Dirty Divorce? Why Are They Still Living under One Roof?

December 27, 2012
In this real-life War of the Roses, Dr. Phil speaks to Laura and Ross, a once-happily married couple, who say that although they are divorced, they both refuse to leave their home. Ross says his 10-year marriage to Laura started to crumble when she began pursuing younger men. He says Laura became a sex-obsessed party girl who chose the “cougar” lifestyle over her marriage, and he says she should leave. Laura says she likes to hang out with younger men, but denies being a sex-obsessed party girl. She says her marriage simply fell apart and argues that the house is as much hers as it is Ross’ and he should be the one to leave.







Nearly 49 million Americans, including 16 million children, struggle with hunger every day. Join Dr. Phil in his call to action to raise enough money for 10 million meals and beat hunger in America. Donate today!



RossLauraThe home they shareLaura's calendar spreadLaura's cougar blogLaura and Ross' daughter, Kayla

A Marriage Come Undone

New York media outlets report: A man is convicted for embezzling 1.7 million dollars from the Board of Education to support his much younger wife. Then, he petitions the court for leniency because his now ex-wife’s cougar lifestyle makes her an unfit mother to their children — “the cougar defense,” as some call it. Dr. Phil sits down with the now-exes behind the headlines, Laura and Ross, and gets to the bottom of the tabloid fodder.

Laura, 43, says her marriage began breaking down several years ago, and she admits that she had an emotional affair with someone online. She says she discovered a newfound freedom outside her marriage, much like in her 20’s, like partying in clubs, but she insists she's no cougar. Laura says she was hired by Cougar Life Diaries, a blog which instructs its readers how to pick up younger men. And, in response to Ross’ “cougar defense,” Laura says, “it’s about Ross saving his own *.” She continues, “I do click with younger people, but I have a variety of friends. I don’t date these guys.” Laura says she doesn’t feel like she has to leave the house they once shared as a married couple. She says it’s a multimillion home, and through its multiple entrances and staircases, they can avoid one another. Laura says at times, it has resembled a war zone, in which doors have been torn from the hinges, a laptop was smashed and other items in the house were broken. “I never argued with him by the banister, because I was afraid he was going to toss me over," she says.

Ross, 58, joins the show via satellite while he awaits sentencing for his conviction, and tells a different version. “I got a divorce because that’s what Laura wanted," he says. Ross says that Laura just wanted something different, and living under one roof while she dated younger men was like “Laura reliving her 20’s.” He says, “My sons’ friends were taking bets about who was going to sleep with Laura first.” Ross says living together has been stressful and he wants Laura gone. “I’ve been asking her to leave for four and a half years.”

“I was living a real-life War of the Roses."

Laura discusses her "cougar" title.




Sex for Sale?


Laura opens up about her racy calendar spread.

Ross says he made an indecent proposal. Did Laura accept? Hear the details of their “sex contract.”

Kayla in the Middle

Kayla, 17, says she’s witnessed heated arguments between her parents firsthand and, as a result, doesn’t want a relationship with her father. “My dad was lying to me,” she says. “I watched him physically assault my mom.” Ross says that Kayla has, “pushed me out of her life.” Kayla admits that once her dad was arrested, “I didn’t feel like fixing the relationship.” Dr. Phil speaks to the teen. Is she repeating patterns in her current relationship that she’s seen at home?

"They both love you very much, but they aren’t behaving that way.”

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and it’s hard to shock me, but you just shocked me.”