In an eye-opening interview Monday night, Patricia Krentcil, aka “Tan Mom," the woman whose extremely dark skintone made global headlines earlier this year, disclosed never-before-heard details about her life to HLN’s Dr. Drew.
“It is unbelievable how tan I was,” she said as images flashed before her during the one-hour live broadcast. “I didn't even realize it, to be honest with you. Let's forget the tan. The tan is over.”
There’s no doubt that the 44-year-old mother of five has a new look, which she credits Dana Ramos, author of "The Skin Regime: Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin.”
"[She’s] changed me completely -- her book, her thoughts, her friendship -- the way she handles things with me,” Krentcil said. “She's like my best friend therapist.”
But things quickly took an emotional turn when Dr. Drew took his first few viewer phone calls.
“I am appalled,” one female viewer stated. “She looks like she's on some type of narcotic. Her face is twitching.”
The very next caller, also a female, said, “I don't want to be mean or anything, but it definitely does look like she's on something,” referring to Krentcil's mannerisms.
Krentcil paused for a few moments, began tearing up and then addressed the callers.
“I'm sorry ... I have to say something ... I have to speak out,” she said. “First of all -- number one -- you don't know me. You see my mouth. No, I'm not on drugs. I don't take drugs. I don't like drugs … how dare you. Don't waste your time on me. I've moved on in my life.”
Krentcil, a former model, then revealed that she suffered a terrible head injury when she was just 25 years old.
“Somebody hit me when they were on steroids and I almost died twice,” the New Jersey mother explained. “I have three plates in my head and [have issues with] my jaw. “I do slant on [one] side [of my mouth] because I don't have any feeling on that side, so my lip turns that way.”
Dr. Drew asked, “Do you think those head injuries have to do with the perception of the tanning maybe?"
She replied, “Not whatsoever.”
About 40 minutes into the broadcast, the interview took yet another dark turn. Krentcil claimed she had been kidnapped, drugged and abused growing up into early adulthood.
“I've had a very rough life," she tearfully said. "People have hurt and abused me physically and mentally ... since I was a little girl."
As the disturbing details were unveiled, Dr. Drew noted that viewers calling into the show stopped rushing to judgment. "The calls have gone from sort of attacking to being very supportive of you,” he said.
Krentcil says she’s now a stay-at-home a mom, but will continue to promote Ramos’s new book and will be working on launching her own skin cream.
There’s no word yet on the child endangerment charges she's dealing with. Authorities claim she allowed her then 5-year-old daughter to enter a tanning bed earlier this year. Krentcil vehemently denies it, claiming the girl had burns after a long day in the sun.