Former superstar wide receiver Terrell Owens on Monday subjected himself to the special brand of emotional abuse that is an appearance on the Dr. Phil show. T.O. last made headlines through the pages of GQ magazine’s cover story back in February, in an article that detailed his fall from grace and how bad decisions with friends and money had left him broke and alone. Monday’s episode of Dr. Phil revealed that there was a group that wanted to spend some time with Owens after all: his kids.
Dr. Phil brought out three women with whom Owens had children. Owens admitted on the show to having a total of four kids with four different women. In (overly) dramatic fashion, the women were brought out one by one, accusing Owens of neglect and lack of child support. The first two women claimed that Owens hadn’t visited either of their daughters in a year. Owens has remained out of contact with all the women, it seemed. The third, the mother of Owens’ oldest son, said that he had made public appearances with the boy solely to boost his image.
Owens tried to defend himself, saying that child support payments were costing him almost $50,000 a month, money he didn’t have. He then flashed back to the pains of his own childhood, the absence of his father, a tale heard all too often both on daytime TV and in black America—and a storyline that was painfully explored during T.O.’s own reality show. Dr. Phil then took his turn to lecture all parties involved—from the women digging for gold and blood, to the neglectful Owens. The children were paying the price, a lesson that should’ve been obvious to anyone not involved.
The show closed on perhaps a brand new low point in the public persona of T.O. As the credits rolled, Owens reunited with his estranged daughters backstage, giving each of them a kiss on the cheek.