Dr. Phil Accused of ‘Slavery,’ ‘Abuse,’ ‘False Imprisonment’ of Underage Sex-Seeker in Explosive New Suit

Dr. Phil Accused of 'Slavery,' 'Abuse,' 'False Imprisonment' of Underage Sex-Seeker in Explosive New Suit

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Couple claims, rather than help their traumatized daughter, syndicated talk show host Phil McGraw berated her and sent her to a “private prison”

Television psychologist Phil McGraw has been slapped with a lawsuit, claiming that McGraw exploited the fact that their daughter had solicited sex on the internet, and ultimately had her virtually incarcerated in a “private prison” rather than provide useful psychological counseling.

In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Utah, Missouri couple Terri and David Myers claim that their daughter — identified as “SM” in the suit — and a female friend, both 15 at the time, had sex with an adult male, who was subsequently killed by a friend in front of the girls’ eyes. The trauma of the event, the lawsuit claims, caused SM to start “seeking for sex online with oder men.”

Also read: Dr. Phil Responds to Drunk Sex Tweet Backlash: It Was for a Show

The couple reached out to McGraw, who subsequently featured the story on an episode of “Dr. Phil” that aired in February 2013, according to the suit. But instead of showing any sympathy for their daughter's plight, the couple says, McGraw lambasted the family, berating the mother for failing her daughter “by a country mile” and tearing into the daughter for seeking sex on the internet.

Eventually, McGraw offered free treatment for the girl at Utah facility in Island View — which, according to the lawsuit, is a “punitive behavior modification lock-down facility” and a “private prison.”

Also read: ‘Dr. Phil’ Producer Sues Gawker Media Over Manti Te'o Hoax Segment

The suit alleges that, at Island View, SM was cut off from the outside world, subjected to a “demented regimen.” The complaint also claims that guards at Island View “mangled her arm, causing severe and irreparable orthopedic and neurological damage.”

The suit goes on to claim that McGraw “was paid either in money or notoriety, or both,” for endorsing Island View and other “abusive” facilities.

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Alleging false imprisonment, negligence – personal injury, breach of fiduciary duty, slavery and other misdeeds, the suit — which in addition to the Dr. Phil Organization, lists CRC Health Group, Bain Capital, Aspen Education Group, Island View Academy, and Island view employee Ryan Mortenson — is seeking unspecified damages.

UPDATE: McGraw's lawyer, Chip Babcock of Jackson, Walker LLP that the Myers’ daughter was at Island View voluntarily, and while McGraw recommended treatment, he did not control it, and had no influence over the girl's treatment. He added that the lawsuit alleges no facts saying that McGraw had participated in any of the claims listed in the complaint.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

  • Marcko

    How old is dr phil? He looks horrible! Maybe HE needs treatment.

  • spookywhite

    Please proofread your copy before posting.”oder men” ?? I see that this is a frequent issue within your articles. Breathe. Exhale. Autocheck…read aloud, then send. Trying to scoop the story or be the first to the internets(sp) with spelling mistakes undermine you.

  • Warren Deckard

    Oder men?

  • trustworthy1

    Hard to believe that he would risk jepordising his career/show, Im sure we will be hearing more about this.