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Dad Cites Daughter’s Dolly Parton Costume on ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ in Custody Battle

Posted Aug 21, 2012 8:06 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A woman who dressed her daughter in a Dolly Parton outfit with a padded bra and backside in a Toddlers & Tiaras episode could lose custody of the girl.

In a battle unfolding in a Kentucky courtroom, a court-appointed psychologist is siding with Bill Verst, father of the young Toddlers & Tiaras star Madisyn "Maddy" Verst, who is now 6 years old, report ABC News and Fox News. People Magazine featured Maddy on its cover with a headline asking, "Gone Too Far?"

The psychologist objected to the child’s participation in beauty pageants, citing the Dolly Parton get-up and photos of the girl dressed as a “sexy police officer,” Fox News says. The psychologist is recommending that Bill Verst and his ex, Lindsay Jackson, share temporary custody, with Bill Verst getting primary residential custody.

Lindsay Jackson spoke to the media before the judge in Campbell County, Ky., ordered journalists out of a hearing on Saturday and issued a gag order, Fox News says. The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31.

“If [the judge decides] that Maddy needs to live with her dad because she does pageants with me, then that opens the door for any parent to challenge anybody on activity that a kid does, period,” Jackson said. “We could really open up Pandora’s Box to set a precedent all over the world. What if years ago Gabby Douglas’ father said, ‘She’s not going to be a gymnast. She’s not going to move away from home and practice gymnastics because I won’t allow it,’ and he and Gabby’s mother got into a fight? We wouldn’t have gold medal winners, we wouldn’t have Miss America, we wouldn’t have Miss USA.”

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