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Episode 45: Leslie

Season 3, Episode 10


Age: Late 30’s?
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka, mouthwash)
What’s Memorable: Ugh. This one is painful to watch. Leslie is completely obsessed with alcohol in a way I’ve never seen before. It almost seems at times that she’s acting like she thinks a bottomed-out alcoholic would act, but I just can’t imagine that anyone would treat their family the way she does as a performance, and not as a result of her terrible addiction. Also, the mouthwash. What the hell.

Legacy Update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDtEKRW8oFo

Official synopsis: Leslie is a Sunday school teacher, PTA member, soccer mom of three and a raging alcoholic. When she can’t get her hands on vodka or wine, Leslie resorts to economy size bottles of mouthwash. After countless arrests and DUI’s, her husband is hoping to find help for the mother of his children before it’s too late. It’s time for Leslie to choose: her alcohol or her family.
Original Air Date: June 2007
Interventionist: Candy

Categories: Addicted Parent, Alcohol, Candy, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Legacy Updates, Most Disturbing Episodes, Most Unforgettable Episodes, Season 3


52 Responses to “Episode 45: Leslie”

  1. I was wondering if anyone knows how Leslie is doing today?

    Posted by SBG | January 9, 2015, 10:10 am
  2. What tripped me out was what her mother said about her sexual abuse by the neighbor, “I think we handled it well, we didnt create a scene,” and “I dont think it had any effect on her mentally.” No, you make a scene if your child is sexually abused!!! It does hurt mentally!!!

    Posted by Sarah Thomas | January 22, 2015, 10:45 pm
    • Totally. “It didn’t affect her mentally.” Yeah, OK. She became a hardcore alcoholic who drinks mouthwash bottles. I think it took a toll on her. I hope she’s well. Her children were awesome. They are strong kids. Points to how good of a dad they have.

      Posted by DN | January 26, 2015, 1:33 pm
      • No, child abuse doesn’t cause alcoholism. The two are not correlated or causative, though they’re both pretty horrific. I don’t know why you’d want to “make a scene” when confronting sexual abuse. Certainly it should be reported and investigated and, if warranted by evidence, prosecuted. But I can’t imagine it helps the victim, family, or community to “make a scene.” That’s just drawing attention to yourself and the violation of a child.

        Posted by ND | July 16, 2015, 11:53 pm
        • you are taking everything way too literally. basically the person above means do everything in your power to address it when they say make a scene. basically don’t pretend it never happened. also, child abuse and other traumas certainly have a relation to alcohol and drug abuse in the sense that most people who are addicts are self medicating due to mental illness and/or trauma. do you not see how in pretty much every single episode the addict has dealt with some sort of trauma? and that is not proof in itself, but ask any professional and they will tell you people who have experienced trauma often turn to alcohol and drugs. that’s common sense.

          Posted by Brooke | July 21, 2019, 12:00 am
      • Most addictions are related to a past incident or as it may be in some cases past incidents. Either the addict doesn’t know how to cope with the emotions of the aftermath or they’re too afraid of facing it and dealing with the pain, so they try to cover their emotions with the feel good feelings that they get from drugs, alcohol, or some other type of distraction. To say that the alcoholism or any addiction and bad past incidents do not have anything to do with each other is ignorance or
        you are trying to be smart ass because the incident is not the “technical” cause of addiction. The two are almost inextricably linked. By the way this reply is to the person that said that alcoholism and abuse are not related. Research what you’re saying before you say it unless you like making yourself look like a mouthy idiot. The pain of any kind of abuse can be unbearable for some, and for those people they turn to the least painful and easiest release be it drugs, alcohol, suicide, or any other type of activity that makes them feel a little bit better or completely stops the pain altogether. Don’t hate the addict hate the abuse that pushed them to the addiction.

        Posted by Samantha | August 16, 2015, 12:10 am
      • That father is a hell of a good one. He impressed me.

        Posted by Sue Ellen Hegstrom | April 29, 2019, 9:29 am
    • Her mother disgusted me like no one else has to date on this show. Her parents were appalling.

      Posted by Melanie | October 8, 2018, 12:11 am
  3. I was so taken by this episode….I went on a mad Google search. I found Leslie and her family online. Her family looks great and happy. Leslie also looks well…but was arrested for a DUI in 2011. I also found some details where she was working at a community college but left mid-semester. Looks like she may still be having ups and downs.

    Posted by Jenn | February 14, 2015, 4:33 pm
  4. What really upset me about this episode was that her husband ended up divorcing her after treatment. That’s when she needed him the most and he left. Pretty sad.

    Posted by Jn | May 2, 2015, 9:04 pm
    • Seriously? He should stay with someone at the expense of his own happiness and what was best for their kids? They were already in divorce proceedings before she went to treatment and there was a court order to have her removed from the home for the safety of the children. He said in the episode that he was allowing Leslie to stay only for the purpose of the Intervention and try and keep her dry enough to go to her court date. We should never stay with someone just because they have problems. We all have problems. I wonder if Craig had been the alcoholic and Leslie had taken the kids and left, you would be calling labeling her as an abandoner. Craig is entitled to his happiness, especially while he’s playing the role of both parents.

      Posted by Andy | May 29, 2015, 11:33 am
      • I agree, Andy – we don’t know what happened up to the point of that episode. He at least respects the fact that she is the mother of his children and I is bringing her into the home to keep her safe and get her help! He even said that he wanted people to understand that the disease of alcoholism has changed her from the woman he loved…the mother of his children…an integral part of the household. He deserves peace of mind.

        Posted by Sue Ellen Hegstrom | April 29, 2019, 9:33 am
        • I grew up with an alcoholic father, who also had intermittent explosive rage disorder. He terrified us all.

          Alcoholism is completely impossible to live with. I think craig was fully justified in divorcing Leslie. For one thing she keeps getting arrested for DUI. If she kills someone driving drunk, they could lose everything: the house, any savings, kids’ college educations. He had to divorce her.

          It is really tragic, cuz it looks like she is still drinking.

          Posted by Alice Schmid | September 7, 2020, 7:12 pm
  5. I’m pretty sure this is Leslie:


    It appears she is doing OK.

    Posted by Brian | May 10, 2015, 5:04 pm
  6. http://www.bustedmugshots.com/oklahoma/tulsa/leslie-ruth-fahringer/116176931

    Well this last arrest was from 6-2013. I thought she was sober and sound better and workin that program to help others. I wonder how her kids are today they were so precious. Too bad to see this. I hope somehow today she has changed and is sober now.

    Posted by Marissa Robyn | May 28, 2015, 3:30 am
  7. The article/video of Leslie is actually posted from April of this year, and even talks about the 2013 arrest. Hopefully that means no more drinking and driving. Even after all these years, I still have a hard time watching her swallow mouthwash. I’ve always wondered about her precious kids.

    Posted by Sara | May 30, 2015, 6:14 am
  8. Seems like Leslie was arrested for public intoxication on July 29th of this year:


    Leslie Ruth Fahringer, 54, of 1212 S. Beech Ave., was arrested July 29 at 2400 W. Houston St., for public intoxication.

    Posted by Jill | August 16, 2015, 1:05 pm
  9. Even if she has a DUI from this year or last, i give Leslie so much credit for coming so far. We all have demons and personal challenges that we struggle with each and every day. Sometimes we suceed and sometimes we fail.
    After hearing her story of abuse, and then seeing how her family spoke about and dealt with her sexual abuse, it’s no big mystery why she struggles.

    I pray she continues overcoming and living as a good example to others who may also be struggling…and also doing her great work with the homeless. One day at a time!

    Posted by Dave W. | August 26, 2015, 6:28 pm
  10. I went to rehab with Leslie and she’s an awesome person she did have a little skip in 2013 but completed a year of treatment in Oklahoma and since has lived a sober healthy life . If you see this Leslie I hope you get in touch . It’s Tiffany Williamson. My new name is Shepherd tho . If you need to know how to contact me contact Jasen .

    Posted by Tiffany | August 30, 2015, 4:46 pm
  11. This is in in response the comment K made. If the two don’t go hand and hand then how come every intervention show doesn’t show addicts who were not sexually, physically, emotionally abused; loved, cared for, supported, and had wonderful childhoods. U shouldn’t be posting on this website as u could care less and don’t have a clue.

    Posted by Dooney | August 30, 2015, 9:05 pm
  12. Sorry the poster was ND

    Posted by Dooney | August 30, 2015, 9:06 pm
  13. She appeared on one of the Intervention Legacy videos from this year’s series. She looked AMAZING, was working with the homeless and her kids were doing well. Seems to have bounced back.

    Her episode broke my heart – as do all the ones involving kids. No-one in my family’s an addict, but I did have an absentee parents growing up. So, can relate to their sense of abandonment and loss of hope.

    Posted by Ezza | September 13, 2015, 1:58 am
  14. I’m a recovering addict and one critical thing I’ve learned in recovery is that addiction does not make you a bad person. Addiction simply is a catalyst that brings out character defects that are already present whether you are under the influence of anything or not. Leslie is just not a good person. This is apparent early on in this episode where she says she’s ashamed that her husband is a mechanic. Serves her right that he left her sorry, drunken, self-righteous self.

    Posted by Alex | September 24, 2015, 1:38 pm
    • I honestly have to agree with this. I was hooked on meth and alcohol for a year, I always went to work(never drunk), I never ever stole from anyone, I never neglected my relationships, and I never treated my family badly. I wasn’t in a good place and ended up getting sober, but I still never let my addiction ruin other people’s lives.

      Posted by Erin | December 4, 2015, 5:34 pm
  15. Wow absolutely devastating. This was the most difficult episode of intervention i have ever viewed. It literally was painful to watch with zero moments of release except for when there was some crying but even then it wasn’t a happy release. Watching her stumble about the house like that while her husband had to sit for her was extremely upsetting. Thank you for opening your life, thank you to the kids as well and father, I vow to never do drugs or drink especially when I have kids. Chilling. I deeply hope she is better, I’m really good at knowing if someone will be successful and with her story I wasn’t sure, it was her self admitted lifelong depression which made me think she would have a hard time. I’m glad to hear from some of the comments on here that she’s had periods of sobriety. I think she tried too hard to be super mom without taking moments for herself. I do wonder if the theatric element to her suffering which someone else also pointed out had to do with her anger, perhaps she was angry that she was unappreciated for all the work she did around the house, actually she even admitted to being tired of that, I think she probably initially went overboard with being the perfect mom to make up for her insecurity of not being needed/important. Just like she did in high school by excelling. Then when she grew tired of it and realized she would never get the level of appreciation she wanted from her efforts she broke down. It’s hard enough being a mom but when you try to be the super mom that’s when stuff like this happens. I hope she can heal. She is an intelligent and beautiful woman, she has a big heart too but her wounds are extremely profound. Emotional neglect is easy to miss, but I think it can be just as damaging as physical neglect in some ways. Leslie I hope you are doing better, sending blessings your way

    Posted by Anonymous | September 30, 2015, 8:57 pm
  16. As someone who has struggled with alcoholism I too drank mouthwash, hand sanitiser, vanilla essence, rubbing alcohol. Anything that had alcohol in it I would drink. It’s very scary to be that dependent and desperate.

    Posted by Layla | April 6, 2016, 7:24 pm
  17. Looks like Leslie is experiencing more downs again. She was arrested in March 2016 for 3rd offense of operating while under the influence and it’s her 3rd offense.


    Posted by Lisa | September 22, 2016, 12:41 pm
  18. Looks like they released her after the public intoxication charge but she she got her 5th DUI last July.


    Posted by Brinn | August 20, 2017, 12:12 am
    • I don’t wish any ill will to this woman, but how in the world can she have her fifth DUI and not serve any jail time? There’s a woman like Leslie in my hometown whose very charismatic and does amazing things when she’s sober, but when she falls if he wagon, it’s down a cliff into a ravine. She also has five or six DUIs with no jail time.

      Posted by Liza Brooks | October 20, 2017, 8:03 pm
  19. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like on Oct 4 2017 she was sentenced to 4yrs by pleading guilty to a 5th OWI.

    Posted by Jenna | October 8, 2017, 8:23 am
  20. This one always sticks with me because of her statement : I guess I just never got over the fact that I married a mechanic [sic]. I’m married to a mechanic who’s brother is also a mechanic and we live pretty good, as did she. Their house was bigger than mine. And I commend the husband for staying as long as he did with someone who clearly thought she settled.

    Posted by Julie | June 6, 2018, 3:17 pm
  21. I’d like to know how this woman even has access to a vehicle and what insurance policy would cover her with all of these arrests and charges. Insane!

    This woman will one day not just kill herself but also innocent people driving in their own vehicular who just so happen to come across this drunk!

    Posted by Kitty Katt | July 10, 2018, 8:16 pm
    • The criminal justice system in this country favours women over men, especially women with young children. If Leslie were a man she’d most likely have been sentenced to several years in prison for multiple DUIs, but because she’s a woman with minor children she was continually given a slap on the wrist so as not to break up the family and deprive minor children of their mother. That may be the humane thing to do (incarcerating a mother for a lengthy period of time stigmatises and traumatises the kids and creates a severe disruption to the family), but unfortunately the flip side is that it also fails to hold people like Leslie accountable for their crimes and enables them to continue drinking and/or using rather than get into recovery. However, now that her kids are all grown, she may not be so lucky if she gets nailed for a DUI yet again and she could end up doing hard time.

      Posted by Janelle | July 17, 2018, 8:43 am
  22. I did find a picture on her facebook page of her with Margot celebrating Margot’s birthday. Leslie looks great although Morgan has turned into such a beautiful young lady. I wish them nothing but the best.

    Posted by Kitty Katt | July 14, 2018, 7:12 pm
  23. This is one of the few episodes that I found really upsetting. Her mother was appalling, saying they handled the molestation well and that Leslie wasn’t affected by it. I was so disgusted. I’ve had to deal with alcoholics on the same level as Leslie and she reminded me so much of them it was hard to keep watching– the babysitting, the repeating “no” over and over again, falling on the lawn, the excitement of finding a single drop of liquor like it’s God’s nectar. Her husband seemed like a genuinely good and patient person, it honestly ticked me off when she said he was “boring” and she was embarrassed of his work as a mechanic. The way she paused before she said it made me think he owned a strip club or something. I know the real Leslie is in there somewhere, but it was nearly impossible to find her through her completely wasted haze. I was honestly happy to see her husband divorced her, he and those kids deserve better. She was clearly not a safe person to be around and I fear for the damage she did to those kids. Considering she’s relapsed so many times, I don’t think it would be safe for the kids to be around her even if she does get sober, it would just be more and more pain when she relapses again. That’s the sad truth.

    Posted by Melanie | October 8, 2018, 12:55 am
  24. I’m sorry, BUT… It’s absolute irony when someone that slammed a hardworking mechanic for his profession, turns out to be a jobless drunk without a license (5+ DUI’S)…. I guess that “low-life” is still working on cars & paying morgage, whilst you work on getting your license back & pay restitution???? Yeah…. Clearly that guy was beneath you, Precious!

    Posted by Nell | February 6, 2019, 9:48 pm
  25. The most disturbing scene for me was when she wanted hugs from each of her kids and telling them not to ever drink. Ryan, in particular, looked uncomfortable, like he didn’t even want to touch her. Not sure if it was a “show” or what, but I hated looking at it.

    Posted by Sue Ellen Hegstrom | April 29, 2019, 9:28 am
  26. Currently watching this episode and I can genuinely say I hate this woman. The person that wrote the episode description above absolutely nailed it — the entire time I have felt like I am watching someone act as a drunk. Everything she does is a performance. She constantly shoves her drunkenness in the face of anyone and everyone. It’s a parade, all about her. No one is paying attention to her so she announces that she “needs a swig!” Her kids are minding their own business so she pulls them over one-by-one for a starring role in yet another “LOOK AT ME” episode. She gets bailed out of jail and all she babbles about is her nail polish and wanting to put on makeup.

    What an absolutely narcissistic, selfish, attention-seeking, vile human being. Her husband, Craig, and those three kids were so sweet and deserve so much better in a wife and mother. I hope they are doing well. ♥

    Posted by RLS | April 11, 2020, 12:05 am
    • I completely agree. I didn’t blame her oldest one for completely detaching.

      And as many have stated, what kind of self righteous person who belittle or be ashamed of her husband for being a mechanic? Especially when she’s stumbling around drunk and ruining their lives.

      I don’t like to judge addicts in their active addiction but she just did not seem to be a person I’d like to know.

      Posted by Xlio | June 14, 2020, 2:01 pm
  27. Would be little* sorry

    Posted by Xlio | June 14, 2020, 2:01 pm

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