Former “Dr. Phil” guests say they were given drugs and alcohol by show producers and provided with little medical oversight while appearing on the talk show, according to a new report.
Todd Herzog, a former “Survivor” contestant who appeared visibly drunk on a 2013 episode of “Dr. Phil” while there to discuss his alcohol addiction, said he showed up to the set that day completely sober. But a bottle of vodka appeared in his dressing room and a show staffer gave him Xanax before the taping began, Herzog said in a joint investigative piece by STAT and the Boston Globe.
“You know, I get that it’s a television show and that they want to show the pain that I’m in,” Herzog said. “However, what would have happened if I died there? You know, that’s horrifying.”
Herzog said he was flown to Los Angeles for the taping and put up in a hotel room for two days, mirroring stories from other former guests who said they were provided no medical supervision as they waited to tape their appearances.
Marianne Smith, who appeared on the show in 2012 with her heroin-addicted niece, said she alerted producers that her niece began to suffer withdrawals and a producer advised her to go to L.A.’s Skid Row to procure the drug.
Joelle King-Parrish appeared on the show in 2016 with her daughter Kaitlin, who was addicted to heroin. Footage of her and her daughter attempting to find drugs was aired during their appearance, but King-Parrish said she first attempted to get medical help for her daughter from the show and was denied by a producer who told her to “take care of it.”
Reps for “Dr. Phil” did not return TheWrap’s request for comment. McGraw also declined an interview request with STAT, through a “Dr. Phil” show representative, the report states.
Martin Greenberg, a psychologist who serves as the show’s director of professional affairs, denied to STAT and the Boston Globe that guests were given alcohol or advised where to buy drugs, calling the allegations “absolutely, unequivocally untrue.”