August 5, 2013 --Child abuse is not pretty no matter how much money you have.
Twins Georgia and Walker "Patterson" Inman III, now 15, are expected to inherit $1 billion when they turn 21. But in the meantime, the two, Doris Duke's only surviving heirs, have been to hell and back for an interview in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, The World's Poorest Children.
The teens described life in abundance in their 10,000-square-foot getaway in the Wyoming mountains and South Carolina plantation — a pet lion cub, diamonds to show and tell, and scuba diving in Fiji.
But on the other hand, it was a slave childhood, locked in a basement full of feces and scalded by boiling baths.
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They were terrified most of the time, "locked like the dead" in their rooms at night, where, according to the interview, they had to relieve themselves in a corner. Raised by different nannies, they were exposed to their father's explosive nature.
"I never asked to be born into something like this," Georgia told Rolling Stone. "Sometimes I wish I'd never been born."
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Their father, Duke's nephew Walker Patterson Inman Jr., was a heroin addict who got custody of the children when he divorced their mother when they were two. He had five wives and lived on an estimated monthly inheritance of $90,000.
walker jr. died of a methadone overdose in 2010. At that time, the twins moved in with their mother, a former model, and his third wife, Daisha Inman, according to the magazine.
ABCNews.com emailed and called Inman, 53, at his home in Park City, Utah, but there was no answer.
The family had some run-ins with the authorities and several calls to social services were abruptly cut off. On one occasion, police were called to a restaurant after Inman Jr. spanked her daughter "so hard that patrons feared for their lives," according to Rolling Stone. The twins have already been placed in a psychiatric hospital for three months.
Most notably, in general, few people stepped in to help the children.
"Absolutely, money does not protect you from abuse - in fact, many people seem to have bothered to report it because of their money," he said.Jamie M. Howard, Director of the Stress and Resilience Program at the Child Mind Institute in New York.
“It's really disheartening that people haven't sought out child protective services,” she said. “People don't know that it is possible to report anonymously without fear of reprisals. … Many employees were paid high wages and felt threatened with losing their income”.
Both children reported contemplating suicide and suffering from anorexia.
In the interview, Georgia said of her wealth, "People might consider it a blessing all day, but it's dirty money."
Some might argue that this is an apt description of the family fortune, which came from the Lucky Strike brand of cigarettes. Duke became the "richest girl alive" when she inherited $100 million in 1947, the only child of tobacco magnate James Buchanan "Buck" Duke.
But the 6-foot-tall glamor queen continued to do a good job, giving heavily to North CarolinaDuke University, named after their tobacco-growing ancestors, and the Duke Energy Corporation. HerDoris Duke Charity Foundationdistributes hundreds of millions of dollars and supports good causes around the world.
Walker Inman Jr. was taken in by Duke, his father's half-sister, when he was 13 years old. His father, an alcoholic, died when he was 2 years old; his mother died when he was 6 years old.
But Duke, known for his sexual antics, was a half-assed guard and stripped Inman of his powers of execution, delegating them to his butler. She donated nearly her entire fortune to charity, leaving her disgruntled nephew with just $7 million.
But the children of Walker Jr. they also inherited money from their grandmother, Doris Duke's mother, and his father, Duke's half brother.
Judy Kuriansky, a psychologist at Teachers College at Columbia University, did not treat the Inman twins, but she suggests that dysfunction breeds dysfunction.
"It's a generational problem that has escalated over time," Kuriansky said. "Their father is really passing on the very abuse of an earlier generation, and in some ways these kids have very little chance."
"When you think about this family, the issues with Michael Jackson's children almost come to mind," she said. "They were treated so apart and treated so strangely and raised so separate from society. ... This family is the Michael Jackson situation times a hundred."
The twins were recently suspended from a private school in Utah for an estimated $25,000 in unpaid tuition and late fees.forbes magazine. Her mother is embroiled in a legal battle with Citibank and JP Morgan over how the children's trust funds are managed.
According to Forbes, the court filings show bizarre requests for money: $6,000 for a Halloween party, $1,000 a month to let your kids eat out, mostly at Starbucks. The monthly allowance for the twins is $16,000, which Daisha Inman says is well below the $180,000 her father spent before he died.
The twins told Rolling Stone that when they were 12 years old, their father's fifth wife, Daralee, hit a tree while drunk at 7:30 am while driving them to school. They were shaken but unharmed.
At the same time, teenagers, isolated from society, said in the interview that they had never heard of the Musical Chairs game and still believed in Santa Claus.
"Dear Santa Claus, I know I haven't been nice, but if you come, I just want to say hello in person," Patterson recently wrote, according to Rolling Stone.
According to Forbes, when the children returned to Daisha Inman in 2010, they began "intense" counseling to "rekindle their relationship" with their mother.
Psychologist Howard, who has not treated the Inman twins, said the magazine interview may have been a first step for the twins to rebuild their lives in therapy.
“This kind of chronic and severe trauma, abuse and neglect definitely stunts the development of a typical child,” she said.
"Typical tasks are harder to solve," says Howard. “One of the first is the secure attachment of the baby or young child to the caregiver, who is dependent on someone else to meet their needs. That's how we develop the ability to trust each other.”
She said it is plausible that 15-year-olds still believe in Santa Claus due to cognitive developmental disorders and isolation.
"Wizard thinking can persist in a child who has suffered long-term abuse," Howard said. "They live in your imagination as an escape."
The twins might at least have been lucky to have each other. "It could have been social support," she said. “Going through this alone is more difficult than with someone else... A child alone [blames and] thinks it's really bad. A child with someone else thinks, 'Daddy didn't want us.' It's less personal."
According to Howard, it's never too late to deal with the traumatic effects of abuse, and good treatments exist to increase trust, reduce anxiety, and regulate emotions.
“Telling her story is one part of trauma care,” Howard said.
She said the Rolling Stone interview was a powerful reminder for people "to do the right thing and make a decision when children are living in horrible conditions".
"I hope they get out of there," Howard said. "It could be a step in therapy and I hope they are protected and have the privacy to develop the appropriate narrative for themselves."