If this is true, it is DISGUSTING!
Guests with addiction problems are apparently left to their own devices in a hotel room while they detox and wait to film their interview; some said they scored drugs during this time with the knowledge of show staff.
One guest allegedly bought heroin with the support of staff; another says she was pregnant and was told by a producer where to go to score drugs (on Skid Row in Los Angeles) while being filmed the entire time.
But maybe the most damning claim was made by Survivor winner Todd Herzog (above), who infamously was so drunk during his appearance he had to be half-carried to the stage.
You may recall he faced a filmed intervention before coming on the show and detoxed over a couple days. He was sober when he got to the green room, a point corroborated by Herzog’s father. But that didn’t last long. Herzog says there was a full bottle of vodka just waiting there for him.
He says after drinking the alcohol, he was offered a Xanax by someone — he doesn’t know who — who told him it would calm his nerves for the taping.
On the show, Dr. Phil had Herzog take a breathalyzer, blowing a scary .263. And of course the combination with Xanax can be even more dangerous. Herzog told interviewers:
“You know, I get that it’s a television show and that they want to show the pain that I’m in. However, what would have happened if I died there? You know, that’s horrifying.”
At first the show’s rep Martin Greenberg responded by saying they didn’t have the responsibility to monitor guests because “it’s a television show” not a medical facility.
But after being faced with some of the particulars of the report, including Herzog’s story, the response changed.
In a lengthy letter, Greenberg said Herzog was “medically supervised the entire time he was involved with tapings” by medical professionals, and that all guests are monitored “100% of the time.”
Then AGAIN after that the show clarified with another statement:
“We mean 100% of guests agreeing to treatment. It does not mean that a guest is being monitored 100% of the time.”
This letter had more flexible language, shifting the blame by saying “substance abusers adopt very clever means” to get their fix.
STAT could not find any of the “medical professionals” who monitored Herzog but did find that the treatment centers used by the show said they only provide personnel to accompany guests going FROM the show to their facility.
None of this looks like a good prognosis for Dr. Phil.
[Image via YouTube.]