A Survivor’s Plea
Michael Reagan, a survivor of child abuse, joins Alan to share his thoughts on what we must learn from the Penn State scandal.
- Duration 17:47
- Date Nov 12, 2011
Michael Reagan, a survivor of child abuse, joins Alan to share his thoughts on what we must learn from the Penn State scandal.
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Have we met.
You know the first time I met you guys' eyes or -- WNBC.
In New York.
Is when your first book came out.
-- you very painfully I'm sure gave those revelations about what you experienced as a child -- was oral agreement.
And and -- -- wouldn't you like.
-- you're you're very little via a little paranoid about Duncan in the ethnic but the we became friends when it happened.
Yeah and I try to explain that.
-- my mother could you believe.
Your mother Jane Wyman was not a fan apparently a -- in.
All the way back.
She watched Hannity and Colmes every night.
But as I understand it just before going to church -- Every -- she watched it every single night.
Used to call me on the phone Michael actually got -- -- I know Ellis suffered years but why did -- think like.
-- The and I understand your mom was lonely woman and luckily never had a chance some onto whatever -- -- nevertheless.
Let's talk about what you talked about in that book and have made reference to over the years and you know -- speak in terms -- this Joseph Paterno case.
-- you work I didn't realize until I reviewed it again today and I'd forgotten you're abuse for an entire year ago -- can't cancel.
They're -- the whole year and the end of the year he took me up to Santa Monica Mountains.
And everything in my clothes off and took photographs of me.
And three days later on -- others speculated that are tightly back to his apartment.
Develop a photo and asked if I want to develop Portman.
It was just picture in the -- it was magic to 89 year old -- and -- -- -- in my hand with the tape from the tone that would be important one into the second into the third.
And look at what was the nude picture of me.
And in Cleveland on my shoulders -- -- -- -- like have a copy of this.
And the appointment went under.
Please that your childhood ended at that point thank you later thank god elected -- and he'll be around.
You're much all the completely you know additional -- and I talked -- and I'm gonna go back and you know friends from that day comes I just turned everybody -- that point to six years ago my mother's house to protect my -- for me.
-- you don't tell your parents.
No didn't -- say -- -- to my parents still.
I told my dad in April 12 97.
What what what -- that that and obviously today Q you haven't forgotten.
What made -- -- that.
The book was about ready to come out.
And I I thought they should know what was in the book community.
I just sure it would Wear white but a week earlier and -- And it happened we have to be appropriate from my daughter's -- protections for her financially.
You know leniency -- -- what's in the book we don't know about it I just I broke down -- Linda Blair looked like a Playboy.
Compared to what.
I didn't had -- in Syria.
And yet he was there with -- the world with the kids used to -- out to bring -- to that are.
And I was focusing on her lap.
Thank -- took her fingernails and put between virtual billboards and you know -- between crucial to believe there because of the players doesn't look that.
And after Shepperd with -- I was real won't do the backseat that would be in the front -- considered clapped for obvious reasons -- that day.
I was standing in one's probably that was apparently only -- summer right into the summer electrical and was between racial privilege like it was centuries -- again.
-- it was just.
And -- you know an ultimatum against -- Like what comes -- into the mind of a child I mean really we haven't talked much about the victims here.
However what goes to the mind of a child witnesses -- He dude you're just you're you're scared -- -- here.
If it hasn't happened between the ages of twelve to become a poster who has tried in the -- world who am I what -- you -- And it just completely changes -- life -- -- figure.
I had a great feeling good what can people found out of me and it touched me what they would think -- you.
Yeah and and it's terribly scares -- to death.
And so much so that -- turned sixteen that would steal money from buying my dad's wallet and go to downtown LA by prostitutes.
I don't think ever do that.
I would go I would buy prostitutes.
On Saturday night -- Friday night Saturday night.
Too because I want to prove that I was -- I was at -- and -- -- heterosexual.
And -- scared the hell -- -- -- -- -- that was -- you know -- -- I would be back -- -- following weekend.
I'm scared death of at least.
They're downloaded this go on for.
-- -- -- -- For you know on -- part of my -- -- -- right I changed woman quite a bit to try and put my manhood.
That's like palatable and the president of the people's -- opposite -- -- presently.
You know but.
-- -- I was.
I almost committed suicide.
Before the book came -- 1988.
While because somebody -- somebody called me and told me that they had information.
That they knew what was in the book conversion and -- -- the national inquirer might be printing that.
Before that it would scared -- -- the pictures.
-- -- -- -- -- Those photographs ever surface.
No but wouldn't -- demand died about five years ago did this to me.
It is it is sister in law will be elevenths and Michael problems -- people but they can be perceived victory.
As he molested you can you can rest assured -- finally been destroyed.
But in this case.
His mother protecting him -- -- every member of the family.
Who tried to color better so it was a had to file but what happens it's not just the -- not just the school families have -- the book talks about the I think at least protect -- uncle Charlie record the stepfather or good.
This how do you believe that uncle Charlie -- you have called him in your writings you've -- you've come up with -- uncle Charlie moniker but who had a we believe that.
Uncle Charlie to do such a thing.
Well that's what happened to hear it just like culture -- basketball not -- It when that happens we don't believe the children we still don't believe children when they tell us they -- -- totals.
Children don't make this stuff up but remember my agent -- you know that you were molestation Matt I didn't -- It was molestation but here's a -- moves into your life.
When in fact just like sandusky moves into the children's lives or looking for someone in their life they call them -- -- takes advantage.
And this is this is what these people to think about this for a moment.
Forty million children go to bed at night without a father and now.
Forty million kids in America.
Can and other homes every year in America because and -- and abuse.
We have real problems certainly trying to solve the problem and higher levels we have a real problem as -- the very -- Of America all the likely considering in the woodlands in Texas -- to -- contributions.
And Foster -- to Baltimore.
To an event -- -- would you be winning.
It isn't an horrific horrific problem but you see what really exacerbates the problem.
It is nobody's.
Ever everybody protects.
Can do that don't protect -- Because I think the university's big -- the -- -- to church is bigger than child.
I'll talk about it and Melissa this -- play this earlier here's a woman.
A student at.
And ten state.
Or did -- -- and Penn State mixed up but it it did Penn State who says this today.
He'd learned some I've spent 108 fellow heat if there are thousands finish out that even -- have.
One -- home game like.
He didn't -- -- supposed to do legally maybe not funny way he Saddam Marley but.
You know he's done some I expect and they and he did very well if it is up -- -- then that then laughs yeah.
I tell about Kent State it's all about the image it's all about the coach it's all about the the team.
What about the kids.
What about that.
What about the kids there's nothing worse that you can do to a child and what this -- and was doing.
And to think that somebody might -- actually walk by and witness to.
The weight of a ten year old child in a shower.
And did nothing at that point to stop it went -- -- that the next little over and told Joseph Paterno.
How do you how do you watch the -- public -- -- in the shower.
Can't think he would need to Coleman probably what's going to.
-- 120 -- rule book cover.
Will -- but we need to start calling police.
Yeah it DeWitt the -- you understand it was.
How guilty do you think Paterno is here.
I think what he's guilty is not doing -- moral obligation or he's guilty of is making sure that the police.
Or involve getting the police involved in this morning's guilty.
Is what we -- -- seemed askew was on the campus.
And that's what he's guilty of the fact that from -- He was made aware and still has -- it was allowed come on the campus.
So when you first -- connect to discuss some thing advertisement here tonight -- including having been abused for an entire year players can camp counselor.
That you set tonight I think it ever said this publicly before it may have been when he earlier books talking about.
Going to just stealing money for your family going to LA the visit prostitutes who and I am I know your wife and your kids I -- actually an -- camera but.
You have a lovely family you've been with the same woman now married happily -- burden here -- wonder how many years.
Thirty or thirty years so how did you do it had to go me and abuse child.
To having such a good family.
You know I I tell -- I got of the luckiest guy in the world only came and in my life 1973.
And it's do you the first somewhat like I could really feel that I felt love.
And -- it's been it's really -- magic I mean she won't leave I try to differently.
Particularly doctor on general who you.
-- -- -- Which is really nice she's one of eleven children.
If foreign golf when Nebraska and she has just been -- heaven I mean she really is the one that turned me -- and and because I was angry I was man I was.
I didn't want to succeed and.
You must be a saint this sport -- the apple -- my mother what they're pretty leader blind date.
-- -- on December several -- -- -- for the date that live an instrument oh absolutely put my mother laughter and that was enough.
And you're able to work through the issues you talked about him and go on from it being an abuse child to a user prostitutes.
To having stole money to do so to not feeling good about yourself as a man because of what you've experienced.
-- then having a loving family a minutes a tremendous evolution.
I'm lucky I have the I am I'm very lucky not many of us make it through that's been through that system -- -- -- did you do therapy.
Up I didn't enter the Intel might come in the 687.
Why did you wait -- -- -- -- telling him it's it's really the book you wrote back then was a catharsis is already.
Only right that strike you you don't want to tell.
-- -- what have you -- got to say this is what happens you.
You don't tell -- scared that you're connected -- -- because -- remember you you you give yourself.
Actually don't share with anybody else for -- they'll think you do.
You said the man who abused you died five years ago does that mean you're aware of his existence where he was what it was doing all those you -- I got a letter you know when you do radio lot of people find you.
And and so is his sister in law and brother used to hear me on the radio.
They would write me on occasions.
And and what have you in just told their story about being disowned by the mother.
Did you want to get to him did you wanna go find them and punch him in the face.
No because -- -- I didn't want -- but you know I do this guy Intel 1987.
So by that time you know he was in the -- that's where people make mistakes they think -- a policy now.
They're not safe now you there's bad -- that they are at the beginning like she says in the letter he was as people -- -- died in 83 as it was the first.
Did you discover through his family that he -- other victims.
Did I don't do this wants.
-- could -- minimum.
Actually percent preferred somebody of that nature is -- hundred children.
Well that's that's that's the average.
That it -- what they do.
So tell me you wrote this piece about what people should do in this situation which is Linux -- -- to have you -- and you.
What what are what are what's the proper procedure what should.
Paterno have done -- and you don't like -- stop.
Number -- queries on paid leave and I'm guessing that he's still on staff because he's a whistle blower he's a witness and I get it that's why he is on paid leave as opposed to having been -- But how do you think about this from your you think about ten year old I think you're walking by -- -- tenure will be repositioned our.
Can you just walk by.
I can't imagine the deadly event.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- But he awaited digital culture.
And I mean you're watching the wake of a tender.
You know yesterday -- -- some interesting things here for example believe the child if a child can't -- and tells you.
But this happen is it possible a child could make this up.
Well the word they learn.
You know they're everywhere that it -- we have a tendency unfortunate not to believe children.
We only see your children when they come home to a school something capital -- -- back and talk you don't -- really happened.
We do -- listen to the adult we believe the adult.
Over our children so often are children have to learn to trust us we also have to know -- -- children will.
If you don't become that it's sub culture some become in your lives that would -- take your -- to football commitment in Texas suspend the weakened.
-- -- -- -- -- -- Yeah you would think so I mean -- -- -- and got.
-- should actually go well look at the the all the stuff from Michael Jackson for example when I mean yeah sure you follow that intensely earlier that Demi was he just a weirdo Rosie creek was the child molester and -- -- was -- proven right or.
-- interest and I kept pumping myself how much do you -- father that you would do this to yourself.
Yeah I mean you do it I don't wanna look anything like my family so what happened within that that -- -- -- People just don't do that.
He'll be that you -- ask a woman who who's obese or something that you acquire you'll be you'll find out something in their life happened.
At some point to change that.
Do you still give dreams nightmares.
No no no I'm more this horrible -- you I -- when I was in school.
That's how I became an altar boy and and you have found religion and your religious guy -- -- got his very much part of your life well.
He understands the guy -- content going to went abroad got back into -- But as soon as to when I was eight years old and that that -- that night with -- -- photos.
In fact -- the back my book twice about it.
-- is -- a few years ago and still get an Amazon.
You know -- put on their have you ever hated god.
Arguably you make -- -- because.
I did believe that god created me.
And and so I believe that was going to be going to hell.
Console and figured what's the fastest way to get -- myself the only way the only controlling hand was over me.
So could I control going to help quicker than -- -- me but yeah it took me six years ago my mother's house will -- with my dad.
I'm very assured parliament mom -- -- -- appointment.
Just particular property I want to protector for me I -- what I felt that she found out about me that -- -- -- -- annually at the end of their life you had a wonderful relationship with with your -- -- have -- handle it and with your dad.
What we get respond.
Ellen if you go to my -- Irish -- I know you have right next to your Ben Ali's -- under the pillow under the bill -- as the price you're under electric in the -- here -- as president I know.
The last entry has done me -- you know what that's about hugging it -- it says Mike's back.
-- back just sit in my back back in the fold it back pretty impeccable but -- have been gone partial long because -- -- so angry what have you.
Yeah I have I remember the story about QB after he lost his ability to remember things and didn't recognize you -- do you with a guy hug them all the time.
And ultimately -- -- -- -- but it because the music now coming up under us.
We are sadly at a time but Michael I'm I'm always happy to talk to you thanks for criminal -- ultimately.
That's a good that's a good cares what you got to do a situation like that -- -- -- --