Dr. Phil backs down from exploiting Mindy McCready suicide attempt for ratings

In January Dr. Phil received a lot of well-deserved flack for visiting Britney Spears in the hospital when she was on a mental health hold, and planning a special on his show around her, which was ultimately canceled. Phil was lambasted in the media for revealing details of Britney’s medical condition to the press, a clear violation of patient confidentiality, and Britney’s own family said that although they did ask Phil to get involved they didn’t give him permission to make public statements about her.

Then in April Dr. Phil and his producers showed incredibly poor judgment again by bailing out the ringleader in a brutal YouTube beating in which six teen girls in Florida lured a classmate to one of their homes and beat her unconscious, recording it all and posting it online. The Dr. Phil show paid over $30,000 to free the girl in order to secure an exclusive interview with her and her family. Instead of admitting their gross error in judgment, producers at the Dr. Phil show blamed the guy they sent down to Florida with the money, saying it was all his idea and he somehow went down there on his own with a lot of cash. That special was also scrapped due to media backlash.

Phil found yet another personal tragedy to exploit – his people arranged for Mindy McCready to go to rehab in exchange for all the salacious details of her breakdown. The 32 year-old country singer has faced a string of personal problems in the past few years including an addiction to painkillers that led her to forge prescriptions, abuse by an ex boyfriend, and multiple arrests. She was jailed from September to December of last year for violating probation and most recently overdosed on Ambien and vodka in an apparent suicide attempt. But Dr. Phil planned to fix everything for McCready by paying for her to go to rehab and putting her on his show to dish out his unique brand of homespun sound bites of wisdom. Luckily that’s not going to happen, though:

Mindy McCready is going back to rehab after trying to do herself in with her favorite swiggable and pharmaceutical — vodka and Ambien — and we hear Dr. Phil’s inserting himself in the whole she-bang.

TMZ has learned the troubled McCready went off the deep end late last week after getting dumped by her boyfriend and collapsed while on the phone with her mother. She downed a bottle of vods and pills in what we’re told was a “suicide attempt.”

She’s headed to Arizona for treatment, and a source says that was all Phil’s idea. We’re told he’s taken Mindy under his wing as a “personal project.” As for whether or not she’ll be on the show, time will tell.

[From TMZ]

Like his other attempts to use stories of personal tragedy to boost ratings, Dr. Phil has backed down from putting Mindy on his show. TMZ reports that reps for the show say Mindy won’t be on and state that “Dr. Phil has not treated patients one-on-one since his show went on air. Ms. McCready’s situation is private and we respect her right to privacy in a difficult time.” It’s been a while since I saw the Dr. Phil show, but he usually treats patients in groups and by dragging their families in too. It’s likely he planned to do something like that here so the defense is pretty weak.

TMZ doesn’t pull stories out of thin air like the gossip rags and they seem to have solid sources before they run with something. I would bet this was true and that Phil’s people realized they were about to enter another PR quagmire and backed down. At least McCready got free rehab out of it.

How much longer is Dr. Phil going to stay on the air? There were all sorts of stories after the Britney debacle that he was about to get canned because he had pissed off his boss, the all mighty Oprah.

Mindy McCready is shown below at “The Queen of Hearts Team participates in the 2008 WSOP Ladies Event at the Rio Hotel and Casino” on 6/8/08. She’s also shown the day before on 6/7/08. Credit: Judy Eddy / WENN. Dr. Phil is shown on 3/20/08. Credit: WENN

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18 Responses to “Dr. Phil backs down from exploiting Mindy McCready suicide attempt for ratings”

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  1. daisy424 says:

    I have never seen his show, he comes across to me as being arrogant.
    From what I have read he preys on weak people to boost his ratings.
    He’s a publicity whore.

  2. gracie says:

    I am shocked that he is still allowed to venture an opinion about ANYTHING.
    His credibility is zero.

    I am very surprised that Oprah has let him remain as long as she has. I would have thought she’d have moved the mighty Oprah hand down and squashed him like a bug.

    His presence under her umbrella isn’t doing her any favors.

    Dr. Phil is a charlatan, plain and simple.

  3. Syko says:

    I used to think he was offensive but harmless. Now I’m starting to think he’s dangerous. You just don’t mess with people’s lives that way, especially when they are in a crisis situation. He doesn’t even have an MD, does he?

    He and Oprah both sicken me – him for the stuff just listed here by CB, and her for supporting him (and Tiny Tom).

  4. Jann says:

    While I don’t agree with most of anything I’ve heard him say…and for God’s sake, could his wife have a bit more plastic surgery please…does that woman’s face even move?!?!?!?….sorry, on a tangent…
    But…it seems like we welcomed him into our homes en masse with his TV show, his books etc. because Oprah, that bastion of knowledge and common sense said we should.
    The woman speaks gospel, no? (snicker)

  5. photo jojo says:

    I don’t believe he ever treated patients. He was a jury consultant on Oprah’s big beef trial in TX, that was his specialty: helping the weathy seat juries stacked in their favor.

  6. Jann says:

    People who live in glass houses…

    The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists imposed disciplinary sanctions on McGraw on January 27, 1989 for an inappropriate “dual relationship” reported in 1988 by a female therapy client/employee from 1984. McGraw was ordered by the Board to take an ethics class, pass a jurisprudence exam, complete a physical evaluation, undergo a psychological evaluation and have his practice supervised for one year in order to continue his private practice in Texas. McGraw admits to giving the client a “job” at his office (which is not allowed), but denied carrying on a sexual relationship with the 19-year-old, who says their relationship was “sexually inappropriate.”[31][3][12] As of 2008, McGraw has not completed the conditions imposed by the Board of Examiners of Psychologists,[32] and he is not licensed to practice psychology in Texas, California, or anywhere else

  7. princess says:

    I would down pills and vodka as well if Dr. Phil came anywhere near me.
    They were probably right when they said he is the reason she went to rehab…but not because he recommended it.

  8. Nan says:

    My mom called Dr.Phil a hillbilly and Oprah a phony. It has taken years to see that she was right. My mom could see through anyone.

    I take the good from Phil and just leave the rest. Oprah lost all credibility w/me when she supported that guy who wrote a ‘million pieces’. I never bought his story about having teeth drilled w/out anesthetics. But she bought it. She bought Dr. Phil also. Didn’t she do a background check? No. No, because she thinks her judgement is all that.

    When she had the author of a million pieces on her show to admit he was fibbing I was flabbergasted to see he had a wife. He’s also living another big lie there. He’s as gay as the day is long.

  9. Because I say So says:

    I think there needs to be a universal boycott of all things Oprah. She foists these idiots on the public with her empire and then they run amok. Phil is an idiot and always has been, but Oprah’s even worse with her sanctimonious air about everything she does

  10. jinx says:

    McGraw has not completed the conditions imposed by the Board of Examiners of Psychologists,[32] and he is not licensed to practice psychology in Texas, California, or anywhere else

    Wow, good job Oprah of finding this yahoo and inflicting him on the world, and in the process rewarding horrible behavior by making him rich beyond his wildest, sexytime with clients, dreams.

  11. nom de plume says:

    Nan – just a note about your comment. My dad had a root canal without any kind of anaesthetic because he’s had heart surgery and the local dentist wouldn’t administer freezing to him because it makes your heart race. My dad didn’t want to make the trip to the city to a specialist so he suffered through the pain.

  12. Wow!

    I guess this is why Dr. Phil is parodied so much on late night comedian shows!


  13. Tu TU says:

    I read a comment by Oprah recently and she said that Dr. Phil bought the right or whatever to his own show so he can do whatever he wants to it. She’s not his boss anymore.

  14. Kat says:

    Turned his show on for a few minutes, the other day. That is about all I could stand, a few minutes. I really can’t see him having a show for too much longer, he is TERRIBLE.

  15. billy says:

    She exploits her own suicides for publicity, and she approached him for coverage, not the other way around. she was supposed to be in court Tuesday to answer why she forged her community service records. that’s why she “OD’d” notice it’s always right before a court date she knows she’s screwed on, it’s always with a non-lethal pill that just gives you a stomach ache, and its never enough alcohol to kill anyone. A woman that big can’t od from one bottle of vodka. and she also always “has a break down” with someone on the telephone right before she does it so that they can alert the police. she’s never in any real danger, never ever means to actually harm herself , but the next day she’s back on tv, and she gets a new court date and sympathy for the judge. Pretty nice little routine she’s come up with. Nice how she does it all at the expense of the courts, police, EMS workers, and her unborn children. She’s done this like 3 times in 3 years, and she’s always pregnant . Apparently from people that have been around her lately , she spends all her money on booze and illegally obtained pills. She won’t buy any food for the kid and her family has to support them both. I know her personally and have experienced 1st hand what a crook she is. She rips people off and runs up large bills that she refuses to pay for because she thinks she’s a celebrity . She one hit over ten years ago , and even her label dropped her because she was such an ass-ache and so hard to deal with. SHe can’t sing any more and she’s a fat bloated cow from all the drugs and booze.I hope they lock her up for good. They finally gave her another show in Nashville this year and she cussed through her whole set in front of families and children. It’s over for her , why won’t she just go away?

  16. billy says:

    epost from tmz says:
    33. Take it from someone who knows..mindy was suppse to be back in court on the 22 for a sentencing hearing after violating er probation yet again. This nothing ore then mindy stalling the inevitable. she has to reappear on september 22 and from what i hear ther will be no leaniancy . they are tired of her. as for dr. phil…it was midy’s camp that reached ouy to him just norther stunt to try an keep herself out of the pokey. zande is with his grandmother and is doing fine. mindy has refused o end money to help out..better spent on drinking and pills. hope she enjoys enjoys the desert cuz i would bet my last dime this girl is going to prison