Judge Rules Mother from “Born Schizophrenic” Abused Her Children

Judge Rules Mother from “Born Schizophrenic” Abused Her Children August 7, 2019
Susan Schofield on Dr. Phil in March 2019

The mother that convinced millions of people her children had schizophrenia lost her battle against the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services. Susan Schofield lost custody of her children in March after she admitted to Dr. Phil to doctor shopping and posting inappropriate videos of her children online.

For nearly five months, Jani and Bodhi Schofield have lived away from their mother, Susan Schofield. Officials from DCFS removed the children in March after her ex-husband Michael Schofield accused her of having Munchausen-By-Proxy on Dr. Phil.

After months of delays, a judge heard testimony from Susan Schofield’s defense, third party evaluators, and the Jani Schofield. Sources close to the family told WOACB that Jani Schofield gave powerful testimony about her fears of returning home with her mother. Additionally, the source said she advocated for her younger brother Bodhi, who is minimally verbal.

Following days of testimony and evaluations from court-appointed psychologists, the judge ruled in the case. According to the source, the judge sustained all but one charge against Susan Schofield by DCFS. Additionally, the judge took into consideration the testimony provided by Jani Schofield in his ruling. The children’s improvement since their removal from their mother was another factor in the decision by the judge.

Due to the ruling, the judge believes that DCFS proved their case against Susan Schofield. As a result, the children will remain in foster care for at least the next 18-months. A judge will provide steps that Susan Schofield must take to regain custody of her children. If she fails to comply with the judge’s order, Susan Schofield’s parental rights will be terminated.

According to the source, Susan Schofield refuses to admit any responsibility for the abuse of the children. For years, Susan brought her children to numerous doctors to seek various mental health diagnosis. Her daughter, Jani, obtained a diagnosis of schizophrenia as a child. Based on the diagnosis, Jani took powerful medications that could cause long term brain damage.

On Dr. Phil in February, Susan admitted to taking her son to more than 50 doctors to obtain a diagnosis of schizophrenia. She wanted her son to be on the same cocktail of drugs that she believed helped Jani. During the episode, Michael Schofield shared his fears that his ex-wife was abusing the children for attention.

Since the removal by DCFS, Jani has been living in a group home for girls with developmental disabilities. The source told WOACB that her staff adores her and she is enjoying learning new skills. She is currently learning to play music and Spanish.

Doctors weaned her off all medications, and she is exhibiting no signs of schizophrenia. Jani testified in court that she does not believe she has the illness that made her famous.

The younger child, Bodhi, lives with a foster family. According to the source, Bodhi’s foster mother is very invested in his long term care and loves him very much. The source went on to say that Bodhi is thriving in his new home and enjoying spending time with his foster siblings.

For now, the children will remain in the custody of DCFS. If Susan Schofield wants to regain custody, she will need to admit to what she did to her children. Sources connected to the family do not believe that Susan will ever admit wrongdoing. They said Susan continues to blame everyone but herself for the abuse the children experienced.

Many have wondered if Michael Schofield will take the children. However, Michael Schofield stated in a March interview with WOACB that he is not capable of taking the children now. He currently lives in Minnesota with his new wife, a stepdaughter, and their baby.  The source told us Michael feels tremendously guilty for the abuse his children experienced in Susan’s care. WOACB must point out that Michael was not a defendant in this case.

With Michael unwilling to take his children, the children could remain in the foster care system for years. The parents have no extended family willing to take the children.

Even though the children are now safe from their mother, they are also without a family. At this point, doctors do not know if the children suffered any longterm damage from the drugs. Both children will see neurologists in the future to determine if the medicines damaged their brains.

Jani and Bodhi Schofield became public figures after appearing on Dr. Phil, Oprah, and on the docuseries “Born Schizophrenic.” For years, Susan Schofield lied to the public about the health of her children for fame and attention. She used doctors as a tool to drug her children into appearing sick, delusional, and out of control.

Both children do have disabilities, but they are not as severe as Susan portrayed to millions of people. Doctors diagnosed Bodhi with a severe form of autism spectrum disorder. For Jani’s part, psychiatrists and psychologists are working to find a diagnosis.

So many people failed Jani and Bodhi. Susan Schofield abused and drugged them. Their father Michael Schofield abandoned them by moving to Minnesota. DCFS stood complicit for years despite dozens of interactions with Susan Schofield and reports of child abuse.

The amount of abuse these two children suffered is unimaginable. Multiple networks failed to vet Susan Schofield properly and profited off her mistreatment of the children.

Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Discovery Health all made a ton of money by selling the “story” that Jani was one of the youngest children diagnosed with schizophrenia. All of them sold a lie to the public. Jani and Bodhi’s lives were utterly exploited and dissected by millions of people. There is no word if any of the outlets will speak out and denounce Susan’s actions against her children.

The mainstream media has refused to publish anything related to Susan Schofield’s abuse of her children. Hopefully, the children find support, services, and families that will love and care for them. These children deserve to have people in their lives that love and support them. WOACB hopes that someone can step up and help them thrive.


*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles related to trending topics and crime on her column.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Raging Bee

    So this abusive loony might still get her kids back? That’s not good…

  • Friend

    Nope, there’s not much news coverage of this story. A piece from The Verge earlier this year links to WOACB’s earlier blog postings: https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/2/18290555/youtube-children-parents-susan-schofield-lie-schizophrenia-exploitation-privacy

  • kherbert

    The mom, Dad, stepmom, Oprah, Dr. Phil, higher ups at Discovery Health, the directors and producers of every episode they were on and the doctors that didn’t report the abuse should all be locked away for life.

  • WallofSleep

    Don’t even get me started on Oprah. She gave us Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Dr. Ablow, and almost gave us “Dr.” Jenny McCarthy. She has a lot to answer for, but sadly never will.

  • Bright Moons!

  • Dr. Phil is the one who outed her, tho, so…

  • Brian Shanahan

    She’s a parasite, feeding off the ignorance and gullability of people.

  • Sassafras

    I hope Jani and Bohdi get the help they need after years of abuse!

  • I’ve been the only outlet willing to cover it – seems that some people just want to pretend this never happened.

  • he outed her – but also, helped create her – so I’m not AS angry with Dr. Phil. but the rest – yep

  • Friend

    Good for you!

  • RainbowPhoenix

    Fifty doctors is probably the most egregious example of doctor shopping I’ve ever heard of in a factitious disorder.

  • Pfft. Given her history of noncompliance, I’m betting her “rights” will be terminated.

    Fail to rise to the responsibilities of being a parent, and you lose the privilege of being a parent.

  • Raging Bee

    I hope you’re right; but people like that often find ways to clean up their act and tell the judges or social workers what they want to hear, long enough to get them to give back their kids. Especially people with good lawyers who can coach them at it. If this mom can paint herself as sick-but-better-now-and-repentant, talk at length about how she dearly loves her kids, and make a few allusions about the uncertainty of foster-care, with maybe a winking reference to immigrant kids separated from their parents, that could get a judge to cave and go with the default answer of “children are best off with their parents.”

  • hampus p


    I’m glad the world has an Animal Expert like Jani Schofield. It’s too bad her mom lied and said she had schizophrenia.