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April 9, 2009

TONIGHT: Michael Phelps' Mom

Posted: 03:57 PM ET

NBC gave her almost as much air time as her son last summer.  He was swimming his way to 8 gold medals in the Olympics, she was soaking it all in as the justifiably proud parent.

But since then, things haven't been so easy for Michael Phelps.  We'll ask his mom Debbie tonight about Michael's problems, including his most recent reported incident involving Grey Goose and "Paper Planes."

Also, we'd like to hear from you:

Do you think Michael Phelps is just acting his age, or acting irresponsibly?

Leave your comments below, and be sure to watch tonight.

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Terry, TX   April 9th, 2009 4:43 pm ET

Acting irresponsibly.....he did it ....he's guilty....he will take his consequences as he should....it's a non subject now...if he has additional drug and alcohol issues....god bless him because all his medals that he has earned won't mean squat. Momma is just on your show to sell her book.


Joe G. (Illinois)   April 9th, 2009 5:36 pm ET

People go as far as calling Obama a Fantasy Hero.. But with all his high rated public speeches and fan fairs aside, he still gets nothing done.. Moral of the story?!!


JIM CARROLL INTERNET FREE PRESS   April 9th, 2009 7:23 pm ET

Since advertising is the life blood of newspapers, radio, and TV; taking Phelps off of a cereal box for smoking pot while leaving Rush Limbaugh on air talking bull is unfair. The way to get rid of people like Rush and his kind off of the air is to go after their advertisers. For more go to the internetfreepress.


Diane   April 9th, 2009 8:47 pm ET

Michael Phelps is a phenomenal athelte. He carried himself during the olympics with every bit of grace and stature as could be expected from one person.

As for his so called media frenzied episodes of whatever, I think THATS the shameful part. There are young people out there, killing, raping, robbing, and doing all sorts of horrible things to other human beings. Michael Phelps worked very hard to accomplish some very impressive accolades. What is the big deal, for him to want to relax a bit and have some fun. The fact that you cant hiccup these days without cell phone cameras captureing every detail of a life, from the most mundane to the most explicit is not Michaels fault, its societies.

So he smoked some weed, big whoop! Find me 100 Americans from age 18-80 and I bet you wont find 20 that havent, at one time or another. Its really high time this country grew up about marijuana in general.

Give the kid a break, and let him enjoy his life...

Diane
58 years YOUNG
Orlando, FL


Evan   April 9th, 2009 9:09 pm ET

Michael,

I have been a huge fan of yours my whole life. You are a wonderful individual that I admire a great deal. I applaud the Obama admin for passing stem cell research.


Pete Ferrari   April 9th, 2009 9:09 pm ET

Mike, you are my clean-up hitter. Come to Pittsburgh sometime


Jane   April 9th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

Yes, he is acting his age. But, he needs to be more repsonsible. He is supposed to be a role model, someone that people are supposed to look up to. Right now, he just doesn't fit the picture.

Michael, get your act together


Lisa   April 9th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

Reversing the stem cell bill that Bush put into place is a move by Obama
to assist the cure for this terrible disease. I hope its a cause that Micheal
will benefit from.


rolando   April 9th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

You are an example to all of us


DeeCANADIAN   April 9th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

to bad he is suppose to be some role mode..l....lost all my respect....big deal a pothead won some medals


Isabelle Allen   April 9th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Michael,
You are an inspiration for my husband who was diagnosed with Parkinsons 25 years ago. He enjoys your interviews, books and your positive attitude. His positive attitude has kept him going. It is only the last 5 years that he has had to submit to a wheelchair but still enjoys music and watercolor painting.
Keep up your good work!!!
We love you.
Isabelle


Jeanne Masching   April 9th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Michael,
You have handled Parkinson's Disease head on with the grace of a swan. Your courage to speak openly about it has helped so many.
You are a man to be greatly admired!! I wish you and yours nothing but the best in the future.


sean Little   April 9th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Larry King,
Thank you for interviewing Michael J. Fox. He's an inspiration to us all who have suffered from cronic iLLINESSES. My grandfather suffered from Parkinson's disease for 20 plus years. It was devasting to all who loved him. Michael, my Grandfather always enjoyed watching you on T.V. he thought you are a great Actor. I agree, and thank you for sharing with America your battle and efforts to rally legislation for stem cell research. Your positive attiitude is a gift to us all.


T   April 9th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

It always amazes me how nasty people are. People who are in no position to pass judgement. This is why the world is in such bad shape. Can't we let people live their lives and make their mistakes? I don't see why this was such a big deal. He didn't hurt anyone, and he's certainly not the only person in the world to do it. At least he had the guts to take responsibility for it and not deny it was him. Let that be the lesson in this, how you can make a mistake and how you should behave when you do. Everyone needs to spend time focusing on what's going on in their own household and not with someone they don't even know.


Eddie   April 9th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

He smoked marijuana. So what? Get over it already.
Marijuana is NOT harmful in any way!


Lisa   April 9th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Michael's just growing up, a speed bump on that journey.


James Greene   April 9th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

He's not acting. He's reacting, to the twisted values American kids are subjected to as they struggle to become adults.


Dee   April 9th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

a bong picture? mom you are in denial 😉


Joan   April 9th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

A mom in true denial!


Forrest Aldrich   April 9th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Regarding Michael Phelps' partying experiences. He's a young man. Young men have these experiences socially, it's normal and healthy within certain limits. True he's a public figure and under more scrutiny than most, but I say let him be and grow on his own terms. Debbie really sounds like she understands this concept, and is probably a very awesome mom to have.


Chandra   April 9th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

I think now we know what part of Michael's problem is. His mother is a blinded enabler. If she was principal at my children's school, I would be very concerned about this interview and what it shows about her honesty and judgment.


Kelly S.   April 9th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

He might have acted irresponsibly, and yes he is supposed to be a role model, but give him a break! He is only human!


Betty   April 9th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

His mother is spinning like crazy! She is irritating, just answer Larrys questions Mother!


Craig   April 9th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

As a role model YES he should be responsible for his actions.. sounds like his mother is in denial about it all


maria pena   April 9th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

It seems to me that Michael is self-medicating – when he is not in constant training, the focus and control is lost, the ADHD symptoms kick in and because of this disability the body craves what it is not getting – he needs to be evaluated by a medical doctor or psychiatrist for medication to control the ADHD symptoms when he is not in training, and guaranteed, the moments where there is lack of judgement will lessen considerably... He should start with Dr. Daniel Amen's book "Healing ADD."


Marlene   April 9th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

Larry,

Michael Phelps is a kid. He's going to do the same dumb things most of us did. That includes drinking a lot, being loud and other things.

What is the big deal?


Jill   April 9th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

We all get out of control and have a good time in our early 20's. But he needs to be a roll model to our younger generation. His private life is always going to be under the public eye.


Judee   April 9th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

I can understand as a mother, to back up your child. But I am a teacher, middle school, and I worry about your rationale. Would you want the students to come to you in trouble and sidestep the issues by saying that we all go through different things it is part of life. Students need to be accountable. More issues arise in the middle schools than the high schools. I feel these students are sliding through this issues without consequences. Once your child is in the public eye, all that he does will become public.


Ellen   April 9th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

I say give the guy and his Mom a break. He's an absolutely amazing athlete! What he does in his personal life should be his own business.


Anna   April 9th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

He's a kid, not a superhero. Cut him some slack and let him be a kid.


Ewan   April 9th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

Michael is a role model, however I think what we must understand is that is also young. Are we not allowed to make mistakes. Allow him to grow up mistakes and all. We have all made mistakes.


Spud   April 9th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

Michael has no more responsibility to society to act as a role model than anyone else.

He has a right to live his life as he sees fit.


Maral Farra   April 9th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

All the family loves him and what he has accomplished with his training. There are speed bumps on the way to stardom that you have to be careful not to ruin your achievements in life.


angie   April 9th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

he's 23 let him be young. we all grow out of it.


Zach   April 9th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

he is a fast swimmer


Jase   April 9th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

What does age have to do with it? Marijuana users should not be criticized the way they are.


todd   April 9th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

This lady should be a politician skating around every question. Stick up for your boy and his love for herbs lady. He wont.


mit   April 9th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Micheal Phelps gave up a lot of his youth to get to the Olympics. He may be going a little over the top, but you don't want to know what your doctor or dentist did in college and grad school.


Deb Parks   April 9th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

OMG !! Why don't they leave Michael alone ?? Obviously, his recreations dont affect his performance


Ray   April 9th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

I'm a Family Therapist, and often wonder why parents, including Mrs. Phelps, seem to value defending their children's behavior rather than openly holding them accountable. In reality, the position she is exhibiting hinders his becoming responsible for his immature behavior.


Eleanor   April 9th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

I think Michael Phelps is an outstanding individual and outstanding athlete
For Gods sake this young man is young who has spent years training and competing ..let him go out and enjoy himself like any other young person his age without judging him
He deserves a few good times in my opinion!!!
He brought the US home 8 medals and he was in pretty good standing then
How soon you forget ..shameful
hes human he will make mistakes in his life
Be proud of his accpmplisments and be adult enough to get past the trivial gossip
Good Luck Michael you deserve it bud
A fan from Canada


bryce   April 9th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

michael phelps' name, in my opinion, has not been tarnished one bit.
so the guy smoked a little pot, so has the majority of US citizens.

so the guy went out to a club and got a little schwilly...he's in his 20s!

leave the guy alone, he trained his behind off to win all those medals.
he deserves a little R and R...besides, he doesn't have to go back to work for four more years.


Amy   April 9th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

I understand Debbie Phelps wanting to defend her son, but calling his mistakes "obstacles" instead of what they are–choices and mistakes makes me wonder if she's just very PR-savvy or if she just looks at her son through rose-colored glasses.

Oh heavens, she need to stop calling them "obstacles"! They were mistakes!


Doug   April 9th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

Michael is a man just like everybody else. You see him as a Human being and not as a swimmer. He is a normal person with normal problems.


Brian   April 9th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

He is your Olympic hero, leave him alone


Bryn   April 9th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

Why is this Phelps mother in denial? It is obvious she is attempting to make money from her sons fame.


kathi sexton   April 9th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

who cares about the bong incident-there aren't many college kids who haven't tried it so move on. there are worse things like kids w/guns, crystal meth, etc. he won his 8 medals & deserves to be recognized for that. it's not like he's a big druggie or crook or killer!


John Blanchard   April 9th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

I am not the least bit interested in anything Mrs. Phelps has to say. I can't imagine many buying her book, but who knows. Just another attempt to cash in on her son. Doesn't she work at a elementary school? You would think the bong picture would be humiliating to her. Guess I'm wrong.


Kirsty Lieberman   April 9th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

Michael Phelps did our country proud at the Olympics. He has worked hard, trained hard, loves his mom...cut him some slack...he is 23 years old for god sakes. Many of our president's have admitted to taking drugs and imbibing from time to time in their youth...why has this kid been stigmatized for acting his age. He is a spectacular kid. This is normal 23- yr. old behavior.


Kait   April 9th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Stop blowing this one little incident out of proportion. What's done is done. You live, you learn, you move on.


James   April 9th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Phelps is a criminal and should be stripped of his medals and thrown in jail. If this was a "regular" Joe, he would be in prison right now. Nobody is above the law.


Marga Hubbard   April 9th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

We love Michael and admire you as his mother. Every young person does something he or she would rather not see in a newspaper, but if you are famous like Michael, you have no private life.


William A. Koury   April 9th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

Debi Phelps blew her credibility tonight. Her appearance should not have warranted Larry's promotion of her book.

She says she does not pay attention to gossip! She speaks to her son everyday. The lead in was: Is there a scandel?

Was her son there or not there?
Was he partying or did he sit in a corner?

From those two answers, she could have maintained her credibility, She failed miserably. She could have answered affirmatively to her son being there and partying. She could have distanced the "exaggeration" of the article to keep her credibility.

AC Anderson looks now like a jerk...pandering to a mother just because he swam a length of the pool with her son. T.V. is good but sometimes these producers blow it big time in what they "think is good T.V. Thanks!


valerie brunson (:   April 9th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

i am a nurse! if it wasn't for marajuana i would be dead due to suicide.legalize it already !


Trish   April 9th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

Unfortunately Michael did not experience his teen years like most kids and was around people who were not advising him correctly after the 2004 Olympics. He regrouped and rededicated himself to swimming. He is now an adult and is allowing himself to experience life. As the mother of 2 swimmers who do look up to Michael, I would hope he would be a bit more responsible in public. Regardless, we respect his right to make his own choices and I use this as an opportunity to talk to my kids about the issues. Michael is a supurb athlete and that will never be disputed. The media needs to back off and give him room to grow!


bill   April 9th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

stop crucifying him for smoking a little pot, how many of your kids or friends and neighbors did the same or yourself did the same thing


kathi sexton   April 9th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

i do agree michael admitted smoking pot so mom being a principal? should acknowledge instead of skirting the issue-don't believe in tabloids or gossip-this isn't gossip-there was a picture-saying pictures say alot-well yeah he was smoking a bong!


John Blanchard   April 9th, 2009 10:06 pm ET

Absolutely irresponsible. And I have a sneaking suspicion mama Phelps has been well aware for a long time.


Jay   April 9th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

All of the people saying things like:
"give him a break"
"get over it"
"it's no big deal"
"he's just being young"

In this great nation of ours:
Marijuana is a drug
drugs are illegal
using / possessing drugs is a crime
Committing a crime / breaking the law makes you a criminal.

I am sick of the media defending him and giving him a free pass because he is famous. He committed a crime and should have to pay the piper just as any of us would if we broke the law.


John Blanchard   April 9th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

I'd pull all his endorsements and send him home.


Joan   April 9th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

Mrs. Phelps is enabling her son and is not accepting that her son is making poor decisions. As a representative of the U.S., Olympics, Michael does have a higher standard to meet.


Bierman   April 9th, 2009 10:14 pm ET

It's disgusting how we condemn Phelps for indulging in a natural substance far more innocuous than a fast food diet, liquor, and the kind of prescription drugs (emphasis on DRUGS) that killed Heath Ledger. Shame. On. Us.


George   April 9th, 2009 10:20 pm ET

I believe that US biggest enemy is itself because it is in selfdestruct mode by criticizing or ridiculing our heros like Michael Phelps, or the President. This wonderful nation has evolved to feel comfortable to destroy the images of good people that have made mistakes. George W. Bush may have not been the best president but he is still a human being which deserves respect just like Michael Phelps and all this nation does is destroy at any cost their image


jack   April 9th, 2009 10:25 pm ET

Funny, many people die from over the counter medicines and nicotine every year. Why are you so upset about, a harmles herb, that has never killed anyone? Actually it is a valuable medicine that we should legalize and have freely available for a whole range of ailments. Please do a little study of the subject, rather than believing false.propaganda. You might be surprised at how much misinformation has been deseminated by special interests .


jack   April 9th, 2009 10:28 pm ET

It is laughable, that you would get upset over a photo of someone using a harmless herb, and that filtered through water. If that is the worst photo that anyone could have ever taken of you, I would nominate you for sainthood. lol


John   April 9th, 2009 10:30 pm ET

Phelps looked like a fool hunched over that bong. What a poor example for our young people. He's sucked in millions of dollars because he was born double jointed (literally).


jack   April 9th, 2009 10:38 pm ET

You can see how harmful the herb was for him. He won world championship and became rich and famous. Could he have done this had he been smoking tobacco heavily or if he were an alcoholic or meth-head....do your homework, it is a harmless , medicinal herb, and to make it out to be worse than what it is only proves people have not researched the herbal medicine, and have been brainwashed by media corporate-sponsored hype. Read different studies. Don't watch a dumb commercial that assumes you are an ignoramus and will swallow whatever kool-aid they give you to drink.


sue   April 9th, 2009 10:43 pm ET

debbie is a real winner! Shes going to ride his tail all
the way to jail. I know the lady and she is anything but
nice. Whats really amazing to me is tonight she showed
the world.


Jay   April 9th, 2009 10:46 pm ET

It may be "a harmless , medicinal herb" but in case you didn't know, that herb has not been legalized, therefore making it a crime to possess and or use said herb. Why do people have such an issue these days with accountability? If you break the law, there should be a consequence. You can't pick and choose which laws are OK to break and which aren't.


John   April 9th, 2009 10:48 pm ET

You'd probably like the photo on a box of Wheaties.


John, San Antonio, TX   April 9th, 2009 10:53 pm ET

I'm afraid I have no dog in this fight. Since I have never smoked after the one time my Aunt let me try her cigarette, I have no knowledge of the good or the bad of marijuana. Michael's mother is doing what most all mothers would do when their daughter or son is in trouble and that is taking his side. I found watching Michael in his race for his 8 medals inspiring and certainly entertaining. I have all the respect in the world for him and since most of our recent presidents have at least tried it some time in their lifetime, I cannot take away from Michael's accomplishments. As for his mother, you go girl, that is simply a mother's job.


John   April 9th, 2009 10:53 pm ET

Typical parent, these days.


sue   April 9th, 2009 10:59 pm ET

the best yet is michael was in town with the mama. They were
there together to promote the book. Debbie was snoozing
away while Michael was boozing away! This is a clasic picture,
mom wake up!!


John   April 9th, 2009 11:01 pm ET

All the leaves are brown Mama Cass; I mean, Mama Phelps.


Andre, Austin Texas   April 10th, 2009 12:21 am ET

Even if the story about Michael Phelps' partying in Manhattan is true, I don't understand why some people would treat this as a sinful act. After all, the guy is just 23 years old. I would frown on it only if he (or any young person) does that every night.

Having said that, I lost my respect for Debbie Phelps when she fudged about the incident of Michale Phelps inhaling through a bong. At least her son had more integrity than her on this issue. He readily admitted that it was a silly mistake.

Mrs Phelp, imagine this scenario: a student at your school smoking pot, got caught in a picture, and admitted to some people (such as reporters) . Now, if you, as a principle, confront the student about this, and he fudges the answer like you did ("A picture can say many things ..."), what would you do? Would you think this student is not honest? That's what I thought about you. Your lack of honesty on this has reduced your credibility as an educator. Learn from your son, admit the mistake and move on!


J. Frances   April 10th, 2009 12:22 am ET

Many of us were appalled at the hypocrisy displayed by Kellogg when the company severed ties to Michael Phelps after the pot smoking incident.... appalled because more children are harmed by the sugar laden cereals peddled by Kellogg than any potential negative fallout from Mr. Phelps' behavior could ever achieve.

Do you know the true cost of childhood obesity once Type II diabetes sets in, along with the myriad of ensuing health conditions such as fatty liver disease, kidney failure, blindness, loss of limbs, heart disease, etc.? Processed foods, such as those manufactured by Kellogg, are killing us in this country, starting with those sugary cereals consumed in childhood.

Many nutritionists and health care workers realize that sugar is a drug too, a drug that ultimately is more harmful than marijuana. It is akin to the nicotine purposely put in cigarettes in order to hook consumers - Kellogg and other manufacturers of processed foods do the same thing when they put so much sugar in their products - keeps us all coming back for more.


Dave of Detroit   April 10th, 2009 12:47 am ET

Larry, you really need to take this guy aside and explain to him how to deal with fame. Inform him that the Press and media is not his friend and that as a "Celeb" he will have to watch his back, front, side , top, and even be careful of long range photographers. Refer him to Paris Hiolton and Lindsay Lohann and others that have been through the grist mill. If all else fails, tell him to move to California, he won't even be noticed there!


Greg   April 10th, 2009 12:59 am ET

I dont see why this is even news... Dont you have anything better to report on? I mean with all the crime, muders rape, crack dealers the economy unemployment!!!!!! He is a man over 21 and allowed to drink, so why is this news??? I had a drink today also maybe you can have a show about me.

The media is a joke and this whole report is a joke report on some real news for a change


Kevin   April 10th, 2009 12:59 am ET

people need to relax, people from all walks of life party and smoke pot, let it go, it was a mistake in judgment on Micheal's part that it ended up being made public, let he who is without sin cast the first stone


Tristan   April 10th, 2009 1:02 am ET

Don't we have more important things to worry about? Most people have or will try it, just because hes famous doesn't mean it should be talked about so much


Barry Watts, Baton Rouge, LA   April 10th, 2009 1:08 am ET

Larry....I was really disappointed at how you grilled Michael Phelps' mother. Why don't you get Bernie Madoff's mother or the mothers of any one of the thousands of CEOs that led to our current financial situation, instead of the mother of an American hero who may or may not get high on his own time. Even as we eat the rotten fruit of unbridled capitalism, you seem to be focusing on the average guy down the block who made good. I'm appalled. Did you do it to shame Michael Phelps? There are very real villains in America. Michael Phelps is not one of them. You mess with Michael Phelps, you make enemies. You may as well be dissing Barack Obama!


Will   April 10th, 2009 1:15 am ET

Disappointed with Debbie Phillup's segment. She is in denial of her son's drinking and drug use. I used to think she was one in a million moms but her refusal to give her opinion about his smoking pot, and calling reports of his getting wasted at a bar, unsubstanciated, and rumors. She actually showed that she isn't the wonderful mom that the media made her into. I lost a lot of respect for her and sad that Larry didn't get her to answer the question of what she thought about the pot, and drinking. Larry needed to press on. If she didn't want to talk openly and honestly in the first place, then why did she appear on the show. Her, now lack of credibility just will cast more doubts and create more bad press, because of her refusal to be honest. Sad, sad, sad. Disapppointed with the whole show. Larry is losing his touch.


Griarkey   April 10th, 2009 1:22 am ET

Michael Phelps is a great swimmer and represented our country well. He has dealt with the emarrasing photo of him being young and now has to deal with defending his arrogant mother. What kind of person goes on national TV and says.. My family inspired many families in the US. My son loves his mother...blah...blah... We all love our mothers. Mrs. Phelps should be ashamed of herself for making such a comment like that, your son is a good swimmer, you are recognized in the world as only that. Remember that Mrs. Phelps.


Drunken Economist   April 10th, 2009 2:43 am ET

The Boomer / exHippy media establishment in the US is at the height of hypocrisy. So it was okay for *you guys* to be potheads, experiment and be forgiven? And then to call this kid to the mat for basically doing the same?

"Do as we say, not as we do."

Mike's just this kid, you know? A kid who's achieved more in his young life than most of you will have now that you have wrinkles and hypocrisy. Stick a fork in you, you're DONE.

I still expected big things from Mr. Phelps.. whether he's taken a spliff or not. Can't say the same about all the crusty Boomers on TV telling me how I should think.


Jesse   April 10th, 2009 3:57 am ET

Phelps does not have the responsibility to be a role model to anyone.


Barry Watts, Baton Rouge, LA   April 10th, 2009 4:02 am ET

We are obviously still a nation of self-righteous a**holes. Wake me up for the revolution, please.


Francis Tavares   April 10th, 2009 4:12 am ET

People really like to find fault in others. Stop this nonsense on harrassing Michael Phelps, end of story.


Mr. Britt   April 10th, 2009 10:36 am ET

Terry, TX, your a joker


Mr. Britt   April 10th, 2009 11:11 am ET

valerie brunson (: ....your ok in my book baby 🙂


KEVIN   April 10th, 2009 1:34 pm ET

Were sick of all of this! Please make them go away!!


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