Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen & Battered Woman’s Syndrome

Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen & Battered Woman's Syndrome

Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen & Battered Woman’s Syndrome

The following is a  transcript of Russ Morley, host of 850 WFTL radio interviewing Celebrity Life Coach and Human Behavior Expert, Patrick Wanis Ph.D. for insights and analysis about the Mel Gibson meltdown and the ways that the alleged recording between Mel Gibson and girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva is undermining the serious issue of domestic violence against women and children and how it relates to Battered Woman’s Syndrome.

While people are angry at Mel Gibson they are ignoring Charlie Sheen who has been charged with allegedly putting a knife to his wife’s throat. And according to Celebrity Life Coach and Human Behavior & Relationship Expert, Patrick Wanis PhD, “We give free-passes to people we like and we react harsher to racist remarks than we do to actual violence against women – although both are seriously wrong.

Listen to this interview at:

Learn more about Battered Woman’s Syndrome here:

Read the release “Is racism more important than violence against women?” here:

Read the article by Patrick Wanis PhD – Bias, prejudice and domestic violence here:

Russ Morley: Joining us this morning, Dr. Patrick Wanis, Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior Expert. Dr. Wanis, she’s saying he’s losing his mind. This isn’t the first instance of this. I mean are we talking insanity here this morning? Is Mel finally gone over the edge, do you think?

Patrick Wanis: Well, he’s obviously gone over the edge. As to insanity, that’s a completely different diagnosis. I think there are a couple of key points to be made here, and the first thing I want to say is before I say anything else, anything that I say is not implying that she was not hit nor am I in any way condoning or defending the behavior, words, and actions of Mel Gibson because I don’t think there’s any defense for that.

Russ Morley: Alright. A good disclaimer, alright.

Patrick Wanis: But I think we need to look at a lot of the things here, and I want to relate this to Battered Woman’s Syndrome. The way that this case has played out; because the tapes have been released, and because of the way that Oksana carries herself on the tape, she almost sounds like she’s standing on stage, talking to an audience – people have become cynical. And because of the claims relating to money – that she tried to extort money out of Mel Gibson with regard to these tapes; or the claims that she doctored or spliced the tapes has therefore raised doubts about the actual abuse or allegations of abuse. And I think that what that does then, is it downplays, undermines, and diminishes the real serious issue of domestic violence not only in the U.S., but around the world. And Russ, I want to make this point about someone else who is a celebrity, Charlie Sheen.

When Mel Gibson’s tapes were released, there was extreme outrage from Nancy Grace and the entire media, but Charlie Sheen has actually appeared in court on charges of assault and domestic violence, and he’s facing felony menacing, misdemeanor third-degree assault, and misdemeanor criminal mischief. He allegedly pulled a knife on his wife.

Russ Morley: Uh huh.

Patrick Wanis: Why was there not a bigger outrage about this? Why is there not as big an outrage about Charlie Sheen as there is about Mel Gibson? And the answer is simple. It’s just 2 points. First, the media has not forgiven Mel Gibson for his anti-Semitic remarks. The second point is that Charlie Sheen is the darling of Hollywood because we all love watching him on Two and a Half Men; so therefore, we’re giving him a pass. Why? Why do we give one man a pass and not the other?

The other interesting thing is Mel Gibson has appeared before a judge, and the judge that he appeared before, in the custody battle, is a former prosecutor who is a key leader in the Department of Sex Crimes. That judge has said, “Okay, you can continue to have 50/50 custody of the child.” I think he’s also refused to accept the tapes until they’re authenticated.

So it’s interesting how the law handles the Mel Gibson case versus the way we handle it. But I do want to add this because this is the real serious part about this Russ.

Russ Morley: Right.

Patrick Wanis: And it relates to Battered Woman Syndrome. Now when you and I spoke when this case first happened, I openly said, “Well, if she’s afraid for her life, why isn’t she calling the police? If she’s scared for her child, why is she still in the house?” Now I received some angry letters from people saying, “Well hey, she’s a victim of abuse. She’s too afraid to leave. That’s Battered Woman Syndrome.”

I didn’t raise that because I didn’t feel it in that instance she was showing any signs of Battered Woman Syndrome, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t acknowledge that there is such a thing as Battered Woman Syndrome and that it’s a very, very serious issue in this country.

Russ Morkey:            Alright Dr. Wanis, let me stop you for a second here because you brought up earlier an excellent point. You were talking about digital editing, how easily that is done, and in these tapes, 2 points. When she says you hit me you hit the child, he doesn’t respond to that. He doesn’t deny which was almost an admission that he did do that, but that could have been digitally edited out, and that’s what I don’t quite understand, and you bring up an excellent point that the judge is right in waiting to see if these tapes can be authenticated.

Patrick Wanis: Well, and also, Mel Gibson’s team is saying, “Look, we have forensic evidence to prove that these tapes were doctored and edited and spliced.” And Mel Gibson’s team says, “We have forensic evidence to prove that this woman tried to extort money out of us.”

But again, the problem is that now, we begin to take sides. We say oh, she’s a gold digger, or he’s a raving lunatic, or he’s a violent monster. The problem is that both are possible – that maybe this woman did decide look, you know, he has hit me or he’s tried to hit me, or he’s abused me verbally, mentally, and emotionally so I’m going to make money out of it. That then diminishes the real cases of women, about 300,000 women a year, who are abused. And I think that’s the greatest danger.

And as you said, it is very easy to splice tapes. The real question is why is her voice so different? If someone’s recording a phone call, you usually hear the same tonality unless he was using some other system.

Russ Morley: Dr. Wanis, we don’t splice tapes anymore. It’s all done digitally and much cleaner than splicing tapes, but that’s beside the point.

[Commercial Break]

Russ Morley: I have more of the Mel Gibson rants coming out today, but the latest news is that Robin Moore Gibson, reportedly his soon-to-be-ex-wife supposedly, maybe not at this point in time, has a written testimony saying that he never physically abused her at all during their 28-year-marriage and was a lovely dad to the kids, and that they may be getting back together and moving to Australia. Holy cow Dr. Wanis, that’s a bit of a revelation.

Patrick Wanis: Well, I don’t know if they’re actually getting back together and moving back to Australia…

Russ Morley: That’s what it says here on the E News thing, yeah.

Patrick Wanis: Yeah, I mean that’s gossip, but the fact is that she did make a sworn declaration saying he’s never hit me. He’s never abused our children. And there’s usually a pattern of abuse. The man that hits once usually hits again. So it would be very strange that at age 54, this is the first time he’s hit someone unless he was again, under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

But I want to say this too about Oksana because usually, a woman will stay in an abusive relationship because she fears for her life, and this is the point that I made earlier Russ about Battered Woman Syndrome that there are 4 key points. Usually, a woman will believe that the violence is her fault; she doesn’t have the ability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere; the woman has an irrational belief that the abuser is everywhere – he’s omniscient and he’s omnipresent. That means he controls everything and everyone, and she fears for her life and for the life of her children. I didn’t hear that in the tapes of Oksana, but that doesn’t mean that Battered Woman Syndrome is not real nor does it mean that Oksana was not hit. The problem is that even the photo she’s presented, and I believe it was presented to the judge in the custody battle, has not swayed the opinion.

Remember, Mel Gibson hasn’t been charged by anyone yet. Now, again, we need to be careful that this case doesn’t affect our belief in real serious issues affecting women because it’s easy for us to say, well look, this is…

Russ Morley: Yeah, absolutely.

Patrick Wanis: you know, BS, so therefore, you know, maybe other women who made claims of being abused are just making it up.

Russ Morley: Dr. Wanis, we’re out of time here this morning. I want to direct everybody to your website if they’re going to read more. That’s

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