Telling her audience, "I have to talk to you listeners about something," radio host Dr. Laura then dropped a bombshell: "You may have already heard that my mother was found murdered."
The host, whose full name is Laura Schlessinger, made the announcement at the conclusion of her radio program Friday, adding during an emotional statement that she and her mother had been estranged for many years.
Interestingly, Dr. Laura isn't the only pop expert to have serious personal problems in the field in which she dispenses advice.
Psychologist Jeffrey Gardere appeared on this morning's Good Morning America to explain how some psychologists sometimes use their own troubled personal experiences to counsel others.
"The bottom line is we [psychologists] can't tell people how to live their lives without admitting that we have issues. Our issues form who we are and influences how we give advice," Gardere said. "That's why we see this tough love of Dr. Laura because evidently this is a woman who has grown up with tough love."
Gardere said that Dr. Laura would better serve her listeners if she admitted her mistakes, using her strained relationship with her mother as an example.
"They need to let people know they are not perfect," said Gardere. "People can learn from their mistakes."
‘Overwhelmed by Sadness’
On her radio show, Dr. Laura said, "I do pray that [my mother] is at peace and [am] confident that the Police Department will be able to bring justice to this situation. But I am overwhelmed by sadness," she said.
The body of Yolanda Schlessinger, 77, was found Monday in her Beverly Hills condominium. Police would say only she had been dead for a long time.
On Friday, Laura Schlessinger took calls from people with problems and administered her typically blunt advice before mentioning her mother's slaying in the final minutes of her last broadcast of the year.
"Because this is an ongoing homicide investigation I cannot say very much about the circumstances surrounding this unbelievable and tragic event," she told her radio audience.
"But I'm, of course, shocked and horrified that she would be the victim of a violent crime, and it's so hard — it's so hard to imagine — so hard to get that reality into your head. Emotions rise up and (you) feel the clinch in your chest, but your IQ is still going, 'I don't get it.'"
Beverly Hills police Lt. Gary Gilmond said authorities had not yet positively identified the body, but indicated there was no reason to doubt it was that of the talk show host's mother. "We have notified Dr. Laura," he said.
The body was discovered when officers made a check at a North Palm Drive residence after a neighbor became concerned about not seeing the woman for several weeks.
The investigation has yet to narrow down the date of death.
Laura Schlessinger said her mother had shut the family out of her life for years.
"And I guess one of the reasons I am so clearly committed to the sanctity of the family and protection of children and the welfare of children in my books and on this radio program is quite frankly because I was not fortunate enough to grow up in a loving, close-knit family myself," she said.
"My dad's dead, my mother ... they were divorced, and my mother and I have had a long estrangement, which was her choice, as it was her choice to be estranged from all the family.
"And I deeply regret that despite any attempts I made to make contact or stay connected she died without that ever being accomplished."
Signing off, she said: "I just want to remind you as I do all the time, hold your family very tight, very close and very dear and don't sweat the petty stuff — the bad stuff is bad enough."