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Betty Broderick's Children Tell Their Side Of The Story | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN

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WINFREY: Since this tragedy, the Broderick children have shied away from the media. But now, they are here and willing to share their version of what they say really happened. WINFREY: By all outward appearances, the Broderick children had the best of everything. Fancy private schools, vacations, exclusive country clubs, successful parents, and all the money in the world. WINFREY: But this example of the ultimate American dream ended tragically. A desperate Betty Broderick drove to the lavish home of her ex-husband. WINFREY: Betty went to the second-floor master bedroom where she found Dan and his 28-year-old bride, Linda, asleep. WINFREY: She pulled out a revolver and showered the sleeping couple with bullets. WINFREY: Minutes after Betty Broderick murdered her ex-husband and his new bride, she called her daughter. Ms. BETTY BRODERICK: I got to a pay phone and said, `Look, I shot this gun at Dad's house. I don't know if anybody was, you know, hit or hurt or anything.' Ms. B. BRODERICK: I thought, `Oh, my God, I'm in trouble now.' WINFREY: The four Broderick children were forced to grieve publicly when their mother's two dramatic murder trials made headlines nationwide. WINFREY: Kim and Lee Broderick relived the nightmare of their father's murder and their parents messy divorce on the witness stand in a packed courtroom. KIM: I started crying when she said, `Honey, calm down, calm down.' I asked, `What happened?' And she said, `I'm not quite sure. But I don't think they're dead because your father was talking. And--and everything's going to be all right. Just come home. Calm down. You know I had to do it. I had no other choice. I couldn't let him win. One of us had to die.' LEE: She was hitting him on the head with her keys, her other key ring, with the big brass key ring. And he kind of was trying to get me out of the way, and he kind of pushed me aside and punched her in the chest. WINFREY: At one time, Betty had a "Leave It To Beaver" family image. WINFREY: But during the trial, the prosecutor played this emotional conversation between Betty and her son, showing how Betty's hatred was destroying her family. DANNY: I know, well, we would be a lot happier if you'd just stop saying bad words. BRODERICK: Well, you tell that slime ball... DANNY: See what I mean, Mom? You're saying it right now. You better stop! WINFREY: Since their mom was sent to prison, they haven't seen her at all. Ms. BRODERICK: You're going to mess up my makeup, Oprah, if you bring up the kids. WINFREY: OK. OK. OK. WINFREY: So we've been joined by Dan Broderick Jr. Today will be the first time Dan has talked publicly about his father's murder. Also here is the oldest Broderick child, Kim, who Betty has blamed for putting her in prison. And Kim wishes her mom would say she's sorry for what she did to their family. WINFREY: And later in the show, Linda's sister speaks out for the first time about her sibling's murder. And Betty, says Betty Broderick, is evil. That's what she says. Betty's just evil. WINFREY: And close friends of the dead couple, including a former governess to the Broderick children, tell why they agreed to testify against Betty. But I thank you for welcoming the Broderick children here. (Applause) WINFREY: I don't know. Is this--is this a tough time for you all with the movie out and everything? Did you watch the first movie? KIM: Yes. WINFREY: Uh-huh. KIM: I'd already seen the first movie. I saw the second one, too. WINFREY: OK. Was it difficult to watch? Did you see it, too, Dan? DAN: Yeah. WINFREY: Yeah. Difficult to watch? KIM: It's difficult to see someone portraying your family and someone playing you. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: I mean, you're obviously not going to think they did a good enough job. They said that wrong, and I didn't do it like that, and things like that. But there's so much media attention to it anyway. WINFREY: Often what movies try to do, I think, when you--when you try to do a television movie, you can't do everything, certainly. And what happens, and your mother said this to me when I talked to her in prison, is--is that people forget that we're talking about years here when in fact it's capsulized in a two-hour movie. So some things are different. But do you think the movies have depicted the essence of the truth of who your mother is? KIM: They have the storyline right. I mean, that's what happened. But no details are right, and the emotions aren't really there. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: I guess you can't really portray that in a two-hour thing. WINFREY: Because how would they--they will never--they will never be able to portray how you were really feeling. KIM: Right. WINFREY: Yes. KIM: There's just a lot more to it. So it has to be compiled all into one thing. WINFREY: You both watched the interview that I did with your mother in prison. You saw that interview yesterday. And what did--what were your impressions of that, Dan? DAN: I thought my mom did a pretty good job with not going over the edge like she normally does... WINFREY: Uh-huh. DAN: ...in conversations that she has with people about that subject. But there were a few parts that I don't like about what she said and things where she sort of exaggerated or just didn't tell everything. But other than that, I think she did a pretty good job. WINFREY: Uh-huh. Do you--did it make you want to--'cause you all haven't seen her since she went to prison? KIM: Right. DAN: Right. WINFREY: You have not seen her. DAN: We saw--we saw her in jail. Or we saw her in the courtroom... WINFREY: Mm-hmm. DAN: ...like when she was in the jail. But we didn't see her since she moved up north. WINFREY: To the prison. Yeah. And so does--did it make you--seeing her on tape, did it make you want to see her? KIM: Well, we plan on going up there. I was supposed to be there two weeks ago and it just didn't work out. We're all going to go some time over the holidays. WINFREY: Mm-hmm.

KIM: We haven't figured the day out yet. It's not that we didn't want to go there. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: It just hasn't really worked out. There's not--we're not really dying to go there, but... WINFREY: Yeah. What bothers you most about how your mother KIM: We haven't figured the day out yet. It's not that we didn't want to go there. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: It just hasn't really worked out. There's not--we're not really dying to go there, but... WINFREY: Yeah. What bothers you most about how your mother has handled this? And I'm not talking about the murder itself, because I know, of course, you're devastated that your mother killed your father. But what bothers you most about how the way she is now? KIM: Well, for a long time she had to defend herself because she was at trial and I understand that she had to tell this story over and over. But now it's all over with. I wish she could just tell us herself what really happened because it doesn't make any sense to me. When you were talking to her, she says, `I had this intention and somewhere it changed.' I just don't understand if she had the intention of killing herself--not that I wanted her to kill herself, but where that changed to killing Dad and Linda. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: I don't understand where that--how that occurred. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: And I don't understand how--she did tell me that she--that she emptied the gun. So she knew she emptied the gun. WINFREY: Because you are the daughter that she called? KIM: No. WINFREY: Uh-huh. KIM: She called me after. She went to my sister's house. I was in Arizona at the time. WINFREY: Uh-huh. Mm-hmm. KIM: She called me from there and told me that. WINFREY: That she emptied the gun? KIM: Right. She didn't know if she'd shot them. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: So she did know she emptied the gun. She wasn't--she wasn't oblivious to the fact that it went off. WINFREY: Well, what did she say? Did she say, `I had to do it.' Or--or... KIM: Yeah, she said that it was going to be one of--`one of us, and that it was either him or me. So... WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: `So I've made that choice.' And I do think it was a choice. WINFREY: You think that she deliberately killed them? KIM: Yeah. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. Do you think that--I read and I don't know if it's true or not, that she had threatened many other times that she would kill your father. Had she, Dan? Had you heard her say she was going to kill him? DAN: Yeah. Many times, but I never believed her. You know, she--she--I knew she had a gun, and she said, `This is what I'm going to use to kill your father and Linda.' DAN: And I just--usually she--she just said--said Linda. But I never thought that it would really happen. She said both, and a few times she--she actually had the gun when my dad was around and kind of made me feel real uncomfortable, as you can imagine. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. DAN: But--I don't know. She--I--I knew she had the intentions to, but I never thought she had the guts to do it. WINFREY: Never thought she had the guts to do it. OK. So during this whole time, did you realize how unhappy your mother was? KIM: Yeah. DAN: Yeah. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: She was very verbal about that. WINFREY: Very verbal about that. KIM: Right. WINFREY: Because it was Danny she was talking to when--that we heard on the tape. You were about 10 years old then when you were saying... DAN: Right. WINFREY: ...could you just stop calling him names. DAN: Mm-hmm. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. DAN: 'Cause my dad was telling--telling my brother and I that we could not go and live with my mom because of the--the message she left on the machine that said bad things about him and Linda. And so I--I mean, I just finally told her that that's what she needs to stop doing. But she didn't believe me. WINFREY: Uh-huh. DAN: And didn't think I--I should be telling her what to do. WINFREY: It was Dan's sister who wrote us a letter, your aunt, and said that the problem was that your mother, when she realized she could not have your father anymore, that she didn't want anybody to have him. Is that--is that what you believe to be true? DAN: That's what I said in that conversation. I'm--I--I always thought my mom was just jealous because Linda had--you know, had my dad and everything, and that she had money and whatever. And she--the stuff--things that she used to have. And so that's what I was saying in that conversation with her. And-- and just--I was telling her to knock it off and move on. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. But she said in the interview with me, as you heard her say, she was never jealous of Linda. DAN: Right. WINFREY: Do you believe that? KIM: No. WINFREY: No? DAN: No. KIM: No. Well--no. She's definitely jealous. She--she was saying--she named off all things with you. WINFREY: Uh-huh. KIM: Oh, I--I I didn't want her intelligence and I didn't want her looks and I didn't want this and I didn't want that. But she did want Dad. She obviously wanted something that she had because she says that Linda stepped into her life. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: So I think she was jealous that she thought that Linda had her life.

WINFREY: OK. Well, throughout this ordeal, Betty has claimed that her ex-husband stole her children. And when we come back, Kim and Dan remember how their mom had dumped them on their father's doorstep. WINFREY: OK. Well, throughout this ordeal, Betty has claimed that her ex-husband stole her children. And when we come back, Kim and Dan remember how their mom had dumped them on their father's doorstep. Ms. BRODERICK: I couldn't get my children. The homes were in his name. WINFREY: Just last week, I went to the prison in California where Betty Broderick will potentially be spending the rest of her life. Her children haven't been there to see their mother. WINFREY: And while I was there, she asked us if she could show her children a small glimpse of what her new home looks like. WINFREY: Your children haven't been here? Ms. BRODERICK: No. WINFREY: No. Ms. BRODERICK: It's very--it's very difficult to get from San Diego to here. It's either an 8- to 10-hour dangerous drive, two plane flights and a rental car and a hotel. They're all working minimum-wage jobs, trying to pay the rent. They have no supervising adult down in San Diego. So it's--it's too costly and it's too hard for them to get here. So I'd rather be at the Southern California Women's Prison. WINFREY: Too costly and too hard or too painful? Ms. BRODERICK: Well, there--I'm showing you this place for my kids. This is--if they want to see where I am, this is where I am. I'm ok. This is it. WINFREY: We're talking to Betty and Dan Broderick's children today. You say, Kim, your mom--you remember being dropped off alone on your father's doorstep? KIM: Yeah. WINFREY: Mm-hmm? KIM: It was on Easter. And we had gotten in an argument. We went up to this ranch we used to go to. And I asked her to drive my friend home and she said that all I do is take, take, take. So she told me to pack up and she helped me. And so did the rest of the kids. And then she just took me to Dad's house. He wasn't even... WINFREY: And dropped you off? KIM: Yeah. He wasn't even home. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: And it was a house that was under construction, so it didn't have any furniture or anything. But I was only there by myself for a little while, and then Danny came over--I mean, for a couple of days, and then she dropped Danny off, too. WINFREY: Because, didn't she drop you all off one by one? KIM: It was me, and then Danny and then Lee and Rhett. WINFREY: OK. Well, this is difficult for us to understand because Betty has told the world and also told me that she--she wanted you all, she wanted you so much and that your father stole you. KIM: No, he didn't steal us at all. At all. He didn't even want us, I don't think. I mean, that didn't even occur to him. And then once he got us... WINFREY: That he would be having custody? KIM: Right. And once he got us, then he arranged his life around it, and it worked out. I thought--I think Mom thought that it was going to be a total disaster and that--then we'd all see that we needed her. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: And that we can't do it without her. And so, basically, she just used us as pawns and took us over there to... WINFREY: Your mom told me... KIM: ...screw up Dad. WINFREY: ...that your dad was able to get sole custody of the children. And I think we'll probably see her say that later on in the show. But she said that he was able to get sole custody of you guys without her having anything to do with it, and that he was able to do it because of his power as an attorney and head of the Bar Association and so forth. WINFREY: Is that true? KIM: No. He was--he was able to do that. He did get sole custody. But she did get visitation. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: It was--but it wasn't because of Dad's powers, because Mom was doing crazy things. That's because of her behavior that he got sole custody because they thought that she wasn't fit to be around us. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: So it was--I don't--I don't think Dad had any problem with us visiting with Mom in the beginning. It was after she would come over and spray-paint the house and break things and carry on, that then he changed his mind about that. WINFREY: This was going on for quite a while. 'Cause I know--I would like to hear that full tape of your Mom's conversation. Because many times I've said on this show and we've done this sh--shows about this, children of divorce, children who were caught in the middle. Did you feel, Dan, that you were, at the time that this tape that we're going to air for you all right now, did you feel that you were caught in the middle? DAN: Well, then I didn't. But--but now I sort of look back and think I--I was. But it didn't--didn't bother me. I kind of liked, like, knowing what was going on with my mom--mom and my dad. Knowing both sides of the story... WINFREY: Mm-hmm. DAN: ...even though they--a lot of times used me to--to get back at the other one or to tell the other one something, you know. WINFREY: Do you feel your dad was using you, too? DAN: No. Not really. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. DAN: My mom--my mom sort of used the kids. I don't--I don't think she did it intentionally to hurt us. I mean, but she--I think she unintentionally did it. KIM: I think it was intentional to hurt Dad and it just happened that we were... WINFREY: In the middle. KIM: Right. WINFREY: Let's hear the tape. Ms. BRODERICK: He's scum, Danny. He's absolute scum. He has cheated and lied and (expletive spoken) around. There's nothing... DANNY: Don't you think being mad for two years is enough, though, Mom? BRODERICK: We had the best family in the whole world. We were all so happy. All the kids and me were so happy. And he was just... DANNY: I know. Well, we would be a lot happier if you'd just stop saying bad words. BRODERICK: Well, you tell that slime ball... DANNY: See what I mean, Mom. You're saying it right now. You better stop! WINFREY: And so that sounds like you felt like you were caught in the middle, trying to--because you still had great--you loved your mom still. DAN: I wanted to stay with her; I wanted to move in with her. And she made--she made me and my brother think that we couldn't do that because my dad wouldn't let us. And--and now I know that it was because the courts wouldn't let us. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. DAN: And I don't--I don't know what went on in the courtrooms that made them decide that. But my dad said it was because she used bad words. WINFREY: Do you think that your mom--you think that your mom was unstable? DAN: No. Not--at times she sort of--she sort of acted out--out of control, but I thought that if we moved in with her that everything would be better and she--she'd be happier. And--and my brother and I would be happier. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. DAN: But we never got the chance to figure that out. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. And how have you handled, Dan--how have you, too, Kim--handled the fact that your mother killed your father? Because now you--you--you both are left with no parents. KIM: I don't know how you'd handle it. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: You just have to. You really don't have a choice. It's--she just seems to think that we're better off. She still thinks we're better off. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: And that's definitely untrue. WINFREY: Does it bother you--bother the two of you, because I spent a lot of time with your mom, and I talked to her for quite a while. And the thing that really surprised me the most was her--she doesn't seem to have any remorse about this. Not only doesn't seem, she told us she doesn't have any remorse about this. And that's still surprising to me and I don't know if that's--is that upsetting to you, that she doesn't seem to be remorseful? KIM: Very upsetting. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: I understand if she doesn't feel bad about killing Dad. If she could feel remorse about leaving us parentless or at least feel bad about the situation we're all in now. But she doesn't. WINFREY: Because what situation are you all--you all are living with different people, right? KIM: Right. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: We're all living with di--we're just--we just got gypped out of the nice life that we could have had. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. KIM: And she doesn't feel bad for being the cause of that. WINFREY: Mm-hmm. What do you think, Dan? DAN: I think that--that she sort of does feel bad for it, but she doesn't want to admit it because she knows that--that we're all going through hard times and everything. And it's hard without her being there and without my dad being there. But she--she--if she admits to that, I think she'll feel like my dad won because--you know, won the overall war between them. Because she feels bad for doing what she did. WINFREY: Hmm.

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