Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchison’s appearance on Monday’s Access Hollywood Live had tensions running high and “Couples Therapy’s” Dr. Jenn Berman returned on Tuesday to discuss the controversial couple.
While talking about how they met and began dating with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover, Courtney and Doug said they began chatting online after meeting through a mutual friend. Billy raised concerns that some might label Doug a “pedophile and pervert,” after learning about the origin of their relationship.
However, Dr. Berman – who has worked with the couple through VH1’s “Couples Therapy” — stressed that she does not believe that the actor is, or was, seeking out young people.
“He’s not a predator. He’s not someone, who if Courtney left him, would be trolling the Internet or high schools for underage girls. That’s not his m.o.,” she told Billy and Kit. “This is not a guy who was seeking out teenagers.”
The “Couples Therapy” host further explained how Doug and Courtney got to know one another.
“He was teaching a class, she wanted to be an actress, it was an acting class… And that’s how it started,” she said.
Berman explained that she initially had serious hesitations about working with the headline-making pair.
“I believe it was the wrong decision to let a 16-year-old marry a man in his 50s,” she said of Doug and Courtney, he was 51 and she was 16 when they first wed. “It’s uncomfortable to see… [at first] I said to my producer, ‘I think this guys is a pedophile…I don’t know if I can work with these people.’ I don’t condone it, but I do see that this is a married couple that is genuinely married and they have marital issues that needed to be worked on.”
According to Dr. Berman, Courtney’s mom – Krista Keller – said Doug has been nothing but kind to her daughter.
”[Her mother told me,]‘This man was kind, he was gentle, he was nurturing to my daughter,’” she recalled.
After working with the pair for three weeks, Berman was surprised by the dynamic between Doug anode Courtney and thinks audiences will be too.
“I came in saying, ‘She’s a victim, he’s a predator.’ What I found out was that she has a lot more power in this relationship and he is far more powerless than I expected,” she told Billy and Kit. “His family has completely disowned him… He unfortunately has nothing besides her.”
Check out Courtney and Doug as they work through their relationship issues with Dr. Berman on “Couples Therapy,” Wednesdays at 10 PM on VH1.
-- Jesse Spero