Regis Philbin helps out his disabled son after controversy

Regis Philbin and Joy Philbin
Three weeks ago, we ran a story that originated in the National Enquirer that claimed that Regis Philbin was not providing assistance to his disabled son and daughter-in-law, who were reduced to borrowing money from friends in order to buy groceries. Danny Philbin is Regis’ son from his first marriage, and is bound to a wheelchair due to a spinal cord birth defect and an amputation made necessary by his condition. Danny is college educated and used to hold a job at the Pentagon, but had to move to California and give up his job after his mother in law was injured in Hurricane Katrina and needed a drier climate. He gets by making handcrafts like light switch covers and selling them at craft fairs, but it costs money to rent booths that he can no longer afford.

We had a lively discussion on that Regis thread when a man claiming to be Danny chimed in and talked about how his relationship with dad Regis is strained. Given the commenter’s tone, the information he shared, and the fact that his IP address was from the exact area that the Enquirer said he lived, I believe it was Danny Philbin. Danny said that he and his wife didn’t approach the Enquirer to sell their story and that the Enquirer contacted them after seeing a local story about it. He also said that while his father will give him money occasionally, he doesn’t like to go to him as their relationship is strained:

this Enquierer thing grew out of an article in my local paper about wheelchair inaccessibility where I was trying to get employed by an “Equal Opportunity Employer.” The Enquirer got hold of the story, called us, and we told the truth. My father helps me, but it hurts me to ask him for more when Ineed it.. I cannot handle his demeanor when asking for some extra help. We asked not out of “want,” but “need.” Think of me what you will; my wife and I have to have, at least, our medications. Oh, neither the TV stations, or anyone else, wants to piss Regis off. They haven’t called me and I will not put more strain on the relationship btwn me and my father. He does and has done plenty for me, all I asked for was some extra help.

[Comment on Celebitchy from guy claiming to be Danny Philbin, IP address makes this seem likely]

According to the latest edition of the National Enquirer, Regis has helped Danny out. Danny’s wife, Judy, claims that Regis and his wife Joy contacted them after reading the article. Regis supposedly wasn’t aware of Danny’s difficult circumstances and of course the multi-millionaire takes care of his own:

After seeing the Enquirer article, Regis promised to take care of the couple’s mounting financial problems, Judy says.

“That God, Regis and Danny have reconciled,” said Judy Philbin. “The story in the Enquirer about our difficulties made all the difference.

“Regis and his wife Joy read about our desperate situation and reached out to us.

“Regis said, ‘I had no idea things were so bad until I read The Enquirer story.

“‘Danny knows I love him. Why didn’t he just call me?’

“All I could tell Regis is that Danny felt so angry and upset about his job situation and the difficulties in his life that he found it hard to communicate with is father. Danny felt hurt and angry, and blamed some of it on his dad.

“But now – knowing Regis loves him and stands behind him – Danny is feeling much better.”

[From The National Enquirer, print edition, January 26, 2008]

The guy claiming to be Danny who commented here was pretty abrasive and got defensive and personal with some commenters, which made it seem even more likely that it was really him. He said after working for government there was no way he would apply for disability or supplemental security income as he didn’t want a handout. It looks like his dad has stepped in to help him out at a time when he really needed it. A lot of families have long standing feuds and it’s hard to judge from the outside what’s going on. Many commenters vilified Regis for not supporting his son, but there’s probably a lot more going on in that relationship that we don’t know about.

Regis and Joy Philbin are shown at the National Board of Review on 1/14/09. He is also shown below on 11/5/08. Credit: PRPhotos

Regis Philbin

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21 Responses to “Regis Philbin helps out his disabled son after controversy”

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  1. mojoman says:

    Hope everything works out for Regis and Danny. All the best!

  2. guest says:

    hope this is true & not some media spin that regis had his publist release.

  3. Me2 says:

    CB, just because someone’s IP is in the area does not make them legit. Not only could some poser in the region log on and post (creating a conveniently-named email address), but hackers can route their IPs through just about anyplace they like.

    I don’t believe for a second that guy who commented repeatedly is Regis’ son, because if he is, spending his days in a pissing match with a bunch of strangers is downright moronic, not the hallmark of someone with a master’s degree (and no money for Internet access).

    Re-read them– he says his father’s not a bad guy, but that he is, that he didn’t go to the media but they wouldn’t return his calls, that The Enquirer picked up on the story from the local paper but he doesn’t want to bash or ask his Dad for for $$ but he did to the tabloid and posted ad nauseum on a gossip site.

    I’m glad the REAL Dan Philbin is getting the help he needs, but the guy who peppered his postings with just enough factual info to suck in the suckers is a jerk, and those who engaged him– pro or con– are fools.

  4. UrbanRube says:

    Just have to say, I don’t know them personally, so it’s all subjective, but Regis seems like a classic narcissist to me (as in the DMS IV, not just an arrogant guy). If your child doesn’t reflect well on you, ignore him. How could you not know how well or badly your child was doing and let it get to that state? That is truly out of touch. I know families have problems, but clearly a son who had lost a limb and is spinal-cord injured is going to need some extra support in life.

  5. UrbanRube says:

    Make that the DSM IV, not DMS IV. Sheesh. (That’s the psych industry’s classification guide.)

  6. raven says:

    If he worked for the government or any other job, he paid into the Title II disability insurance program for just this purpose. It’s not a handout, it is an insurance payment and he would be entitled to it if he was unable to work.

  7. Holly says:

    @Me2 the flaw in your logic there is that while you find it stupid for someone to sit here yelling at the commenters when they supposedly have a master’s degree, is it not even stupider to go through all the trouble of posing as some obscure, disabled TV personality’s son, even so far as doing the IP masking? I mean, really, isn’t that MORE trouble? Wouldn’t that person have to be incredibly bored and resourceful, not to mention brilliant for picking something so obscure? Seems harder to believe than Danny being here. People with master’s degrees get in pissing contests online all the time.

  8. Judy says:

    With his money he needs to set up a trust for his son so he can live decently. Regis is a multi millionaire and can well afford to help his son out so he had no money worries.

  9. NJMDPS says:

    refuse to believe Regis and Joy would not help this man and his family out of their crisis. The media is making something out of nothing. I belive Regis is a good, caring, father. Enough said.

  10. vdantev says:

    Nothing like shaming a man into doing the right thing. I used to like Regis until this all came about.

  11. Lolly says:

    I am outraged that Regis never talks about his children from his first marriage. I am also from a divorced family and my stepmother made sure when my father passed away that I would end up with nothing. She was always so jealous about me and wanted my dad to love “their” kids more. My dad favored me (probably because he didn’t raise me and we got along very well) but he was foolish enough not take care of his finances before he died.
    I have always liked Regis – he comes across as such a nice man but now I know there are two grown children out there that he’s probably caused much grief. Knowing his son was BORN with a birth defect and is struggling now – that is SO WRONG! Regis has more money than he, his wife and his two daughters could ever spend in their lifetime. I’m especially embarrassed for him that he’s supposed to be a Catholic Christian. He sounds like a greedy, selfish old man to me. Of course, Joy probably has something to do with it – wanting everything to go to her and her “girls”. I’m so sorry for his two older children. I even read somewhere that he has a grandchild that he does not acknowledge and said on national tv that he and Joy had their “first” grandchild. Disgusting!

  12. Paul adams says:

    I wonder when his soo called Audience finds out ONE DAY that he gave up on his children from his first wife how they will FEEL….He states he did not know what was going on with his disabled son ,until a tabloyd magazine reports he did not know his son was BROKE….Hay Regis PICK UP THE PHONE ……DIRTBAG>>>ROT IN HELL>>>>

  13. stacey says:

    i’m not surprised in the least by any of this. i always liked him growing up as a young girl on the morning show. but then i got to see him for who he really was when i met him in person as a publicist at movie screening once several years ago. he was pathetic and disgraceful. he yelled at an intern and spoke extremely condescendingly to her and then went on to act like someone who had a disability like he was deaf or worse by speaking in a tone like a deaf person would and using his hands. it was as if he was trying to tell the intern that she “retarded.” he basically said it without it saying ALL because there was no seat with his picture on it to sit at the screening. she was trying to seat him elsewhere and he ended up throwing a tantrum bc it was too far back in the theater. a real class act. gelman was a total nightmare jerk as well. both had disgusting behavior. i never really watched his show again after that. i knew for some time he had a son with a disability that he never really spoke of on air and then this horrible behavior (alogn w/ the fact he was making fun of a disabled person to this intern) closed the deal for me. he’s an ass and a jerk. hope folks find out he’s a total fake!

  14. linda says:

    I adore Regis sad when in public eye always get trounced hope Regis takes heart I believe he has enoough and also even if this guy worked in govt balogna and crap if he is disabled should get disability Regis is beautiful so sad to seehim defamed

  15. linda says:

    sometimes second wives do not want the birth parent involved with their before family and abdicates them and erases and defames them I had this happen after a lifetime of meaninful and purposeful exp and plan if then when Georgia grows to make choice to be there to catch her if she falls Dont deserve and is cruel to us but it is what it is

  16. Jackie says:

    I have always been bothered that Regis never talks about his 2 olders kids, how do you think they feel he only talks about his kids with Joy, that is so wrong, his older kids have nothing to do with their parents split, I always thought Regis was so vain he didnt want anyone to know he had kids as old as they are, there his kids how sad is that, he will pay in enternity.

  17. Jackie says:

    Regis you are so sad as a parent, I feel so sorry for your older kids, they have to feel so rejected from you as a dad, I too have felt so rejected from my parents, there is nothing wrong with me I turned out great, all my friends parents loved me my parents never knew me, they were the ones that missed out.

  18. Roberta Grey says:

    My Father supported, visited and was “Santa” at Angel View Hospital for many years and personally knew Danny as a child. All of the residents at Angel View are severely disabled children and Danny was no exception. My father was especially saddened by his story. There were never any visits by his father, no acknowledgement of his existence at any time. He was “dumped” at Angel View and forgotten about. What a shame that what Mr. Philben could have used as a platform for disabled children everywhere was an embarrasment to him. I have never watched or supported any of his shows because of this. If he is helping now, it’s too little, too late for me. I hope his guilt eats him from the inside out!

  19. liam buckley says:

    I have always felt Regis is ashamed of his Son. He NEVER mentions him, or the other daughter. Today Regis aired his last show; Not a word was mentioned about his first wife (the wife I understand)however,the kids No excuse; He acts as if they never existed..because of his callousness towards them,I have never fully been as smitten with him as many others seem to be; I don’t believe many know about his other family…I think if they did know he wouldn’t have as many admirers. I have never liked a dead beat dad, there’s more ways to be a deadbeat than financially, emotional abandonment would be the worst for a child….

  20. liam buckley says:

    I forgot to mention I have known about this son for many years ..In case you’re wondering rather it’s true or not,it’s very true! I wondered if today on his last show if he would mention the two eldest children. true to form NO mention..sad very sad…

  21. Violet says:

    As far as I’m concerned, if a child is born with severe disabilities, the parents’ responsibilities shouldn’t end at 18 regardless of how strained the relationship is.

    I can’t even imagine what Danny’s medical bills must be like, and they’re probably going to increase as he gets older. Regis is a very wealthy man, and I think it’s only right that he should step up to the plate.

    Moreover, it’s demeaning and callous of Regis to wait for Danny to come to him for help. The decent thing is for Regis to set up a trust fund for his son, so that Danny has a regular source of income for the rest of his days and can focus on his health, instead of stressing about whether he can afford his medications.