Retired NBA player Keyon Dooling and his wife Natosha Dooling made an appearance on Katie Couric’s new talk show, “Katie,” and opened up about him being sexually abused as a child.
During the interview, Dooling recounted how and when the abuse first started and what’s he doing now to deal with the situation. Keyon said the abuse began when he was 5-years old at the house of one of his brother’s friends. He also said his father showed him adult movies at the early age of 7.
When Keyon Dooling announced his retirement from the NBA in late September, it came as a big surprise- but after years of suppressing a history of sexual abuse, it was clear the 12-year veteran needed time to focus on himself- a change in his life.
After displaying signs of a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, Dooling had to spend time in a psychiatric hospital last summer which brought him to the conclusion that he would be unable to continue his NBA career.
NBA.com’ David Aldridge talks about the event in detail which led to Dooling’s admittance to a mental health facility.
Dooling was exhibiting behaviors familiar to soldiers returning from war zones. But Post Traumatic Stress Disorders aren’t limited to those who fight in wars. Police officers, firefighters, anyone subject to a severe emotional episode can suffer from PTSD. Dooling’s problems came to a head in August.
He was at home, playing in the street in front of his home with his kids. A neighbor thought he was playing too roughly with the kids and called the police. There is uncertainty about how many officers showed up — 10? 12? 20? — but it was more than one. The Doolings were new to the neighborhood. They know the police were just doing their job, responding to a call. But a bunch of cops showing up, unannounced, banging on your door is a little disconcerting.
“So I ran to the door to see what was going on,” Keyon Dooling said. “I was like, ‘Who is this knocking like they’re the damn police?’ That’s what I said to myself. So when I got to the door, it was really the police. They was like, ‘Get on the ground, get on the ground, get on the ground!’ So I got on the ground.”
Natosha didn’t know what to do, what to tell her kids. She was scared. Keyon had always been the strong one, able to handle whatever. And now he was being taken away.
“I was just terrified,” she recalled. “I was like, ‘What is going on? Like, what are these people doing in my house?’ … And they separated us. They had the kids over here and me over there and Keyon over here. It was horrible. I was living in a nightmare. I was really living in a nightmare. I was terrified for myself, for my kids.”
Dooling was taken away and hospitalized for evaluation. He didn’t remember voluntarily signing into the hospital. The details are hazy, in part, because he was immediately put on medication. One of the primary symptoms of PTSD is paranoia, and Dooling was surely paranoid. He didn’t want to see anybody — or anybody to see him.
Watch the interview below:
Photo/Video Credit: (Ida Mae Astute/ ABC via Getty Images)