Michael Schiavo Caught in Serious Distortion of Truth on NBC Interview

By John-Henry Westen

Terri Schiavo - In loving memory 1963-2005CLEARWATER, FLA., March 24, 2006 ( - Michael Schiavo, who ordered doctors to withhold food and water from his severely disabled wife Terri until she died, and his current wife Jodi were interviewed by NBC’s Matt Lauer. Those exclusive interviews based on Schiavo’s upcoming book “Terri: The Truth,” are to be broadcast on “Dateline,” Sunday, March 26 at 7 p.m.. Ironically, despite claiming to speak about ‘the truth’ concerning Terri, NBC’s Lauer catches Schiavo in a serious distortion of truth as the interview begins.

In the interview, Michael responds to Lauer asking why he would not just divorce Terri - since he was already living with another woman with whom he had fathered children - leaving Terri with her own parents who were begging to be allowed to care for her. Michael answered, “When you sit in a courtroom and you hear her father say I’ll cut her arms and her legs off, just to keep her alive, why would I want to put their daughter back in their care if he’s gonna (sic) do that to her.”Â

At this point Lauer interjects to say, “Let’s make sure we understand that statement,” with Schiavo initially trying to cut him off, he adds, “I think the statement was, if she were to develop gangrene, and had to have limbs amputated, he would do that and okay that as long as he could still have her alive. That’s a little different than the way you . . .” At this point Schiavo, who had interrupted several times definitively cut off Lauer and changed the subject.

The interview is one sided, in that it presents only Michael’s point of view and ends with Michael relating through his tears his last moments with Terri, going so far as to say, “She’s up there praising me right now… and saying thank you.”

Lauer notes that the book is not about honouring Terri, but about settling some scores. To which Schiavo responds, “Oh yes it does.”

At another point in the interview, Lauer asks, “People have often asked. Michael why didn’t you divorce Terri, you were living with Jodi.” Schiavo replies, “Why do I have to divorce Terri? Terri wasn’t like a football- an inanimate object you pass back and forth. She was my wife. You mean because your wife gets sick, do you give her back?”

Asked about his decision to remove Terri’s feeding tube despite the pleas of Americans, groups from around the world and even the Vatican, Schiavo said, “Yeah, well I guess when it all boiled down, I couldn’t understand why these people were so passionate about my life… People are allowed to die every day. Feeding tubes are removed every day.”

Schiavo will appear live on “Today,” Monday, March 27, and with Jodi on Tuesday, March 28.

  To see a previewÂvideo excerpt of the interview go here and click on the ‘launch’ button;

See related coverage:
  Terri Schiavo’s Husband Re-Married in Catholic Church

Ten Year Old Arrested for Giving Food to Terri Schiavo Apologizes

Schiavo Autopsy Released: Died of Severe Dehydration

Vatican Issues Third Intervention Against Forced Euthanasia of Terri Schiavo

See Terri Shiavo foundation website

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