Guests on Dr. Phil allege the talk show hosted by American TV personality Dr. Phil McGraw exploited their addictions by providing them alcohol or access to drugs before their appearance on the show, according to a report.
Best known for winning Survivor: China back in 2007, Todd Herzog has faced some difficult times in the years since due to his battle with alcohol abuse, as TV viewers witnessed in a horrific 2013 appearance on Dr. Phil in which Herzog was so drunk he had to be carried onto the set.
However, Herzog is now alleging that the drunken debacle was a setup engineered by the show’s producers, claiming in a new interview with health and science website STAT and the Boston Globe that there were two bottles of vodka waiting for him in his dressing room when he arrived for the show’s taping.
According to Herzog, he was sober when he arrived, but wound up downing an entire bottle of vodka prior to the show.
Then, he claims he was given a Xanax (a drug he had never taken before) to “calm his nerves,” which he says explains why he was such a mess during the appearance, the result of a last-minute intervention organized by his parents.
“I show up to the studios and I’m sober,” Herzog explained. “I’m hurting a lot and I’m shaking. My dad was there and I went and I talked to him in his dressing room, and I was completely sober. And then they pull me into my dressing room, and there were two litres of vodka and some Red Bulls and stuff like that.”
Herzog alleges that he was “unsupervised” while in his dressing room, and wound up drinking an entire bottle of vodka before being given the Xanax, which he describes as “a deadly combination.”
“The next thing you know, I’m being carried onto the stage because I can barely walk. My dad was furious, because he had just seen me sober, like an hour-and-a-half before,” Herzog says.
While McGraw declined STAT’s request for comment, Martin Greenberg, a psychologist associated with the show, denies Herzog’s allegations that he was left alone in his dressing room with a bottle of vodka and then given Xanax.
“We do not do that with this guest or any other,” he told STAT, describing Herzog’s allegations as “absolutely, unequivocally untrue” and pointing out that “addicts are notorious for lying, deflecting and trivializing.”
Another unnamed guest told STAT and the Boston Globe that Dr. Phil staff directed them on where they could buy drugs.