An Affair with a Friend Ended in a Bitter Custody Battle

May 9, 2014

Jeffrey admits he cheated on his wife, Gwynne, two years ago, with their once-close friend and bridesmaid, Amy — who got pregnant with his son, 15-month-old Elijah. Jeffrey claims that Amy has since waged a custody battle by falsely accusing him of rape. Dr. Phil sits everyone down in search of answers — can these former friends resolve their differences and learn how to peacefully co-parent?







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AmyJeffreyGwynneAmy as Gwynne's bridesmaidAreva Martin, family law attorney and child advocateBishop T.D. Jakes

Infidelity Aftermath

Amy says she has known Jeffrey since high school and, for a time, they were "friends with benefits," but then ended up just being "close buddies." Amy was a bridesmaid when Jeffrey married his wife, Gwynne, and says they've stayed in touch ever since. Jeffrey and Gwynne even asked her to be the godmother to their twin girls.

But two years ago, on a drunken night, Amy says she and Jeffrey took their friendship one step too far. "After we had sex, he said he forgot how good it was," Amy claims. "I was like, 'This is too weird. You need to go home to your wife.' That's when he would say, 'No, * that family.' He's a pig." Amy continues, "The day after we had sex, he sent me a text saying he was going to come and get it whenever he wanted it ... It creeped me out."

Amy says she slept with Jeffrey only one other time, when she claims he forced himself on her. "Jeffrey had a key to my apartment, so he let himself in," she says. "He brought a bottle of whiskey, and he did two or three shots. I didn't want any shots, because I didn't want anything to happen. I kept telling him, 'Go home to your family.'" Amy claims, "I told him 'no' several times. Jeffrey has a bad temper, and nobody ever says no to him. I did try to push him off me, but he's a big guy." Two weeks later, Amy says she found out she was pregnant.

Jeffrey admits that sleeping with Amy was a mistake, but he is adamant that the sex was consensual both times. He claims Amy lied and accused him of rape only when she realized he wasn't going to leave Gwynne to be with her. "Amy has tried to make me into the villain — this big, muscular monster ... Now, with a baby in the middle, she is going above and beyond to make sure I lose my son." He continues, "Amy is trying to ruin my life. She went so far as to file a restraining order against me."

Onstage, Dr. Phil cautions Amy and Jeffrey against lying or spinning the truth. "When people lie about what has happened between the two of them to gain leverage for control of a child, that is bad, bad business," he says.
Dr. Phil reviews some of the inconsistencies between Amy and Jeffrey about the night of conception.
"I assume you filed rape charges," Dr. Phil says to Amy, and she says no.

"My whole thing was, I never even used that word," Amy says. "When this came up [in the custody case], and they were asking me if this was consensual, I was like, 'No.' I did say no. In the beginning, I did let it happen, so I feel that in a way, it's my fault."

"You have to be honest," Jeffrey says. "We're here to tell the truth. My goal is to get through all of this, and let’s co-parent. Tell the whole world that you were never raped, and we can move forward."

"I never used that word," Amy repeats. "I said you forced yourself on me, Jeffrey."

"Well, you certainly used that word with us," Dr. Phil says. "Did he rape you, or did he not?"

"He forced himself on me, and I said no," Amy responds.

Jealous Amy?

Jeffrey's wife, Gywnne, says she believes Amy is in love with Jeffrey — and set out to destroy her family from the beginning. "She wanted Jeffrey to come over that night. She gave him drinks. She knew she was ovulating and intentionally got pregnant," Gwynne claims. "Now, she wants to take full custody of the baby and continue to destroy our lives." She adds, "I think Amy is very unstable. The decisions she makes are irrational and not for the best interests of her children."

Sparks fly between Amy and Gwynne. "You had sex with my husband, and then you sat and laughed in my face."

Jeffrey and Gwynne say they believe Amy is a neglectful mother to her and Jeffrey's son, Elijah. "There are a lot of times when the baby would come with multiple scratches and bruises, things that look like burns,” Gwynne claims. “Amy gets very defensive ... She says, ‘He’s just a boy. That’s what boys do.’”

Amy is adamant that she has never neglected her son. She says Jeffrey is extremely controlling and insists the allegations are just a ploy to keep her from moving back home, out of state, with Elijah.

Onstage, Dr. Phil says to Amy, "Can I ask you one question, just for my own clarity? When you had sex with him on the night in question, you didn't really try to stop him until the end, because you were worried about getting pregnant?"

"I did let it happen," she says, "and then I panicked toward the end, when I did push him off me."

"Then why didn't you take the Plan B pill?" Gwynne interjects.

Dr. Phil reacts to her interruption. "Wow, I've been doing this 12 years. That's pretty amazing."

"I was told to interrupt before we came on the show," Gwynne says. She continues, "When it comes to her pushing him off because she didn't want to get pregnant, she could have taken the Plan B pill the next day. It's as easy as that. That's what confuses me."

Dr. Phil mentions that Amy recently took out a protection order against Jeffrey, after she claims he threatened her during a visitation exchange.

Amy claims, "He was on a rant and rave ... I went and got the baby out of the truck ,and he was standing behind me, saying he can't wait for me to die from my medical conditions. And then he said, 'You know what, it's going to be sooner than you think.'"

"Did you admit to [Gwynne] that you got pregnant on purpose?" And, does Amy plan to file charges against Jeffrey?

"I’ve heard all of this back and forth, but I haven’t heard one person say one word about what the impact would be on the child."

Dr. Phil introduces family law attorney and child advocate Areva Martin, who says, "All the hot-button issues being played here — rape, abuse — all of those are used typically to gain leverage in the court, and it’s not about the child ... They're so busy fighting each other. I don't hear anyone stepping up and saying, "Let's put this behind us. What, now, is in the best interest of the child?'"

"What the court always looks for is the hero ... The three of you are in danger of being very shocked."

Dr. Phil offers to set up Amy, Jeffrey and Gwynne with a mediator to negotiate an arrangement outside the court. "When you invite the government into your family, you lose control," he cautions. All three accept.

Bishop T.D. Jakes Talks Instinct

Bishop T.D. Jakes is not only senior pastor of his church, The Potters House, in Dallas, but he is also a prolific film producer and author. His new book, Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive, is now available everywhere. Dr. Phil welcomes Bishop Jakes and asks him to explain the premise of the book.

"I believe that we search for years for our purpose, to find out where we fit, what is truly us ... and most people live their lives with a question mark, not understanding where they really fit in," Bishop Jakes says. "Instinct says, in spite of not having experience or in spite of not being validated, I am inclined to go this way or that way, giving myself permission to evolve out of the microcosm of other people's expectations."

"Instinct advises, and information informs, and together, those two things become direction."