kids. You're a stupid idiot. Why are you so stupid? I heard you and I show you kind of hurt. This happens at least every other day.

MCGRAW: Let me make one thing very clear. Good news or bad, one way or another, this stops today.


KING: Why did she let the camera in?

MCGRAW: You know I think it's a cry for help, Larry. I think this is a woman that knows she's out of control. Every time she does it she feels terrible about it, swears she'll never do it again but watcher herself over and over and over get sucked into that rage.

And she basically said, she wrote and said, "Dr. Phil, help me because this is going to get way worse. I need help." She knew what was on those tapes when they packaged them up and sent them back to us.

She knew I was going to see it and she knew what I would do about it. She knew I would jerk her in there. She knew I would set her down and that I would put a stop to this one way or the other.

KING: What's the clinical analysis of what she does?

MCGRAW: You know...

KING: What is that?

MCGRAW: ...clearly she has a problem with rage, no question about it. It is situation specific. You don't see it in the tape. But in the middle of one of these just brutal attacks, in my view brutal attacks, the phone rings and she goes from screaming at her children and beating one of them to being able to say, "Oh, hi. Yes, how you doing? No, good, sure see you at noon, bye," bang, right back into it.

So, it's situation specific and every situation is different but clearly you've got impulse control problems. You've got rage, anger problems, so it's often a very complex and layered situation.

KING: Dr. Phil, one of our favorite guests. Go to your calls at the bottom of the hour. I'll be right back.


MCGRAW: What are you doing? These are your children. This is your flesh and blood sitting there. You're calling them names. You're hitting them. You're kicking them. You're doing this in front of the 3-year-old twins and you turn to your 9-year-old daughter and say "What are you doing you F-ing little (INAUDIBLE)?" Tell me under what theory, what rationale that's OK.




MCGRAW: My next guest, Linda, says her fiance Eddie (ph) shot her in the eye just a few months ago and nearly killed her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My fiance, Eddie, tried to kill me. He shot me. I lost my right eye. I am still very much in love with him.

MCGRAW: You were present.


MCGRAW: At a premeditated murder. You just didn't die.


KING: Ah, love! Our guest is Dr. Phil McGraw. "Escaping Danger" is a Dr. Phil primetime special on CBS on the 19th and on the 24th, "Escaping Addiction," another primetime special.

What do you make, since we're discussing television and they're dealing with this, of NBC's "Dateline" that had sting operations aimed at would-be pedophiles, good idea?

MCGRAW: Well, I have to tell you I think they're doing a great job and I want to tell you why I think it's a good use of television. We do some of these things as well. We deal with predators.

KING: It's a set-up right?

MCGRAW: We take it a step further in that, you know, we try to drill down and deal with the victims and what happens. We've got a show coming up. The Internet has gotten so prolific and it's gotten to be such a problem that these predators now go online to sites where they share their stories.

They get to know each other and they meet and share their victims. Like, you know, this one has a child that's being molested. This one has a child. They'll get together and trade. How sick and twisted is that?

But the reason I think it's good to do that kind of show and that I like what they're doing is because it's raising the awareness. I mean it's raising people's awareness about what I think is a silent epidemic in America.

This is so foreign to most people's thinking. It's so difficult to even get your mind around that somebody could do these things that I think showing a -- shining a spotlight on this and putting it in people's faces where they realize and understand this is going on and they're not just people that are in raincoats down on the corner with pictures and candy.

See, there was a time where a pedophile in order to have access had to go where the kids were. They had to go to the playgrounds. They had to go to the places that the kids would congregate so they could have a target rich environment.

Now they can groom your child from outside the home. They can get on the Internet, go to these chat rooms and start talking to them, start seducing them, start telling them things that the kids don't understand what's going on.

KING: Doesn't it stretch your conscience to know you're using entrapment? You're setting someone up.

MCGRAW: Well, in terms of are you setting them up...

KING: You are right?

MCGRAW: Oh, there's no -- well, are you setting them up? These are lawbreakers. These are criminals. These are victimizers. And, is it entrapment to catch somebody victimizing a helpless individual that doesn't have a voice? If it is, sign me up. Sign me up, if that's what you call finding and ferreting these people out and then prosecuting them to the full extent of the law.

The good news is, you know, "Dateline," nor the "Dr. Phil Show," are law enforcement and entrapment is something that law enforcement does, not private citizens, not individuals. But if it is entrapment, then bully for that.

KING: Years ago most of the shows on radio before television, the joke occurred around the mother-in-law. Is the mother-in-law still a major domestic problem?

MCGRAW: No question about it.

KING: Why -- more than the father-in-law?

MCGRAW: Yes, oh absolutely.

KING: Why?

MCGRAW: Well because of the maternal ties. I mean we get as many letters about mother-in-laws as we do almost anything else because there is such a frustration from daughter-in-laws that they say, you know, "She won't turn loose of her little boy."

And, understand that's been the primary female relationship in the young man's life. He spent 20 or 25 years where that was the woman in his life and then here comes the wife.

And let me tell you there are boundary problems. There are all sorts of difficulties in knowing when to stop and when to start being a part of your adult child's life once they get married.

KING: Are there rules? MCGRAW: Well, certainly. You understand that if there's a problem with in-laws, if the husband has a problem with his mother, it's his job to fix it. If she's over intruding in the situation, if she's smothering the daughter-in-law, pushing her out of the way, it's his job to fix it. If the problem is with her mother, it's her job to go fix that.

The number one rule is don't send your wife to manage your mother and don't go send your husband to manage your mother. You've got to deal with it yourself. And, once you understand that and you get the mother-in-law to understand that this isn't an end of a relationship it's just a shift in a relationship.

Now, are there a lot of mother-in-laws that cross the line, no question, but let me say mother-in-laws are by and large a tremendous resource, a tremendous support.

One of the most powerful psychological tools you can have in raising children is extended family, so they understand it's not just mom and dad. They learn that they can love someone else, trust someone else, share with someone else, stay with someone else. So, having extended family, you know, mother-in-laws, father-in-laws, grandparents, aunts, uncles, very important psychological tool.

KING: Help with the grandchildren too.

MCGRAW: Oh, very much. You've got a trusted babysitter.

KING: Larry Gelphart (ph), the great comedy writer, told me one day, asked me "Do you know why grandparents and grandchildren get along so well because they have a common enemy."

We'll be right back with your phone calls for Dr. Phil. Don't go away.


MCGRAW: Today we're talking to families that are at war with their in-laws. The family that we're about to meet are so much in conflict they're no longer on speaking terms and cannot find a middle ground.

Does this have to be a battle?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it does not have to be a battle at all.

MCGRAW: Do you hate your mother-in-law?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said, "I can't take this. I'm out of your life. I'm gone."

MCGRAW: But is that a solution? I mean is that really a solution?



KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. Our guest is Dr. Phil McGraw, host of the highly rated daytime show, the number one "New York Times" best selling author. The most recent book is "Love Smart, Find the One You Want, Fix the One You Got."

Later this month, two Dr. Phil prime time specials on CBS, on the 19th, "Escaping Danger" and on the 24th "Escaping Addiction 2."

We will go to your phone calls.

Winnepeg, Manitoba, for Dr. Phil, hello.

CALLER: Hello Larry and hi Dr. Phil.


MCGRAW: Good evening.

CALLER: Hi. What makes a person, be it man or woman, verbally abuse and berate and just make their partner feel bad about them? Is it to pump themself up and work on their own self-esteem? What do they get out of it?

KING: You know, we discussed the victim. Why does the abuser abuse?

MCGRAW: Yes, you know, really, the first thing that you have to understand, it's not about you. If you're being verbally abused, emotionally or physically abused, it's not about you. It is not that you provoked it. It is not that you're annoying. It is not that you're doing something.

It's all about that person. And what happens is they run out of socially acceptable ways to express themselves, and so they really degenerate into a violent sort of thing.

KING: Do they love their partner?

MCGRAW: Oh, often times, they're very loving when they're loving and very violent when they're violet. And the problem is it's often non-directional. It is like they will be frustrated at work. They will be frustrated with their weight. They will be frustrated with their relationships with their family.

But they will take it out on their spouse because it's safe to do it. They are at home. They have them behind closed doors. There is access. And so they'll vent there. And, again, that is why it is so frustrating to the victim because they say, what did I do? I didn't do anything. I never know what's going to set him off. That's because it's not you that's setting him off.

KING: To Minneapolis, Minnesota.

CALLER: Hello, this is Karen. Are you there?

KING: Go ahead Karen.

CALLER: I'm 43, and six years ago, I got a brain injury after -- from scheduled elective spine surgery, and sorry, I'm a little slow.

KING: That's all right. Go ahead.

MCGRAW: That's OK. What's your question?

CALLER: The problem is my family. And I'm in desperate need for help, Dr. Phil. I called your show, but they're not filming anymore. But I am in desperate need of help.

KING: Your family what?

CALLER: My family is emotionally abusive. They won't accept me the way I am anymore, probably because I don't give them any money and time anymore.

KING: Are you talking about your mother and father?

CALLER: My mother and father and my sister and my brothers. And I don't know what they've said to the rest of the relatives, but they don't return my phone calls. My grandmother was my best friend. She died on Christmas Eve, a year and a half ago.

MCGRAW: All right. Well, let me say two things to you. First off, you know, I want you to stay on the line, and you can give your name and contact information, because we are on break right now. But I will have someone contact you and direct you to some resources.

KING: And he will definitely do that tomorrow.

MCGRAW: Yes, no question about it.

But here's the main thing that I want you to understand. When you're in that kind of situation and you feel like you have nowhere to turn, that's not the case. You need to do what you did. You picked up the phone, you wrote to "The Dr. Phil Show." And we're on break right now, so I understand that.

But you need to follow that. You need to pick up the phone and call your church, talk to the pastor. You need to call the community mental health center. There are resources that will be made available to you based on your ability to pay, which if that's nothing, the resources there, if two bucks, then it is there.

But those resources are there. The main thing is don't suffer in silence. And stay on the line and we'll get your contact information and help you get that ball rolling.

KING: Thank you. And he means it ma'am. So Minneapolis stay right on the line. The producers will pick up the phone like now.

Louisville, Kentucky. Hello.

CALLER: Dr. Phil, I've e-mailed your show nine times. I am a divorced white male 44. I suffer from major depression, ADD and anxiety. And I have had 23 jobs in the last 10 years. I have no social life due to the embarrassment of it over my work history. Can I be on your show?

MCGRAW: Well...

KING: How does someone get on your show?

MCGRAW: I don't know. It is difficult sometimes, and I apologize for that. On, we get over a million hits a day on our web site.

KING: What?

MCGRAW: And we get tens of thousands of letters everyday. And we read our mail. We go through it and we sort through it. And we try to make a response to everyone. So we certainly will do that.

But I don't know if you were listening to the caller that I addressed before, let me give you the cliff notes on that. When you're in the situation you're in, don't just suffer in silence, reach out, get some help, get some counseling, go to your church, go somewhere.

You said you have had employment problems, so it probably -- insurance is not a good position for you. But I will promise you, your community church, your community mental health center, the American Psychological Association web site,, the American Psychiatric Association, all have resources that can reach out and help you. So by all means, don't just suffer in silence.

KING: San Ramon, California, hello.

CALLER: Hey, Larry, love you. And Dr. Phil thank you for taking my call. I am a 44-year-old mom with an 11-year-old son, and I am really bad need of help. My soon to be ex-husband, we've been separated since 1999, left everything in my lap. I took care of everything, la, la, la, la, la.

Jump to now. I am physically disabled. I have fibromyalgia spinal disease and gastric disease. My husband is teaching our son. He tells our son he hates me, I'm a low life, I won't even say the word, totally telling our son that I'm lazy and no good, et cetera. He has taught our son to lie.

I came across my son cussing to his dad in an Internet e-mail to his dad a couple of weeks ago. I tried to talk to my husband about this.

MCGRAW: OK. What is your question?

CALLER: My question is, the courts keep giving my son back to him for visitation and I do, do everything. What you said, I have reached out, I've gone to court. I have tried to fight this by myself. I can't afford an attorney, but I am staying strong and I am doing everything I can. But my son is suffering. He's getting depression. He was an A student, bright smiling, wonderful child.

KING: All right. What do you make of it?

MCGRAW: Well, first off, obviously, you're in a difficult situation. And I absolutely hate it when I see parents that put children between them as a tool, as a pawn, as a tug-of-war. And you certainly don't want to do that. And I can tell you that the courts really, really try do the right thing here.

And if you're having a difficult time in communicating to them how he is bad influencing this child then you just need to document that, take your records in there and show them as best you can.

But here's the thing. You don't want to cut your husband, the father of this child, out of the child's life. They need access to both parents. The two of you need to negotiate. You need to talk about what bad influences and habits are affecting this young man. And hopefully, the two of you can come up with some ground rules both of you will follow, instead of putting the child in the middle as a tug-of-war.

But don't give up on your values. Continue to document, continue to advise the court, and if you don't have a lawyer, ask the court to appoint an ad litem. An ad litem is a lawyer that is there, not on your behalf, not on your husband's behalf, but to represent the best interest of the child. Go to the court, ask for an ad litem to be appointed.

KING: And we'll be right back with more of Dr. Phil. Two specials coming on CBS this month. Don't go away.


MCGRAW: And we're talking about people that are slapped, beaten, bruised, choked, thrown against things, hurt in every way you can imagine. Sometimes it doesn't end until they're dead. Everyday at least three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. At what point did you decide that you had the right to put your hands on another human being in anger?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, never. You know, it just happens.



KING: Our guest, Dr. Phil, our caller is Philadelphia, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Dr. Phil.

MCGRAW: Good evening.

CALLER: How are you? Thanks for taking my call. I'd like your help with a question I have about our 18-year-old son and his college decision. My husband and I have a wonderful 18-year-old son who has done very well in high school, he's just a very good boy, a very good young man and he has some really nice choices for college.

We've gotten down to two and I have never been in this position before but we are absolutely at polar opposites. He would like to go to the University of Miami and he was also accepted to Georgetown and my husband and I would like him to go to Georgetown. My question is what do you do when an 18-year-old young man, who's earned some nice acceptances, is adamant on his decision and yet we are still his parents and we are still supporting him -- what do we do?

KING: Before he answers, Georgetown of course is one of the great schools in the country. But the University of Miami is near and dear to my heart. I didn't attend college, but I lived in Miami for 20 years, and it is a great school. You don't lose either way. Dr. Phil, go.

MCGRAW: Yes, you gave a pretty good answer. You don't lose either way.

Your question was, you want Georgetown, he wants Miami, what do you do? You start packing for Miami is what you do because you're not going. You're staying at home. Now if the idea was he wants to go run drugs out of Colombia or go to Georgetown, I'd give you a different answer.

But he's talking about going to a great university that he has a passion for. He is 18 and this is part of letting go. Will Miami be a mistake for him? I don't know. If it is, reapply to Georgetown next year and go. But if his heart, if his passion is one direction and yours is another, this isn't about you. It's about him. So load for Miami and get some stone crabs while you're down there and you can't go down.

KING: I will not say nothing against Washington, but it is a lot of fun to visit Miami. Belding, Michigan, hello.

CALLER: Hello Larry, hello Dr. Phil, love you so much. You have a special place in my heart.

MCGRAW: Thank you.

CALLER: I'm calling because I have a definite issue with my in- laws. My husband has been under their control ever since he left at 34 to come and live with me. We've been together six years, married two and a half. And he's 10 years older than me, so it was difficult to begin with, but we got over that part. And she has -- my mother- in-law has him doing chores, doing lists, he's there everyday.

MCGRAW: Are you married to a momma's boy?

CALLER: I think I'm married to somebody who is married to his family and has no time or commitment to me. He thinks they come first and he thinks there's nothing wrong with him doing all the chores on Saturdays and spending Sunday mornings with them. I get Sunday afternoon during Nascar, that's it. MCGRAW: Well, OK. First off, this is something that really isn't about his family. This is between the two of you. And Larry and I were talking about this earlier. You know, when you really do -- whether it's at 24 or 34 -- when you step out and get married and make a life of your own, you're now the mom and dad. You're now the adults, you're now the nuclear family that has to make that the No. 1 priority.

This isn't a matter of divided loyalty. You draw mother love from one account and wife love from another account. So those two shouldn't be in competition. But it's important to recognize, put up a boundary and see that now my No. 1 priority has to be my own home, my own family and nurture this relationship.

You have to break away from mom. And here we're talking about 34 years where she has been the only woman in his life -- or the primary woman in his life. That's difficult to make the change, but stand up for yourself.

KING: Our guest is Dr. Phil. His two specials are coming on CBS, one is "Escaping Danger" on the 19th. The other is "Escaping Addiction 2" on the 24th. Let's check with Anderson Cooper. He's back in New York tonight. Do you recognize the place?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I know, I'm missing L.A. already, though Larry, I've got a great city there.

Larry, tonight on "360," life in prison for 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. The government wanted him dead, the jury ruled otherwise. Tonight we'll take you inside the court for the surprise verdict. And we'll examine the worst terrorist that the U.S. has in captivity. Why won't they likely ever stand trial? We're exploring all the angles.

Plus the bird flu is threatening, the White House says they have a plan in case it starts spreading person to person. We'll have you details on that plan and we'll show you what can happen if it does in fact become a pandemic.

And politicians stumbling as gas prices soaring. Republicans and Democrats up for reelection, blaming each other as you keep on paying. We'll talk with someone who says a third major political party is needed now more than ever. "New York Times" columnist Thomas Friedman. All that, next on "360," Larry.

KING: Great guest, too. But the way, before we let you go, Anderson, we want to congratulate you on being on the cover of the June issue of "Vanity Fair." Oh Anderson, you really made it. But do you know who they really wanted? Watch this. That's who they wanted, but I was too old.

COOPER: You're too hard to get, you're too hard to get.

KING: Had a little fun, Anderson. Have a great time. And that issue is out on the stands right now. We'll be back with Dr. Phil and more of your phone calls, right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Before we get back to the calls, Dr. Phil, someone wanted me to ask you about "Moochers," a show coming this -- what is that?

MCGRAW: Oh yes. You know Jay, who's...

KING: ... your son.

MCGRAW: On the show here, yes, he is executive producing a show that focused on these boomerang kids that just won't leave. You know, maybe they go, they come back, they just keep mooching off their parents. And it is a lot of fun.

KING: You were on it?

MCGRAW: No, I'm not on it. I'll make some guest appearances. I'm working for my kid and probably have to audition.

KING: Someone called didn't want go on, had a tough time dealing with. She was sexually abused by her father, very young still and as she enters middle age, can't deal with it.

MCGRAW: Larry, we said earlier, there are so many things that happen in life that do what I call writing on the slate of who you are. You mentioned before, if you're getting physically abused, that really stays with you. There's no question about it. If you're molested, abused, it can stop. It has a beginning and end, the behavior stops, even the physical bruises, the pain, the violation goes away, but your psychological skin has been burned, and that scar lasts for a long, long time. It changes who you are.

So you have to work constructively to deal with that. Don't just ignore it and hope it goes away, get help with it, learn to talk about it. Get it out and understand the dynamic of what happened to you.

KING: Corinth, Mississippi, hello.

Caller: Hello.

KING: Go ahead.

Caller: My question is I work law enforcement, and I always find women that leave an abusive relationship, they always go back to another one. My second question is, if they're raised up in an abusive type situation, that's why they do that? I appreciate your answer.

MCGRAW: No question about this, you were joking earlier about how strange love can be. In our show tomorrow, violent love, this guy actually shoots his love interest in the head, just to kill her, shoots her in the head. She comes to me, saying, I lived but I'm still in love with him. That was not her first abusive relationship.

KING: He's right, they do go from one to the other. MCGRAW: There is a tendency to repeat the pattern because you believe that's all you deserve and believe that's all you're worth and so you lower your standard in that way.

KING: Back with more moments with Dr. Phil right after this.



JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: We made the list of the unsexiest men in the world.

MCGRAW: What is that all about? What number were you?

LENO: You came in number four, I was number nine. So that would make me sexier than you by five guys.

MCGRAW: Is that better or worse?

LENO: No, it's better. The closer you get to the top, the more unsexier you are. Like Osama's number eight.



KING: You beat Osama?

MCGRAW: Thanks for playing that again. I want to make sure everybody knows that.

KING: Let's play a clip from a very successful movie. It's called "Scary Movie."


SHAQUILLE O'NEIL: This will never work.

MCGRAW: Of course. He wants us to cut through our feet.

O'NEIL: You go first. You're probably not man enough.

MCGRAW: Never! I did it, we're saved.

O'NEIL: Oh, my God!

MCGRAW: What's wrong?

O'NEIL: Wrong foot!


KING: How do you like that?

MCGRAW: It was a lot of fun. Shaq is such a delightful guy. Isn't he a nice guy, great sense of humor. You've done a ton of movies. That's my first one.

KING: What was it like for you? I had a good time. I really did. The directors were funny. I got hit in the head with pipes, light fixtures, bricks, toilets. They just thought it was funny to knock Dr. Phil out like 10 times.

KING: Did you like going to see it?

MCGRAW: I haven't been to see it.

KING: Come on? I haven't. I haven't been to see it.

KING: Freda (ph), Washington.

Caller: This is such an honor and s privilege to be speaking with both of you. I think you're absolutely gorgeous and handsome, Larry and Dr. Bradshaw --

KING: Dr. Phil McGraw. Dr. Bradshaw is a football player.

Caller: He's gorgeous, as Robin will attest. I have survived child molestation, spousal abuse and even cancer and I think I've come out pretty okay so far. Fourteen years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic progressive disease which has really taken its toll on me and my family. I know you've written a book about how to lead a phenomenal life with a phenomenal family. My question to you is what do I do now? How do I lead this life phenomenally? How I do live it phenomenally? How do we do this?

MCGRAW: Well, thanks for your question, first off, let me say, I'd continue to do some of the things I'd been doing if I were you, aside from getting my name wrong, you've gotten through a lot of things in life that would compromise people and you sound to me to be a very alive and forward looking, vivacious person.

I think it's so important to stop and give yourself credit because all you've been through, you said you've been molested as a child, you said you had spousal abuse, been through cancer and now a progressive disease but you know what, you're still here. You're still putting one foot in front of the other. Take time to give yourself credit for that and be proud of what you've accomplished because you're obviously a survivor and your spirit has stayed alive.

KING: What keeps you from being depressed everyday?

MCGRAW: Me personally or because of the things I deal with.

KING: You face so many sad things.

MCGRAW: It's really a matter -- this might sound kind of trite to say this but I don't mean it that way, it's all about the attitude of approach you take towards it. You can look at it and say I spend all day dealing with problems, or look at it and say, I spend all day dealing with solutions.

I like to think about the fact that I'm part of the solution. That's an uplifting sort of thing. When you see people absorb some of the things that you suggest and inspiration you offer, and make changes in their life, you feel good at the end of the day.

KING: It's always great to have you with us.

MCGRAW: Good to see you again.

You're looking pretty good.

KING: Dr. Phil McGraw, later this month a Dr. Phil prime time special on the 19th, "Escaping Danger" on CBS and then on the 24th, "Escaping Addiction Two."

Tomorrow night, Elizabeth Smart. Her first live prime time appearance since that abduction some years back. Elizabeth Smart will be here with her dad and so will John Walsh.

Right now we're going to head to New York and meet the author who is going to be a guest on LARRY KING LIVE in a couple weeks, Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360." Busy night Anderson.