Expert: Blagojevich’s Daughters Will Have A Hard Time

CHICAGO (CBS) — The two young daughters of deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich are certain to encounter difficulty as they experience life with their father in prison, an expert says.

When Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday by U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel, he said his first mission would be to explain to his daughters – Amy, 15, and Annie, 8 – what would happen from here.

But Psychologist Dr. Daniela Schreier said on the CBS 2 Morning News that Blagojevich’s daughters have been in a “very difficult situation” ever since he was arrested while still governor three years ago.

“It is a very difficult situation. I think the drama started three years ago when the governor was first taken out of his home and arrested, so the children are actively involved,” Schreier said. “The oldest daughter is 15 years old, and she’s definitely very astute, and she knows what’s going on.”

In a move that many observers found to be in bad taste, Blagojevich even brought his two daughters to court during his first trial last year.

As for the sentence, Schreier points out that for girls ages 8 and 15, 14 years seems like a lifetime.

“So I think the best thing they can say is, ‘This is the outcome of the trial, and Dad is going to leave us for a long time. We’re going to have visiting rights, and we’re going to have to handle it as a family,’ ” she said.

But even with an understanding of what will happen to their father, the separation is certain to be difficult and damaging, Schreier said.

“Rod Blagojevich told us he’s a very good father, so the primary attachment has been formed with both of his daughters at 8 and 15,” she said. “So certainly now being taken away from home, there might be some poor academic performance initially going on, peer relationship difficulties, certainly disturbances within the family. But as long as they would have strong social support and Patti can be there for them, it’s a little easier.”

But even with their mother’s support, Schreier said, the huge publicity that surrounded the case might result in “a lot of hazing going on.”

“It might have started already,” she said. “I would not be surprised if they have already been teased in school, or actually really mistreated, because children are cruel sometimes.”

Blagojevich himself addressed this risk as he spoke in court before he was sentenced.

“I want to apologize to my wife. I love her. She has stood by me in the worst of times, not only the best of times. … Of course I want to apologize to my children and explain this is not how we saw this,” Blagojevich said Wednesday. “Because of my stupidity and the mistakes that I’ve talked about … I’ve ruined their innocence. … It’s not like their name is Smith, they can’t hide.”

Needless to say, the adjustment will also be difficult for Blagojevich himself, Schreier said.

“It’s not going to be country club living for him,” she said. “Blagojevich is an actor. He’s a director. He’s a leader. And now he will have to learn to be a follower.”

  • Just Axin

    We need an expert to tell us they’re going to have a hard time?

  • ra

    They have experts for everything just a waste of time and space

  • John

    This is common in poor minority neighborhoods. Welcome to the real world.

  • whatever

    He keeps referring to his “mistakes”. Forgeting your cellphone is a mistake. Selling a Senate seat is a conscious CRIME!!!

  • Public School Teacher

    Although his kids will be in my prayers, I’d be willing to bet that his kids, because of his raw-dealings, were blessed with a bit more $$ than my three kids ever had.

    That being said, I really thing and hope that Rod’s fanny gets a ‘hard time’ over and over again in his 14 years of incarceration.

    Rot in prison Blago!!

  • Think of YOUR children, dear criminals

    Don’t you think Daddy should have thought about this in advance before he began the shakedowns?

  • Big Papi

    Sociopaths with Intelligence (ability to memorize things kind of intelligence) dont feel a thing for any other person than themselves. Going through the “motions” of feeling are easy for these frauds to demonstrate, but true feelings of concern and welfare of those around them they supposedly love, are rarely invoked while doing things that personally benefit them. i.e., he didnt have a thought of his kids once while shaking down, bid rigging, or putting others through he-ll to benefit himself.

    They would have been better off, short and long term, with a father who didnt put self grandeur and himself first. They can be found just about anywhere, but rarely in Politics or Sports.

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