Is Angelina Jolie Addicted to Adoption?

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 11, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Factor Follow-up" segment tonight, two items of psychology: Eliot Spitzer — we discussed that a little bit earlier — and Angelina Jolie, the actress, as far as her multiple adoptions are concerned.

As you may know, she and her boyfriend, Brad Pitt, have adopted three foreign-born children, and Ms. Jolie is expecting her second biological child. It might be twins, they say.

According to an online article by ABC News, some psychologists are skeptical about multiple adoptions, saying they may fulfill an emotional need. But is that fair?

With us now to talk about that and the Spitzer deal, Cooper Lawrence, a psychologist and author of the book, "The Cult of Perfection: Make Peace With Your Inner Overachiever," and Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist and contributing editor of Cookie magazine. That is a parental concern.

All right. Robi, we'll begin with you. The Angelina Jolie thing makes me a little queasy because I do believe that she and Brad Pitt are doing a good thing, adopting these poor children from the third world. And this was on ABC News, and to say, well, her motivation is she's screwed up herself, I don't think that's fair.

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: It may not be fair, but there is this sense that there's a compulsive quality about having so many children quickly together. I mean, it doesn't mean that she's doing a bad thing, but sometimes women who do this, they're trying to fill a void.

O'REILLY: But isn't that judgmental? I mean, why are we judging people who have a lot of kids quickly?

LUDWIG: I think the concern is how can you really be available emotionally to so many children at the same time?

O'REILLY: Irish families, you know, they work, you know. I think it's a legitimate concern, but is it any of our business?

LUDWIG: It might not be. But since she's a public figure we're going to look at what she does. And listen, hopefully, everything will turn out right.

But in some cases, when you have kids for the wrong reasons, then the kids end up bearing the scars. They feel that they're basically on this planet not for who they are, but to please their parents or to please their mothers.

O'REILLY: Like they're ornaments or trophies or something.

LUDWIG: Right. It's their job to fix the parent.

O'REILLY: I can see the danger. But the intrusion bothers me.

What do you say on this, Lawrence?

COOPER LAWRENCE, PSYCHOLOGIST: I agree with Robi. It's the idea that, you know, maybe it isn't our business, but we have to be advocates for children at all costs, no matter who the person is we're talking about. And we are talking about somebody that has traditionally been filling voids in her life: with cutting, with depression, with drugs, with sex. She's been very notorious about it. So now it's just children. So we have to think...

O'REILLY: So because of her background in the tabloids and some, I guess, incriminating statements and crazy behavior with Billy Bob Thornton, or whatever she was doing, you say that we have to be skeptical about her new life?

LAWRENCE: She's admitted to it. It's not tabloid fodder.

O'REILLY: But that's old, old stuff. Everybody's stupid in their youth, right?

LAWRENCE: It wasn't that long ago. That's the concern.

O'REILLY: All right.

LAWRENCE: And all of a sudden...

O'REILLY: Don't you think it's intrusive though to make these kinds of statements and judgments about people we don't know? Because we don't know this woman.

LAWRENCE: No, because the lesson is not about Angelina Jolie. It's for somebody else who's in your life that you may be looking at, that you think may be having the same pathology.

O'REILLY: But ABC News was pretty specific about her.

LAWRENCE: Well, I don't work for ABC News.

O'REILLY: OK, but that's what I'm saying. I think the topic is worthy of discussion, and that's why we're discussing it tonight.

LUDWIG: Right.

O'REILLY: But I think it's intrusive when they're, you know, to be judging people we don't know, based upon what they did in their past or their tabloid shenanigans.

LUDWIG: But that's the reality of life. Everyone...

O'REILLY: I've got — Robi, I do this everyday for a living. I've got the reality of life. Trust me. And I'm talking about it.

You heard my discussion with the counselor earlier and, you know, when I saw the Spitzer thing, right off the jump — and I'm not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, and I don't really care about that. I've never even gone to one, all right? So I don't know what you guys do. But this doesn't make any sense in a rational way, and I'm a rational thinker. This guy did this to punish himself. I am 100 percent convinced of that. What say you?

LUDWIG: Well, absolutely. I mean, that's an aspect of it. He's very self-defeating. And sometimes when people feel guilty about an impulse that they have, that they feel is wrong, they take it to such an extreme that they make sure they get themselves punished. So I think that's an aspect of it.

O'REILLY: Isn't that self-destructive behavior?

LUDWIG: It is, but I also think that there's an element of grandiosity, of magical thinking so that they somehow embrace that, you know, since they're in this privileged, powerful position, they can do something that other people can't.

O'REILLY: Then the guy would have missed the whole Bill Clinton thing. I mean, it just doesn't make sense to me.

Ms. Lawrence, there is a narcissistic personality, and I don't think many people understand what that is. Define that for us.

LAWRENCE: Narcissism is somebody who sees themselves in a grandiose way. They have very little empathy for other people. The rules don't apply to them. They have a sense of entitlement that goes beyond anything that...

O'REILLY: So they can do whatever they want any time they want.

LAWRENCE: The rules do not apply. And you can put out a whole bunch of evidence of things that have come before him.

O'REILLY: But those people always self-destruct, do they not?

LAWRENCE: Always. Most — yes, a majority of the time they do.

O'REILLY: OK. Now...

LUDWIG: ...entitlement.

O'REILLY: ...I named it the John Belushi syndrome. John Belushi, as we all know, a very successful comedian and a drug addict, but a drug addict with a death wish. You don't load up a syringe with what he loaded up with unless you want to die.

Now Belushi had everything to live for. A nice wife, a great career, adulation all over the place. Yet, he couldn't handle it for some inner reason, and he wanted to check out. That's what happened to that man, and I'm saying that's what happened to Spitzer.

LUDWIG: I think it's a component. It's not the only component. It sounds like he felt he should be able to get away with it.

O'REILLY: Who are you talking about now?

LUDWIG: Eliot Spitzer.


LUDWIG: It sounds like he felt entitled to have sex with these...

O'REILLY: How could he possible feel he could get away with it...

LUDWIG: Because he did for a long time.

O'REILLY: ...when you're staring at criminals in the face? We don't know that. We know he did it a number of times. But you're staring at criminals in the face.


O'REILLY: OK? This is a guy who prosecutes criminals. He knows who they are. He knows if they get in any trouble, the first name they're going to throw out is Eliot Spitzer. OK? He knows that.

LUDWIG: Maybe he's sex addicted, too. I mean, for all we know…

LAWRENCE: That's narcissism. You're describing narcissism right there. With all the evidence in front of him, it makes no difference. He's going to behave — he's special.

LUDWIG: When you're a narcissist...

O'REILLY: I'm not buying this special thing. I think this guy — no, really, I'm not buying that. I'm not buying it at all.

LUDWIG: Really?

O'REILLY: I think this guy hates himself. I think he hates himself.

LUDWIG: Why can't you think you're special and hate yourself, too?

O'REILLY: Because it's two conflicting emotions.

LUDWIG: Well, lots of people have conflicting emotions.

O'REILLY: The grandiosity is somebody who really thinks that, hey, I'm here, and I'm better than everybody else.

LUDWIG: That's a part of it.

O'REILLY: This guy had self-loathing.


O'REILLY: He wanted to destruct, to destroy his life, and this was a vehicle that allowed him to do that.

LUDWIG: That's a part of it. But it's not the only part.

LAWRENCE: That's not the only part of it, yes.

LUDWIG: Don't you agree? You can be grandiose. You can have both feelings.


LUDWIG: Psych 101.

LAWRENCE: Psych 201. Unrestricted living.

O'REILLY: Unrestricted living.

LUDWIG: Unrestricted living.

O'REILLY: Is that, like, all inclusive in a resort, unrestricted living?

LUDWIG: I mean, the grandiosity sometimes is a reaction to the self- loathing.

O'REILLY: All right. You're way behind me.

LUDWIG: All right.

O'REILLY: All right. I mean, I've left the building. That's why I could never...

LUDWIG: We agree with you halfway.

O'REILLY: I always got C's in psychology. This guy wanted to wreck his career. That I know.

Ladies, thanks very much.

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