On a new episode of Dr. Phil that aired 5 p.m. Monday on WWJ-TV, the woman accused of taunting a neighbor’s child while she was dying of Huntington’s disease flat-out denies the allegation.
“Did you say, ‘I wish Kathleen would hurry up and die?'” Dr. Phil McGraw is seen asking Scott and Jennifer Petkov of Trenton in a sneak peek of the show. Jennifer Petkov is charged with trying to run over another neighbor and faces a court hearing next month.
“I have not done any of the things they’re accusing me of,” said Petkov, who’s been called ‘The Devil of Detroit Street.’
It’s a different story than the one Petkov told when she was first accused of parading up and down the street with a coffin in the back of a truck and creating a Facebook page with an image of young Kathleen Edward covered with a skull and crossbones.
“They’ve been called the cruelest couple in America,” McGraw said.
At the time, Petkov admitted it to local media, saying she did it for “personal satisfaction … Because it rubs their a—s raw. Burns their a—s.”
Petkov was reportedly locked in a feud with the Edwards family, who lived next door.
Petkov appears contrite on Dr. Phil, saying, “I wish there was something I could do to make it all better.”
Nine-year-old Kathleen Edward died earlier this month after a long bout with pneumonia complicated by Huntington’s disease. Her mother Laura died of Huntington’s at 24 years old, leaving Kathleen in the care of her father Robert Edward.
Kathleen was diagnosed with the disease when she was about 3 years old. She was just 6 years old when her mother died.
“Kathleen far exceeded our expectations of survival. She’s the strongest little girl I ever met in my entire life, and she didn’t quit fighting. Now she gets to go into the arms of her mother, Laura,” said family friend Michelle Yerigian.
The families confront each other for the first time since Kathleen’s death on Dr. Phil, where Kathleen’s father is shown confronting Petkov and saying, “Why did you choose to use my daughter? Why mine?”
Kathleen attracted attention around the world when they learned she was the subject of taunting by Petkov. The girl’s plight sparked cards and letters of support from around the world, and Yerigian’s job was to field the truckloads of mail that came weekly for the girl.
“This little girl touched a lot of people’s lives and not just in Michigan, but across the world. She has friends from Australia, Indonesia, Pakistan, people all over the world have reached out to this little girl and the world is now a sadder place without her in it. But, I think she taught us a very strong lesson in that faith, hope and love can just do amazing things,” said Yerigian.