Romina, 18, sparked outrage when she published a video online in which she tells her social media fans — and five million other viewers: “If your boyfriend hits you or beats you up, stay with him. He loves you, because he’s risking for you to press charges on him, calling the police — a guy that’s willing to do that for a girl, that’s amazing.” The teen says she considers herself a role model to her more than 153,000 Facebook followers, but she says she has suffered backlash and feels misunderstood.
Dr. Phil questions Romina’s reasoning about her controversial statement. “Your theory is that because they’re willing to put themselves at risk of going to jail, paying fines, whatever, that you must mean an awful lot to them, or they wouldn’t put themselves in harm’s way for you?” he asks her in the video above. “And therefore, you must really be loved?”
“Exactly,” she replies. “Not anyone is just going to go to jail for you … You know, they’re investing time and money, and it’s just a lot. So, like, he must really care.”
“Do you really believe that, or are you just goofing on everybody?” Dr. Phil asks the teen.
“I really do believe that,” she says.
Dr. Phil tells Romina that he normally would not share her story on his show because her logic is so flawed, but because the video has millions of views, he wants to make sure her followers hear his message too. “I am very concerned that the idiotic message that you’re putting out there could cause an innocent young girl to put herself in harm’s way following that logic and get herself hurt,” he says. “I think what you’re saying is irresponsible. I think it is ridiculous. Somebody needs to tell you straight up what’s wrong with what you’re saying.”
On Dr. Phil Friday, a woman who says an abusive partner doused her with gasoline and set her on fire when she was 19 has a message for Romina. And, find out the nine warning signs that you’re in an abusive relationship. Click here to see more from this episode.