‘Dr. Phil’ Guests Accuse Staffers of Aiding in Alcohol and Drug Use


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Dr. Phil McGraw

When Survivor winner Todd Herzog appeared on Dr. Phil in 2013, he was so intoxicated that he slurred his words and needed help from two people just to make it to his seat. A breathalyzer showed his alcohol level to be a shocking .263, and host Phil McGraw, a trained psychologist known for his brash but often successful TV-ready techniques, said that he had “never talked to a guest who was closer to death.”

Herzog, now sober, has just come forward in a joint investigation published Thursday by the Boston Globe and STAT alleging that part of the reason was in such bad shape that day was because of vodka and Xanax supplied to him by the show. His experience, the investigation claims, is indicative of a troubling behind-the-scenes culture at Dr. Phil which is said to value ratings and the show’s dramatic storylines over the health and welfare of guests who are struggling with substance abuse.

In addition to Herzog, the article quotes family members of two guests who allege that their relatives were encouraged by show staffers to head to L.A.’s Skid Row, a crime-riddled area known for rampant drug use, in order to buy heroin to prevent withdrawals. One of the women quoted, Joelle King-Parrish, says her daughter Kaitlin, who was pregnant, was filmed by a show staffer during the Skid Row drug run. Neither women were supervised by medical professionals during the often-dangerous and deadly withdrawal period, the story states.

For his part, McGraw declined to be interviewed for the investigation but Martin Greenberg, a psychologist who works as the show’s director of professional affairs, did go on the record to dispute many of the claims in the story. He told the Globe and STAT that Dr. Phil guests have never been provided alcohol or directed to where to buy drugs.

READ THE REST OF THE STORY  HERE  AT HollywoodReporter.com


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