By Daniel Miller, Louise Boyle and Lucy Buckland
Last updated at 9:20 PM on 3rd November 2011
The mother of the disabled girl who posted a horrific video of her family judge father lashing her with a belt online, spoke for the first time today to reveal that she had been hiding her husband's 'secret of addiction for a long time'.
Hallie Adams appeared alongside her daughter Hillary in a TV interview in
which they both described years of abuse in their 'dysfunctional' family and
Hillary revealed her father had dared her to post the video online.
Judge William Adams, of Rockport in Aransas County, Texas, faces a police
investigation and a judicial probe after his daughter uploaded to YouTube last
week a secretly-filmed video - taken in 2004 when she was 16 - of him beating
her with a belt 20 times.
The sheriff's department said in a statement today that the matter is 'under review' but had no further updates at this time.
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Catching him in the act: Hillary Adams (left) appeared with her mother Hallie to describe the abuse they suffered at the hands of Judge William Adams at their home in Rockport, Texas
Speaking out: Hillary Adams (right), who secretly filmed her father lashing her with a belt, appeared today with her mother Hallie to reveal the abuse they faced at the hands of Judge William Adams
According to Judge Burt Mills, the senior judge in the county to whom he reports, Adams was relieved of his court duties for the next two weeks and his cases passed to another judge while inquiries are carried out.
Neither the police nor the judge has responded to requests for additional comments from MailOnline.
Today her mother, who also appeared in the video, tried to explain why she too had hit her daughter and stood aside to let her husband attack.
She said: 'My answer to you and to the world is something that I've been hiding for a very long time is a family secret and that's addiction.'
When asked if she has an addiction, the mother said no but when asked if her ex-husband did, she told the interviewer: 'Yes sir.'
She offered no further explanation as to what the addiction might be.
Disciplinarian: Judge Adams has been relieved of his court duties for two weeks while the investigation into the video continues
Hallie Adams added: 'I lived in an environment of dysfunction and it steadily got worse. I did leave him... but he shamed me into going back.'
Hillary Adams, now 23, said she had forgiven her mother and did not regret making the video public. It has now been viewed more than a million times.
Brave: Hillary Adams, who suffers from axatic cerebral palsy, exposed her father's violence
'We're very close now,' Hillary said.
'When I showed her the video, she started crying, hasn't stopped apologizing, and I forgive her because she knows everything that happened.'
Speaking to the Today show, she said: 'I told him I had the video... and he dared me to post it.'
Judge Adams, who presides mainly over cases involving children, remained unrepentant.
He said: 'In my mind I haven't done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing and I did lose my temper but I've since apologized. It looks worse than it is.
'There is a story and it will come out in due time.'
He is unlikely to face criminal charges after authorities said that the statute of limitations for causing bodily injury to a child is five years. The incident occurred seven years ago.
Hillary Adams was asked by the Today Show how she felt about the ordeal she had suffered now.
Miss Adams said: 'I've experience everything from crying about it to laughing.
'There are so many emotions and sometimes it's like reliving it and it sometimes it's like watching it from a completely third-person point of view. It's really impossible to put all that into words.
She added: 'It did happen regularly for a period of time, and I could tell because of the pattern that things were escalating again, so I set up my video camera on the dresser and covered the little red light with a scarf.
'About half an hour after I set the camera up this happened and it was amazing that I was able to capture such a thing.'
Miss Adams explained that she waited seven years to release the video because she feared for her safety and that of her mother and younger sister.
'Back then I was still a minor and living under his roof and releasing it then... I don't know what would have happened to me or my mother or my little sister, so waiting until today seven years later has enabled me to pull away and be able to distance myself from the consequences.'
Sickening: Texas family law Judge William Adams brutally whips his disabled daughter in footage caught on a webcam set up by the girl in 2004 when she was 16
Attack: The girl, who suffers from cerebral palsy, yelps in pain as her father beats her repeatedly with the leather belt for playing on her computer
The 23-year-old added that there was no one incident that caused her to post the tape but simply enduring abuse from her father over many years.
'It was the straw that broke the camel's back. It wasn't any, you know, huge happening or anything. I just told him I had the video and he didn't seem to think anything of it and basically dared me to post it.'
The interviewer turns to Hillary's mother Hallie, who has been divorced from
Judge Adams for four years, and asks her why she also hit her daughter with a
She responded: 'That's a good question and that's what I had to ask myself. I didn't know about the video until, well, this past April. And this past weekend was the first time I saw it. My answer to you and to the world is something that I've been hiding for a very long time is a family secret and that's addiction.'
All apologies: Judge Adams (left) said the attack on his daughter Hillary, who suffers from cerebral palsy 'was not as bad as it looks'
Hallie Adams continued: 'I was completely brainwashed and controlled. I did every single thing that he did. When I leave the room he is telling me what to say, what to do.'
The video, entitled 'Family law judge beats own daughter for using the internet, please spread', shows the motive for the attack was because Miss Adams, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been caught downloading music to the computer in her bedroom.
In the footage, Judge Adams can be seen delivering around ten powerful strikes across his daughter's legs and backside. His wife then grabs the belt from him to take over, at which point he walks out only to return moments later with another belt so he can continue beating her.
Unrepentant: Judge Adams defended his actions by saying he was just disciplining his daughter
On the seven-minute long clip, as his daughter begs him to stop he can be heard snarling: 'Bend over the f***ing bed.
'Lay down or I'll spank you in the f***ing face.'
In total the girl receives 20 hard lashes from her father and one from her mother.
The mother screams: 'You turn over like a 16-year-old and take it like a grown woman.'
As the child lies crying on her bed, her father shouts: 'Do you want to put some more computer games on? Are you happy disobeying your parents?
'You don't deserve to be in this f***ing house. What happened to you Hillary?'
'If I hear so much as you raising your f***ing voice to me or your mother with the wrong tone or do one little thing or you look at me f***ing wrong, I'm going to wear your f***ing a** out with this belt.'
The shocking footage appeared to have been filmed on a webcam set up in the bedroom and dates from 2004 but only became public on October 27.
Judge Adams said that he informed the Judicial Review board himself after seeing the video had been posted online by his daughter.
The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct said it has been flooded with demands to remove Judge Adams from the bench.
Hallie Adams posted on Facebook an emotional plea to her husband to end the abuse.
Little musician: Innocent Hillary Adams curtseys before a piano recital as a child
Dedication: Hillary Adams suffers from ataxic
cerebral palsy which causes difficulty with balance, hand and feet movements
She wrote: 'I am praying for my daughters and me and my family to heal in all ways from emotional and physical abuse, for the current and continuing abuse of my children and me that has been ongoing to end.'
Police Chief Tim Jayroe, of Rockport, Texas, said an investigation had been launched into Judge Adams after they were swamped with phone calls from all over the world when the film swept across the Internet. However he admitted it was difficult to determine when a line had been crossed.
Chief Jayroe said: 'By state law a person has a right to discipline their children to a point, but not to the point that you cause serious bodily injury to a child.
The senior officer added that Judge Adams has left the Texas town of Rockport
and a note outside the courthouse said his hearings had been cancelled.
Model child: Hillary Adams had previously posted a video showing herself as an extremely gifted pianist
As a result of the furore, the video was being examined by the District Attorney and previous controversial judgements Judge Adams made in cases involving children have come to light.
In a court judgement last October, Judge Adams said that a child's statements 'amounted to no evidence' despite the fact the child's words had been confirmed by third party witnesses and recorded on video several times. The young person had also been interviewed by a child psychologist who believed the child.
Judge Adams also agreed with a lawyer who claimed all children are 'fantasizers' and their testimony should just be ignored.
Widespread viewing: After the video was uploaded to YouTube by Hillary Adams, it was then posted on Reddit and thousands more times across the Internet
Gathering speed: A Facebook page Don't Re-Elect Judge William Adams was set up yesterday
The footage gained speed with the video trending on Twitter and has been viewed a million times. A Facebook page entitled Don't Re-Elect Judge William Adams that was set up two days ago now has almost 20,000 followers.
Witnesses who attended a courtroom trial of Judge Adams on October 11
last year claimed that the judge agreed with a lawyer who had argued
that 'a child's statements amounted to no evidence' and they are 'fantasizers'.
The case involved the custody of a six-year-old child who is said to
have suffered 'horrific abuse'.
According to the blog, A Child's Voice, despite the child's
statements being confirmed by independent third party witnesses and the
young person being interviewed by a child psychologist, Judge Adams
concluded that children's testimony should be ignored.
From her Twitter account, Hillary Adams tweeted: 'Please spread the word that
my father needs professional help and not hatred. We can offer him the tools to
be a better person.
'It is my wish that people stop threatening my father and start offering professional help. That is what he really needs.'
Judge Adam's senior colleague County Judge C.H. 'Burts' Mills told MailOnline
that Judge Adams was not currently at work and had not presided over any trials
Miss Adams, who has suffered from ataxic cerebral palsy from birth, said her
condition causes problems including difficulty with balance, shaky movements of
hands or feet, and difficulty with speech.
The video has incited fury on twitter with dozens posting their disgust.
@Johnny_Ads wrote: oh my god. what a disgusting video. im shocked. poor girl - what repulsive parents. Shame on them.
And @eschaton added: I hope this exposure gets him sent to prison for a good,
Before the identity of the man in the video was known several people took to
the Internet to name and shame the judge.
One post from a J. Andre Bardin, who claims to be one of Hillary's friends, reads: 'I know in the article you say you cannot confirm the man in the video is him, but I can. It's him.
'That's his voice, that's his mannerisms, and that is his house.'