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Jessica Beagley got the attention of more than just the staff on the Dr. Phil show when she had her ten year old daughter create a video of her disciplining her seven year old son for lying. The clip from the episode went viral online setting off a firestorm among the mothers of the world who were horrified by her actions. In the video, the mother is shown forcing the child to hold hot sauce in his mouth for longer than a minute, and then putting him in an ice cold shower while he cries in obvious pain.
Beagley had contacted the show in 2009, wanting to appear on an episode about angry mothers. She was told that she would need to provide video evidence of her attempts to discipline her child, and responded with the now famous video where she disciplines her son for lying to her. The boy is one of twins that the Beagley family adopted from Russia in 2008; the video created so much anger that Russian citizens began demanding the children be returned to their native land, while American mothers watched in horror.
Today, The Associated Press reported that the Anchorage mother was convicted of child abuse as a result of the footage shown on Dr. Phil. Prosecutors in the case alleged that she created the video out of a desire to appear on television and meet Dr. Phil himself. The defense responded that she was merely seeking help with the difficulties of disciplining her children and hoping to help both herself and her children. Instead she will face potential jail time as well as a hefty fine as a result.
One can only hope that the damage done to the child as a result of both her actions and the international attention was worth it.
Here is the disturbing clip from the Dr. Phil episode: