DETROIT - One of Charlie Bothuell IV's children describes in detail what she calls tough love growing up.
Local 4 is getting new insight into what life is like as one of his children. His adult daughter is speaking out and coming to her father's defense.
Special Section: Charlie Bothuell disappearance
Charlie Bothuell V's stepmother was released on bond Saturday. Local 4's cameras were the only ones rolling as she walked out of the Dickerson Detention Center in Hamtramck. The investigation into allegations of possible abuse is still ongoing.
Charlie's sister, Cherrelle Bothuell, wants the world to know her dad only wants the best for his kids. She admits her dad was strict and showed his kids tough love, but that he has been unfairly depicted in the national media.
"My initial reaction was one of shock," said Cherrelle Bothuell.
Cherrelle Bothuell went from disbelief that her little brother had disappeared to defending her father, who's facing allegations of child abuse.
"I know he didn't know he was in the basement," said Cherrelle Bothuell. "My father would never do anything to hurt his kids. He just wants the best for us."
Sources say Charlie's father wanted the boy to lose weight and required him to do 4,000 strides on an elliptical trainer without a break.
"As far as the weight loss thing, that is totally exaggerated," said Cherrelle Bothuell. "He made me run a mile every morning. But I lost weight, I was happy, I was healthy. We practiced healthy choices, we had a healthy diet. I really did love the lifestyle he was trying to provide for us."
She said her dad wanted Charlie to exercise because diabetes runs in the family.
"He's a wonderful father, he's a loving father. He has a soft heart, and the person they are trying to make him out to be on national TV is ridiculous, because that is not him at all," said Cherrelle Bothuell.
But her father and his current wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, are under intense scrutiny from police.
Court documents allege that Charlie's stepmother barricaded the 12-year-old boy in the basement. Blood was found inside the home and on a PVC pipe that was allegedly used to discipline the boy.
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