In 2013, Todd Herzog, a former reality TV contestant and alcoholic, appeared on an episode of “Dr. Phil,” intoxicated. However, Herzog now says that the TV talk show host tempted him with free vodka backstage before the taping.
Stat News, in a joint investigation with the Boston Globe, reports that Herzog was sober when he arrived to tape the “Dr. Phil” episode. Instead, he claims, producers strategically placed a bottle of vodka in his dressing room. After drinking the entire bottle, a staff member offered him a Xanax to “calm his nerves.”
And Phil McGraw got what they wanted. Herzog slurred his speech and appeared drunk. And he’s not alone. Stat News and Boston Globe found that many of McGraw’s addict guests were put in danger.
“In its pursuit of ratings, the ‘Dr. Phil’ show has put at risk the health of some of those guests it purports to help, according to people who have been on the show and addiction experts,” the publications report. “Guests have been left without medical help as they face withdrawal from drugs, a STAT/Boston Globe investigation has found, and one person said she was directed by a show staff member to an open-air drug market to find heroin for her detoxing niece.”
Martin Greenberg, a psychologist and “Dr. Phil’s” director of professional affairs criticized the accusers by pointing out that they were addicts. “Addicts are notorious for lying, deflecting and trivializing,” he said. “But, if they are at risk when they arrive, then they were at risk before they arrived. The only change is they are one step closer to getting help, typically help they could not have even come close to affording.”