“Cash me outside, how bout dah?” was the six semi-coherent words that turned Danielle Bregoli into a meme celebrity. Behind the facade of a tough street girl, however, is a 13-year old whose parents have been at war almost since the moment she was born and the sad statistics of children who are raised in families without fathers.
On Feb. 10th in The Palm Beach Post, Bregoli’s father Ira Peskowitz, a Palm Beach County sheriff, recounted how his ex-girlfriend withheld visitation rights from his daughter, and how Danielle feels abandoned by her father.
Court documents showed that the couple split up early in Bregoli’s life and Peskowitz petitioned the court for the right to contact his daughter. He paid child support regularly, but few visitations were ever granted.
The breakup was ugly and rife with allegations of harassment. Peskowitz ended up getting married to another woman, and they have two sons.
“Danielle feels rejected by me. That poor girl. I did not abandon her. I left her mother, but I did not abandon her,” Peskowitz said to The Palm Beach Post.
Before Bregoli took on the image of the street-wise adolescent who stole cars and credit cards and became a national laughing stock, she was the product of a fatherless home. Sadly, her story is not uncommon.
Studies show that children who grow up in single-parent households are twice as more likely to commit suicide, abuse alcohol, and have a psychiatric disease. They are up to four times more likely to use drugs.
Furthermore, there is also evidence that supports the narrative that children who come from single-parent households are more likely to end up as runaways and criminals than children who come from two-parent households.
There are obviously children who come from single-parent households and turn out fine, this writer included. Yet, Bregoli’s actions are not an uncommon statistic of a child who grew up without a father and did everything to gain the love and attention she needed.
Rather than laugh at her, maybe millennials should be learning from her sad upbringing and ensure their kids never end up on Dr. Phil.