This two-hour special was filmed over the course of two weeks and includes lengthy interviews with Jedidiah Bila. I love Jed and she is a fantastic interviewer so this should be good. And heartbreaking. I realize that Abby committed fraud but I can’t help but feel sadness for her that I lacked when Theresa did her time.
Abby says that she is actively trying to have the best two weeks possible before she goes in. She doesn’t want to roll in misery now. She has a year to do that in prison. For now she wants to enjoy her last days of freedom.
Abby claims that her lawyers were aware of all her bank accounts so she doesn’t understand why they were not disclosed. I am not sure I am buying her story and it was very edited. I was all relaxed ready to hear the long version but it wasn’t shown.
Next we move on to her sentencing. Abby says during her allocution she began addressing the judge with, “I wish I could take you to lunch and tell you the whole story…” She says she felt like the judge didn’t like that and thought it was an arrogant thing to say. She says when she heard one year and one day, her knees buckled and she thought she was going to hit the floor. By the way, a lot of y’all have wondered about the extra day. They haven’t explained it on the show, at least not yet, but the answer is that there are certain penalties that apply to felons with sentences longer than one year, than there are for sentences less than one year. So she wanted to impose those penalties without making her serve more time.
Christi Lukasiak (Chloe’s mom) and Kelly Hyland (Brooke and Paige’s mom) attended the sentencing in support of her prosecution. Abby said they just wanted to be on TV again.
Abby cries when talking about preparing for prison. She says she prays. She’s very afraid of prison. She says she hopes it won’t be as bad as she imagines. She says at the end of the day if people want to kill you or make your life a living hell they will. She says if it is that bad, she won’t be able to make it through.
Just three months before going in to prison she had 80% of her stomach removed. Abby meets with her doctor for the final time. Abby has lost 30 pounds since the surgery. I love her doctor. He is so supportive. Abby says that she is trying to be vegan, but it is very hard. This interview is not as good as I thought it would be. You can tell that a lot was covered and only a little bit is shown. For example, Jed asks what her last meal will be and we get all kinds of talk from Abby but no answer. I believe I heard her tell some TV host it was going to be Red Lobster and cheddar biscuits. I only remember that because I haven’t been to Red Lobster in years and I promised to take myself. But I never really leave the house. It is definitely time for one of my date nights with myself soon though.
The story of how Abby became a choreographer, and how she built her studio at age 22 is fascinating and inspirational. He father spoiled her and she had unlimited credit cards when she was twelve. Her father oversaw her studio and completely ran the business end. When he died, she had no idea what the bills were or how to pay them. Abby’s parents were 38 when they had her. Mine were a bit older when they had me. I understand parents thinking that a husband was going to come along and handle all the finances so their daughters didn’t need to know about all that. My parents were always worried about their three daughters. Abby says that she is thankful her parents are not around to see this.
Abby clearly misses Maddie who has not spoken to her in quite some time. They show the scenes of Maddie and Abby grieving the loss of her mother. Melissa sat by her mother’s side for days during her final days. This is so sad. Now we are talking about Broadway Baby dying. I am going to have to fast forward through the dog dying stuff. I can’t. I just can’t do this tonight.
Abby has completely lost her Pittsburgh studio, but Gianna will be running ALDCLA while Abby is incarcerated. Abby trusts Gianna to run the show, but she isn’t sure what she will be coming back to after ten and a half months. She is terrified she could lose everything. She officially quit Dance Moms via Instagram.
Abby seems to admit that she didn’t open multiple accounts with the intention of concealing money. Abby says that if she was not on a TV show, she would have simply gotten a letter in the mail. Her is was sets her apart from Teresa Giudice. The crimes that Abby Lee committed did not result in a profit for her. She did not have any financial gains from her bankruptcy. She was not asking for debt forgiveness in her bankruptcy, the bankruptcy was simply a restructuring of the terms of her repayment of her debts. This is a key issue and also why her case was continuously delayed because there was a landmark case being heard that would have made prison time not an acceptable sentence for bankruptcy fraud that does not produce financial gain for the person committing fraud. All of her debts are paid at this time. She paid huge fines for the fraudulent activity of opening multiple bank accounts that she did not disclose to the bankruptcy court. This is why her attorneys fought so hard for her not to receive prison time. Basically, Abby thought that since everyone was getting paid, and her finances had improved she could just pay everyone back and be done with the whole bankruptcy thing. She knew she wasn’t supposed to open other bank accounts. But she did it anyway because she felt like she was paying everything off, so who cares. Apparently, the FEDS care. And that is why she is going to prison.
Next Abby meets with a prison consultant to learn how to survive in prison. The prison consultant tells her the first thing she needs to do is take responsibility. Then she explains the strip search. Why hasn’t Abby Lee been given a copy of Orange Is The New Black? This would answer all her questions. The audio book is exceptionally good for road trips by the way. The consultant said that Abby is not allowed to conduct any business at all in prison.
Bless her heart. When the lady starts talking about the uniforms, I could see immediately that Abby’s biggest fear was that she would be too fat for the uniforms. I so get that fear. The consultant alleviates Abby’s other fears of being sexually assaulted or harassed. She says as long as she is respectful, she probably won’t have any physical altercations. Abby says respectful is not really her thing. She warns Abby that getting written up could lead to solitary confinement or even being shipped out to a prison with a higher security level. Abby sincerely thinks she will have issues following the rules.
The editing is all over the place with this interview. Now we are back to talking about how none of the moms or her original students will speak to her. Jedediah asks about her harsh teaching level. She says her successful kids who were on Broadway and working in productions called her when the show first started and asked her why she didn’t do the show ten years ago when she was really mean. She says they thought she had really lightened up. She tries to pretend like her heart is not broken because her girls are not showing her any support. But it is clear that it is broken.
Abby taught right up to three days before she was in prison. She held a booty camp and kids came from Taiwan, and Israel and all over the world just to take the class.
Abby doesn’t seem sure that she is going to be able to follow the rules. She hopes that the rules are “common sense” rules. Let me assure her that they are not.
Abby Lee’s friends flew in from Pittsburgh and they have rented a villa for her last few nights with a pool. They have a tearful dinner right before she goes in.
The end is just too sad to recap. It’s all a lot of personal goodbyes. Abby eats in the car right up to the gate. Macaroni salad and French onion dip (not together). That was brutally difficult to watch. I think it reruns next Tuesday. I would only recommend it if you are an Abby hater. If you are an empath, you will need several drinks.