Custody at Risk After ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ Star Wears Controversial Outfit | ABC News Blogs – Yahoo!

Posted: 08/21/2012 in Seriously?
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ABC News’ Jennifer Pereira and Sharde Miller report:

The woman who dressed her young daughter as Dolly Parton – complete with a padded bra and sculpting underwear – for a child beauty pageant that aired on TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” could lose custody of the girl after her estranged husband claimed she sexually exploited their daughter by allowing her to dress so provocatively.

(Image Credit: TLC)Little Maddy Verst‘s appearance in thecostume on an episode of the controversial TLC program sparked a firestorm of criticism against her mother, Lindsay.

Her father, Bill Verst, has asked a Kentucky court to grant him sole custody of his daughter, who is now 6.

During a court proceeding Saturday, a judge threw reporters out of the courtroom, closed the hearing and placed a gag order on mother Lindsay Jackson. The judge also imposed a ban on any pageant activity for Maddy or her mother for the duration of the trial.

A court-appointed psychologist has sided with Maddy’s father, condemning the Parton costume and recommending that a judge make Verst the girl’s sole custodial parent.

Jackson said the costume was never meant to be sexual and that she shouldn’t be at risk of losing her daughter.

If the judge grants Verst’s petition because Maddy did pageants with her mother, “then that opens the door for any parent to challenge anybody on any activity that a kid does, period,” Jackson told

Jackson dressed her daughter herself in the Dolly Parton costume, telling the TLC show’s cameras, “When she wears the fake boobs and the fake butt, it’s just like an added extra bonus and it’s really funny when she comes out on stage and everybody thinks it’s hysterical.”

Not everybody thought it was hysterical, however. Some online commenters were quick to express their disgust for the costume and for the perceived sexualization of little girls on the show.

READ MORE: Outrage when Maddy wears catsuit, padded buttocks on show

It’s not the first time a pageant mother has come under fire on the show.

Wendy Dickey was condemned for dressing her 3-year-old daughter, Paisley, in a racy costume that mimicked the outfit worn by Julia Roberts’ prostitute character from the movie “Pretty Woman.”

The costume consisted of a fitted, skin-baring white blouse, tight blue mini-skirt and thigh-high, shiny black boots. Paisley wore it all – complete with a blond wig, which Roberts’ prostitute character also wore – and critics and children’s advocates erupted in outrage.

The court proceedings in Maddy’s custody case resume Aug. 31.

WATCH: ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ Feud Comes to an End?


No way! When I first saw this episode (yes I realize I have a problem, the first step is admitting it) my mouth was left hanging open and my head was spinning. It is like watching a train wreck that you can’t turn away from. I honestly think the rules of this pageant stuff needs to be re-evaluated. We are teaching our little girls that it is okay to dress provocatively and try to win the love of others by our looks. This has got to stop and the only way I know how to help is to not watch this show anymore. I admit it is addicting yet I must do my part to stop the nonsense. If I had a little girl she would go nowhere near a stage, at least that is what I think. If she asked and truly wanted to do something in the arts I might consider it when she became old enough to request it but until then, no way hose. I would love to hear what your thoughts are on this because my eyes are wide open, so is my mouth and my head is still spinning!




  1. Completely banning contests that exploit children is the answer. The new way for children to make money for their parents is to be walking billboards (getting paid to wear logos/apparel). I just heard about this gorilla marketing technique. Saying ‘no’ to the products including watching trash is the only way to combat it.

    What’s next?

    Let kids be kids. Growing up with emphasis on looks is a sure way to set your children’s value system to hell.

    I wonder if these mothers know anything about the sex slave market and how much risk their children are at by being paraded – not to mention for the love of pedephiles …

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