A former La Marque man is being accused of using his status as a "life coach" and advocate for survivors of sexual abuse as a way to harass vulnerable women.
George "Bo" Budinsky, 65, parlayed a 2011 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show (as part of 200 male survivors of childhood sexual abuse) into a career as an inspirational speaker. But in October, the head of a New York-based group of incest survivors posted on Facebook that at least four women — all victims of abuse — approached her with allegations that Budinsky sent them creepy texts and Facebook messages, asking for nude pictures.
The women contacted Cecibel Contreras, the founder of Incest Survivors United Voices of America, after Contreras posted a link to Budinsky's organization, which was dissolved in 2014 for failure to pay taxes to the Texas Secretary of State.
"After reading messages from women who have been victims of Bo Budinsky's inappropriate behavior by masking himself as an advocate, I cannot keep silent," Contreras told us via Facebook. "By seeking out women in this manner, Bo Budinsky is giving them the same message sold to them as children, 'You are only good for sex.'"
Texts and emails show that Budinsky began a relationship with a victim in Buffalo by 2014. He moved there this year after serving two days in Galveston County Jail in April for failure to give information after he hit a car.
Budinsky posted on Facebook in August that he had moved in with the woman "so as to be a safe and trusted male figure and role model," but then was investigated by Erie County Child Protective Services, which Budinsky claimed was on a "witch hunt."
That investigation did not lead to any charges, and Budinsky maintained that he was innocent of any abuse or unlawful behavior with the woman's children, but his texts to the woman indicate that he was going through a rough patch — Budinsky admitted to the Houston Press that he sent the texts while he was high. He also said he texted other women while high, and that he apologized for offending them.
A November 2014 text to the Buffalo woman reads, "I hate your motherfucking stinking rotten unfit mother take it in the ass nigger loving cock sucking pussy stinking god damn lesbian asshole sucking cunt bitch."
Texts between the two show that the woman asked Budinsky multiple times to stop calling and texting her, but in an October email, Budinsky threatened that "Umless youn have an explanation you pussy is going tp be4 allm over social media....SOOON!!!!!! [sic]." (This email of course included Budinsky's signature tag, "Life Coach/Advocate/Speaker/Survivor" and quote "Don't give up five minutes before the miracle.)
In March, he messaged another abuse survivor who had reached out to him, writing "How do you possibly expect for me not to fall bat shit crazy in love with you."
That woman, who lives in the UK, explained in an email that Budinsky contacted her in September 2014 after she "liked" a photo on Budinsky's Facebook page.
As a survivor of severe childhood and adulthood abuse,with Dissociative identity disorder and PTSD, I was in crisis and wanting any help offered to me. He said he could help me as an advocate, that "this is what God had put him on the earth for, he was doing gods work"
His messages soon started to turn more aggressive. He insisted my therapist was no good, that I needed to listen to him otherwise I would end up dead. Several times when I tried to cut contact his reply was "good luck staying alive."
He asked me very personal questions, whether I had experienced deep,meaningful sex,that he could treat me better than my partner does because as a survivor of abuse he "understands and could help me." On several occasions he asked if i was watching porn and if i liked porn. He said he would get a plane to the UK and "get me taken to hospital" because he said i was mentally unstable and would be dead soon if he didn't help me. He told me he had sexual fantasies about me and he was going to fly to the UK and "show me a real man."
Budinsky told the Press that the woman's allegation was accurate, and that he was again under the influence when he wrote her, but added that he has been sober for "29 out of the last 35 years." When asked what training or credentials he had that would make him qualified to recommend that the woman stop seeing her therapist, he said that he taken a one-day class in Rhode Island in 2009.
He described his communication with that woman as "flirting," saying, "I'm a very outgoing, gregarious guy."
Another woman Budinsky "flirted" with told us via email that the life coach messaged her on Facebook several years ago and became "abusive."
He entered my life at a time when I was extremely vulnerable with offers of support and help and then proved to be anything but. At first he was attentive and caring, saying he wanted to be a friend...wanted to help. I am a survivor of abuse and was also going through an extremely difficult personal time. He told me that he had lots of experience in helping survivors and had learned methods that would be effective. I knew that he had a huge following and was well respected so I listened to him. He never did help me but after a time became obsessive and moved from being friendly to sexual. He wanted to be in constant contact and when I wouldn't respond quickly enough, he would be angry and abusive and then later apologetic. When I realized how awful he made me feel and that he was draining me, I tried to discontinue contact with him but he would play on my sympathies and talk about how he was abused himself. He made me feel like I was the one in the wrong and that I wasn't being forgiving.
She accused him of calling her in Christmas in 2014 and told her that "I could eat his cock for Christmas dinner and then that I wasn't good enough for that and that I was probably out 'fucking niggers' and on and on."
Budinsky told the Press that Contreras has exaggerated the claims against him, saying that many in the survivor community "are malignant narcissists and all they care about is how they look to the public."
He added, "There are a lot of people on this Earth, survivors or not, [who] win by being victims."
Budinsky has bounced back and forth between Texas and other states, racking up criminal charges along the way. In 2007, he pleaded guilty in Arizona to a charge of possession of a forgery device and was put on probation.
When we asked him about the charge he told us a rather unusual story: “I was literally kidnapped by a group of crooks...and held at knifepoint and gunpoint. They had stolen... I think a fire department's checkbook, and would force not only me [but] other people to write the checks out...and go into places and cash them and give the money to them.” It must have been quite an ordeal.
He also received probation for drug possession and reckless driving convictions in Rhode Island in 2009. (He was also ordered to undergo alcohol counseling for the reckless driving charge).
Budinsky was friendly and talkative during our interview, and he was open about his history of substance abuse. When asked if it's possible that drugs may have clouded the memory of how many women he may have sent inappropriate texts to, he said "anyone that knows me can tell you that I have a mind like a steel trap except when I'm under the influence.”
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He also suspected that this article wouldn't exactly be glowing, saying, "it's very obvious that you're going to spin it in such a way that I'm still going to end up looking like the bad guy." Still, he said he'd just the chips fall where they may. Budinsky later demanded that the Press not run the story, giving us a 24-hour deadline to respond. When we told him we were still going to run the story, he responded somewhat cryptically in an email, "Upon reflection, your decision will actually benefit me."
There's no reason to believe Budinsky wasn't abused as a child, the kind of abuse that can take a lifelong toll. But being emotionally fit and qualified enough to help other survivors is another matter entirely.
Budinsky clearly thinks he's helped a lot of people. He recently posted on Facebook, "I love how people can lie and say what they want but they forget the trail of evidence they have left behind that will always show the truth."
Ostensibly, Budinsky was talking about his accusers — but it's a sentiment that, based on his texts and emails, could just as easily apply to Budinsky himself.