1. Dr Phil accused of helping people with addictions score alcohol and drugs in explosive investigation.
Dr. Phil presents himself as a crusader for recovery who rescues people from their addictions. But his show has put at risk the health of some of those guests it purports to help, a @statnews @BostonGlobe investigation has found: https://t.co/J7iLD4iSlK
— Matt Viser (@mviser) December 28, 2017
Television presenter Phillip McGraw, best known as “Dr Phil”, is accused of giving drug and alcohol to addicts before their appearance on his show.
The 67-year-old psychologist, who has built his reputation around helping people overcome addiction, allegedly ‘set up’ former Survivor winner Todd Herzog when he appeared on the show in 2013, according to a joint STAT/Boston Globe investigation.
“I’ve never talked to a guest who was closer to death,” McGraw said when the cameras started rolling, showing Herzog being carried and propped upright in his chair on the show’s stage.
Now, 32-year-old Herzog has told STAT he was not drunk when he arrived at the Los Angeles studio. But, he said when he found a bottle of vodka left in his dressing room, he drank that before being given a Xanax by a producer who said it would “calm his nerves”.
Further investigation by STAT/Boston Globe found guests to the show were often left in hotel rooms without medical help for up to 48 hours before screening, suffering extreme withdrawal symptoms. Two people allege addicts were directed by the show’s staff where to find herion or other illicit drugs during this withdrawal process. And a pregnant woman was reportedly filmed by the production crew as she searched for a dealer on the streets.
Dr Jeff Sugar, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Southern California, called it a “callous and inexcusable exploitation”.
While McGraw himself has not responded publicly to the allegations, a psychologist who works on the show Martin Greenberg said the claims are “absolutely, unequivocally untrue”.