Last year, several women came forward filing a lawsuit against TV
doctor personality, Dr. Phil, claiming he traumatized them by trapping them in a house and forcing them to look at a naked man. Now, these women are finally seeing justice as they've been granted permission to proceed with their lawsuits.
To give you some backstory, four years ago, six individuals, including plaintiffs Shirley Dieu and Crystal Matchett, were invited to a house as Dr. Phil's "dinner guests." The invitation was part of a Big Brother-esque type episode where these individuals were secured in a "mock house" without any contact from the outside world. On the third night of their stay, the women opened the door to their "house" to find a naked man. After running away and locking themselves in a room, the women allegedly asked to leave, but the TV crew laughed at them and then refused.
We don't know what part of this these people found funny, but we know we're sure not laughing.
When the two ladies originally filed their lawsuits last year, CBS filed an anti-SLAPP motion, arguing that its conduct was protected free speech. However, a circuit court denied the motion, asserting that what was shown on Dr. Phil's show is considered "entertainment," not of "public interest." Therefore, it doesn't qualify for protection under the First Amendment.
But because the women both signed contracts with the show, the bizarre lawsuit gets a little bit messier and thus, they were told by the appeals court this morning that they could not sue for negligence. However, they were given permission to sue for their other claims in a lower court, which include fraud, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. According to a source, this rule demonstrates "a likelihood" that the women will win their case.
What do you have to say about that, Phil?!
[Image via WENN.]