When a 16-year-old girl marries a 51-year-old man with her mother's blessing, you naturally might wonder what the fuck is wrong with that woman. Well, last night's episode of Couples Therapy gave everyone a chance to find out. Krista Stodden, Courtney's look alike mom, joined Dr. Jenn for a one-on-one therapy session to enlighten the marriage counselor on how the teenager came to present herself in such a hyper-sexual manner, and why she consented to the marriage in the first place.
But it's difficult to take Krista's words at face value. Unfortunately, living in the age of the "momager" (which Krista readily admits to being), one has to call her motives into question. Is she making decisions that are best for Courtney or best for Courtney's "career"? Why is she so permissive with the teenager? Is she trying to live vicariously through her daughter? (More on the twisted answer to that in a minute.)
Krista says that Courtney began dressing provocatively "around 11 or 12" when she wanted a pair of high heels. She allowed it and it just snowballed into exposed buttcheeks and clear bra straps. Krista figured that Courtney needed to just "express herself." On one hand, her take on her daughter's burgeoning libido—"I felt this is how God created her; he put these desires in her"—is refreshingly understanding. On the other, it seems like she opted to be the friend in this situation and not the parent by neglecting to give some kind of guidance in the incredibly murky area of adolescent sexuality. She admitted as much to Jezebel when she said that she had not had the sex talk "yet" with Courtney.
Hormonal teens are not necessarily equipped to navigate this world without adult supervision. Krista at least acknowledges that much. So her solution was to hand her off to Doug Hutchison. She said, "I know that she was going to need somebody that could handle her and I recognized that this is the man that's perfect for her." One day after Krista and Courtney met him in person (after a five-month Internet courtship) he proposed and like the high-heel shoes, Krista allowed it.
Krista acts like it's not highly unusual or alarming for a middle-aged man to take an interest in a teenager, because she apparently had already been fielding offers from "police officers, sheiks, and attorneys trying to get ahold of her all the time." What the fuck does that even mean? Where's the follow-up question to that one, Dr. Jenn? When she says "sheik" is she implying that Courtney was being recruited for one of those dangerous sex slave harems that they make Lifetime movies about?
And if you think that's fucked up, wait until you hear this: through a line of questioning, Dr. Jenn implies that Krista is perhaps in love with Doug. She was married when Doug and Courtney first got together, and this was her way of having a relationship with him. She's separated now, so who knows what the future holds for these people?
On his VH1 blog, cast mate Simon van Kempen sums it up pretty succinctly:
Frankly, I think it might have been better to get hold of Krista's mom to ascertain how Krista became so f'ed up. First, we have Dr. Jenn stating that Krista was reluctant to appear on camera. Just who is she trying to kid? Krista's been dying for this moment ever since she became Courtney's momager and started enabling her little 11-year-old daughter. I'm not sure what disgusted me more, Krista's willful and frankly irresponsible abject disregard for proper parenting blithely accepting that it's OK for an 11-year-old to dress like a stripper, or her obvious lust for her daughter's husband. That's some sick sh*t! On the flip side, I suppose this means that Doug has a safety net because as soon as Courtney's done with being ‘raised by her husband' and tosses Doug aside, he (and the now recently separated) Krista, can then shack up together. Like daughter, love mother!