Dr. Phil Show Denies Allegations of Providing Drugs, Alcohol

In a report that stunned even Dr. Phil’s fiercest critics, Dr. Phil is accused of providing alcohol and drugs to addicts who appear on his show.

Dr. Phil McGraw, the person, has yet to respond to these serious accusations. Dr. Phil, the television show, however, has spoken out.

And they’re denying it, saying that the accusations come from disgruntled people, and essentially stating that addicts are liars. Uh-oh.

Dr. Phil’s show purportedly helps people who are suffering. People who’ve survived horrifying trauma and are plagued with mental illness. People who are being scammed. People who struggle with addiction.

No one’s disputing that some of the guests on this show are helped by the show and by the programs that they then enter.

But what does Dr. Phil do aside from make Danielle Bregoli famous and let audiences gawk at people living or reliving the worst moments of their lives as they’re humiliated on television?

According to some pretty damning accusations reported by STAT and The Boston Globe, Dr. Phil’s producers have their finger on the scale — helping guests obtain drugs or straight-up giving them to them.

Remember Todd Herzog from Survivor: China? In 2013, he had to be carried onto the set to talk to Dr. Phil.

At the time, Phil McGraw famously said that Herzog’s struggle with alcoholism was endangering his life. And if a guy can’t stop drinking long enough to do a talk show, that sounds accurate.

But Todd Herzog tells STAT and The Boston Globe that he was sober when he arrived to do the show … only to find a bottle of vodka waiting in his room.

Unable to resist the temptation, he drank from it. And he says that a producer also gave him a Xanax (don’t mix those, folks). 

And that goes on top of accusations from multiple sources, alleging that Dr. Phil producers and staff openly enabled and even assisted guests who struggled with addiction in using and even procuring drugs.

Dr. Martin Greenberg serves as Dr. Phil‘s director of professional affairs.

He described these new claims as “absolutely, unequivocally untrue.”

Specifically responding to Herzog’s accusation, he said: “We do not do that with this guest or any other”

That’s the sort of denial that you expect from any accusation (true or not), and is fairly bland.

It’s what Dr. Greenberg later said that’s really troubling.

“Addicts are notorious for lying, deflecting, and trivializing,” he declared.

Dr. Greenberg works on a show that’s supposed to help people struggling with problems, but the minute that he feels back into a corner, he defends the show by suggesting that addicts are dirty liars and can’t be trusted?

That’s what it sounds like.

“But, if they are at risk when they arrive, then they were at risk before they arrived.”

Meaning, what … that anything that might happen on the show can’t possibly make things worse for them?

“The only change is they are one step closer to getting help, typically help they could not have even come close to affording.”

Oh boy.

Also, it appears that Greenberg has been changing his stance.

When first asked about any medical supervision for Todd Herzog, Greenberg replied: “No, of course not, it’s a television show.”

He then seemed to radically change his tune, announcing that Herzog had been “medically supervised the entire time.”

And Greenberg made yet another statement, we suppose in an effort to clarify things.

“We mean 100% of guests agreeing to treatment. It does not mean that a guest is being monitored 100% of the time.”

We were initially surprised that Phil McGraw himself wasn’t the first to react to these accusations.

Now, some can’t help but wonder if he — or someone else who works on the show — decided to let Greenberg be the spokesperson and then take the fall for what seems to be an ever-changing story.


Dr. Phil Accused of Prividing Alcohol, Drugs to Addict Guests

Plenty of people aren’t surprised to hear that accusations are coming out about Dr. Phil. He’s been slammed with lawsuits and allegations before.

But this report, the published results an an investigation by The Boston Globe and STAT, allege something very different that goes right to the heart of the “treatments” that Dr. Phil claims to provide.

Dr. Phil’s show is accused of, among other things, providing addicts who are seeking treatment with the substances that they crave.

As we all know, Dr. Phil was made famous by Danielle Bregoli … with a little help from Oprah a couple of decades earlier.

He purportedly helps people with their problems, be it behavior or substance abuse issues using the sort of folksy “wisdom” that you’d expect from a towering Texan walrus in human form.

But does his show really help people … or does he march people out in front of the cameras, let his audience ogle that person’s problems, and then make a show of setting their life on track without really helping?

Does Dr. Phil actually make things worse, endangering guests for the sake of good ratings?

Todd Herzog won his season of Survivor: China in 2008. But in 2013, it seemed like he wasn’t going to survive much longer.

When he appeared on Dr. Phil’s show, he was so wildly intoxicated that he literally had to be carried out to his chair.

According to the investigation by STAT and The Boston Globe, the audience never knew the whole story.

“Herzog, who was battling alcoholism, told STAT and the Boston Globe that he was not intoxicated when he arrived at the Los Angeles studio.”

You’d think that, even if he had shown up drunk, they would have worked to sober him up, right?

“In his dressing room, he said he found a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. He drank all of it. Then someone handed him a Xanax, he said, telling him it would ‘calm his nerves.'”

Oh. Wow.

That’s just one allegation.

“Guests have been left without medical help as they face withdrawal from drugs.”

And there’s a very disturbing allegation included in the report of, well, another variety.

“One person said she was directed by a show staff member to an open-air drug market to find heroin for her detoxing niece.”

Neither of those should happen for someone who is seeking treatment for addiction issues.

A representative for the show, Martin Greenberg, denied the accusations about Herzog, the bottle of vodka, and the Xanax.

“We do not do that with this guest or any other.”

He goes on to refer to the allegations as “absolutely, unequivocally untrue.”

We think that it’s possible for a single isolated incident to be the actions of a rogue producer who makes bad choices.

But we’re talking about an alleged pattern of behavior on the part of the series, here, not about one bottle in the wrong room.

It’s also worth noting, as the report does, that some of Dr. Phil’s own employees have spoken out before.

“Some of McGraw’s own employees have raised alarms about the treatment of guests.”

And about the treatment of employees.

“In one lawsuit filed last year against McGraw and his production company in Los Angeles Superior Court, a former segment director, Leah Rothman, accused McGraw of false imprisonment for trapping employees in a room to threaten them over leaks to the media.”

Yikes. And it sounds like guests fare even worse.

“Rothman also alleged that guests complained that their lives were ‘ruined.’ One guest attempted suicide after the show, according to a deposition with another staff member.”

This is hardly the first time that Dr. Phil has been accused of exploiting vulnerable people for entertainment purposes.

(Remember when his dubious interview with Shelly Duvall?)

But the accusation that Dr. Phil’s producers are directing addicts on where to buy drugs before filming is a little unsettling.

It’d be nice to believe that maybe producers just want to make sure that addicts buy drugs from safer dealers if they’re going to buy them somewhere.

But none of that would explain away that alleged vodka bottle. Or that Xanax.

And considering the massive profits that Dr. Phil — the show and the man — rakes in, you have to look if they have a motive to make things look worse and more sensational for the cameras.

And perhaps less of a motive to make sure that everybody gets helped.

These accusations are alarming. Will further accusations follow?


Ben Affleck: Back In Rehab For Alcohol Addiction (Report)

Earlier this week, multiple sources claimed that Ben Affleck was “spiraling out of control” in a way that had friends and family concerned for his life.

Affleck checked into rehab back in March, and in a public statement released just after he completed treatment, the actor revealed that he hoped maintaining his sobriety would enable him to be a more supportive and attentive father to his three children.

Sadly, it looks as though Affleck lost sight of that goal somewhere along the way, as he resumed drinking in recent months,

Ben is dating Lindsay Shookus these days, and the couple spent a good deal of the summer traveling, dining, and, unfortunately, drinking.

Affleck’s been spotted drinking with Shookus on multiple occasions, most recently at last month’s Emmy Awards.

No one in Ben’s inner circle is blaming Lindsay for his relapse, but the belief seems to be that the contentment Affleck has found in his new relationship emboldened him to the point that he mistakenly believed he could return to casual drinking.

Not surprisingly, it seems it didn’t take long for Ben to fall back into his old habits.

Thankfully, it seems that Ben has heeded the advice of his concerned loved ones and returned to addiction treatment.

Unfortunately, some still believe that the Oscar winner isn’t taking his problem with alcohol seriously enough.

According to Us Weekly, Affleck was spotted “arriving at an outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles” recently.

“Ben looked so happy,” an onlooker tells the magazine.

“He was in such a good mood and looked refreshed.”

Outpatient treatment can be effective in many cases, but generally, in cases of long-term abuse with multiple relapses, experts recommend at least four weeks of inpatient care.

Ben’s friends are said to be pleased that he’s seeking treatment, but certain insiders are reportedly still imploring him to check into a facility for at least a few weeks.

There have been suggestions that Affleck is simply taking a half-step in order to placate the concerned parties, but obviously, he’s the only one who can know for sure if that’s the case.

Whatever the case, we’re glad to hear Ben is at least spending some time in the care of addiction specialists, and we hope he continues to seek help.


Corinne Olympios: I Maybe Shouldn’t Have Mixed Alcohol and Drugs; My Bad!

Corinne Olympios seems like a fun person who’s partied before, so it always seemed kind of odd that she blacked out for the scandalous poolside sex romp on Bachelor in Paradise.

That’s one of the reasons that, when the news first broke that production had been shut down, we wondered how much of the story we weren’t getting.

It turns out that Corinne’s figured out what happened … and it has to do with mixing drugs and booze.

So, you know when your pill bottle says to not mix drugs with alcohol?

That’s not just a suggestion.

Now, maybe you think that it’s overblown and only on the label like government mandates, like a lot of expiration dates.

Maybe you’ve watched people crush their prescription pills, snort them, and then down a half-dozen shots of rum and just keep on partying with zero apparent consequences.

But different pills have different effects and interactions.

And different people’s bodies handle those combinations in very different ways.

What’s good for the proverbial goose could kill the gander … or at least make them have a blacked out pool hookup with DeMario Jackson.

(Which would be fine … except for the blacked out part, and everything that followed)

TMZ reports that Corinne Olympios had mixed booze and pills that day.

It sounds like she’d taken prescription medication before she began drinking, and so when she drank, the two interacted and resulted in … well, everything that happened.

This report came out at the taping of the Bachelor in Paradise reunion special, which filmed on Saturday.

TMZ didn’t provide any direct quotes from Corinne explaining, and we don’t know the exact medications involved.

(Which, you know, is totally her private medical business)

But we’ll get to hear it all once this season of Bachelor in Paradise airs its reunion special.

Well before that, of course, viewers will actually see Corinne and DeMario’s pool sex encounter for themselves.

(With obvious censorship and editing where appropriate)

You might be thinking gee, why didn’t Corinne mention this earlier?

Remember that, first and foremost, she didn’t know what happened.

She was told about what happened in the pool by the show’s production after a producer saw what was happening and worried that a sexual assault had taken place.

Warner Bros’ own investigation determined that there was no sexual assault.

More convincingly (no offense to WB, but internal investigations are what they are), Corinne closed the book on the topic, expressing that she was satisfied with their findings.

That must have been a horrifying ordeal for her.

It must have been awful for DeMario, too.

While no one involved — Corinne included — ever actually accused him of sexual assault or any sort of wrongdoing, some people added two plus two and got “DeMario’s a bad guy!”

There’s a long, sad history of racist accusations against black men for sexual assault when it comes to hookups with white women.

DeMario spoke about how much the scandal impacted his mother.

He’s been cleared of all wrongdoing, officially, which is great.

But it must have been awful.

Corinne wasn’t mixing pills with drinks to party or anything, but her story is still a good cautionary tale, folks:

Pay attention to the instructions on your medications.

Don’t mix them with alcohol or other medicines (prescribed or alternative or whatever) without knowing how they’re going to interact.

You might get sick, you might die.

Or you might do something that you regret forever.

Everyday people don’t have producers and crew members to stop them from driving when they’re unaware of their own actions.

As bad as this scandal was, it could have been so much worse.


O.J. Simpson’s Parole Conditions Allow Him to Drink Alcohol and Smoke Weed

O.J. Simpson’s on his way to being released from prison, and once he’s a free man he’ll also be free to imbibe and smoke weed … as long as he’s responsible about it. The conditions of Juice’s parole allow him to “consume alcoholic beverages but…


O.J. Simpson’s Parole Conditions Allow Him to Drink Alcohol and Smoke Weed

O.J. Simpson’s on his way to being released from prison, and once he’s a free man he’ll also be free to imbibe and smoke weed … as long as he’s responsible about it. The conditions of Juice’s parole allow him to “consume alcoholic beverages but…


Nelsan Ellis Cause of Death: How Did Alcohol Play a Role?

We have new information on the sad death of Nelsan Ellis.

The former True Blood star, who portrayed fan favorite Lafayette Reynolds from the show’s very first episode up through its last, died on Saturday at the age of 39.

Upon announcing this tragic news, Ellis’ manager stated that her client passed away from “complications with heart failure.”

No further insight was provided at the time, leaving fans to wonder how such an unfortunate development occurs for someone at such a young age.

But now that same manager, Emily Gerson Saines, has released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that elucidates certain aspects of Ellis’ life and death.

He apparently battled a drug and alcohol problem for years.

Just prior to passing away, Ellis attempted to get clean and sober without the help of any professionals or any programs.

“After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own,” the star’s family said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, through Saines.

“According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.”

We can also now report that Ellis spent four days in Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn before dying on Saturday.

In this same statement, Saines refers to the actor a “gentle, generous and kind soul.”

She adds:

“Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life.

“His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.”

Ellis will forever be best remembered to playing the outspoken, cross-dressing, courageous and hilarious gay character of Lafayette on True Blood.

But also appeared on episodes of Elementary and in such movies as The Help and The Butler.

Tributes poured in over the weekend from co-stars who were heartbroken to learn of Ellis’ passing.

“Crushed today by the loss of my friend and castmate Nelsan Ellis. He was a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one of a kind artist,” Tweeted Joe Manganiello, for example.

Octavia Spencer, who appeared opposite Ellis in two movies, said she and the actor became “instant friends” after meeting on the set of The Soloist.

Of their first encounter at work, she wrote, “Needless to say, he was gorgeous, sexy. But his talent had me speechless … I miss him.”

And this is from HBO:

“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis.

“Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of True Blood.

“Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO.”

Perhaps most memorably and most emotionally, however, Stephen Moyer penned a lengthy message on Facebook the day after Ellis died.

“Nelsan Ellis was the only actor in the [seven] years of True Blood whom [creator Alan Ball] allowed to improvise,” wrote the veteran actor behind Bill Compton, adding in beautiful detail:

Actually, I’m going to take that back. It wasn’t that Alan allowed him to do it, it was more that when Nelsan inhabited the world of Lafayette, he quite literally COULDN’T STOP himself.

It was like he was possessed.

In actuality, Nelsan was quiet, smart, thoughtful, warm and kind. A published playwright himself.

I think it would be fair to say that he taught all of us that intent and courage and fearlessness and freedom are the aspects of playing make-believe that spark the corners of the room where the dark is most impenetrable; to shine a light on those corners within ourselves is the very reason we go back time and again to Movies, TV shows and Theatre.

To see that spark ignited. Nelsan had that electricity in an abundance I have rarely seen.

I can’t believe he’s gone.


‘True Blood’ Star Nelsan Ellis Died After Alcohol Withdrawal Complications

Nelsan Ellis’ heart failure was triggered by alcohol withdrawal complications. The “True Blood” star’s family said Nelsan — who died Saturday — struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for years and his latest attempt to withdraw from booze on his…