Former “Dr. Phil” guests say they were given drugs and alcohol by show producers and provided with little medical oversight while appearing on the talk show, according to a new report.
Todd Herzog, a former “Survivor” contestant who appeared visibly drunk on a 2013 episode of “Dr. Phil” while there to discuss his alcohol addiction, said he showed up to the set that day completely sober. But a bottle of vodka appeared in his dressing room and a show staffer gave him Xanax before the taping began, Herzog said in a joint investigative piece by STAT and the Boston Globe.
“You know, I get that it’s a television show and that they want to show the pain that I’m in,” Herzog said. “However, what would have happened if I died there? You know, that’s horrifying.”
Dr. Phil through the years
Dr. Phil through the years
Dr. Phil McGraw is a marital therapist who appears on the Oprah Winfrey show twice a month helping troubled couples save their marriages. (Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Dr. Phil McGraw on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios in Los Angeles, Ca. Thursday, Jan. 24, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
Dr. Phil McGraw at 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. Friday, July 12, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ ImageDirect.
Dr. Phil McGraw at Paramount Picture's 90th Anniversary celebration '90 Stars for 90 Years' at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Ca. Sunday, July 14, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect.
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 22: Dr. Phil McGraw participates in the Gibson/Baldwin 'Night at the Net' Celebrity Tennis Match at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at UCLA on July 22, 2002 in Westwood, California. The event kicked off the Mercedes-Benz Cup and proceeds benefit the Musicares Foundation. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
Dr. Phil McGraw and wife arrive at the 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA., 9/22/02. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 23: Television talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw and wife Robin attend the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Seattle SuperSonics on February 23, 2003 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 15: Dr. Phil McGraw attends the 2004 NBA All-Star Game held on February 15, 2004 at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 12: Television personality Dr. Phil McGraw and his wife Robin arrive at the Junior League of Los Angeles Carnivale Gala on March 12, 2004 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JULY 19: Host Dr. Phil McGraw of 'A Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Family First' speaks with the press at the TCA Press Tour CBS Day 2 at the Century Plaza Hotel June 19, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: TV personality Dr. Phil McGraw attends the women's final between Kim Clijsters of Belgium and Mary Pierce of France during the US Open at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on September 10, 2005 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Gombert-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 11: (AFP OUT) U.S. President George W. Bush (L) and television talk show host, Dr. Phil McGraw, sing, 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing' during the finale of the 24th annual 'Christmas in Washington' pageant at the National Building Museum December 11, 2005 in Washington, DC. The annual holiday musical celebration benefits the Children's National Medical Center will broadcast on the TNT network December 14. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: Robin McGraw and her husband Dr. Phil McGraw appear at her signing of her new book 'Inside My Heart' at K-mart on September 18, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29: Dr. Phil McGraw appears in a conversation with writer Mitch Albom at the 12th Annual L.A. Times Festival of Books at Royce Hall on the U.C.L.A. campus on April 29, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 17: Dr. Phil McGraw speaks during a segment of 'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson' at CBS Television City on May 17, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - MAY 18: Dr. Phil McGraw (R) and wife Robin McGraw arrives at the 43rd annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - APRIL 19: Dr. Phil McGraw onstage at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre on April 19, 2009 in Unversal City, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 07: Dr. Phil McGraw and recording artist Jordan McGraw (L) speak during the taping of 'Dr. Phil' announcing 'Little Kids Rock Across America' at Paramount Pictures Studios on December 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 01: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, Premium Rates Apply) Dr. Phil McGraw and Robin McGraw attend Natalie Cole's 60th Birthday Party on February 1, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Duffy-Marie Arnoult/Getty Images)
Dr. Phil McGraw attends the star unveiling ceremony for actor and radio host Steve Harvey in Hollywood, California, on May 13, 2013. Harvey received the 2,497th star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Category of Radio. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 19: Author Robin McGraw(L) and TV personality Phil McGraw attend the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards at AT&T Stadium on April 19, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 19: TV personality Phil McGraw speaks onstage during the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards at AT&T Stadium on April 19, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for dcp)
Herzog said he was flown to Los Angeles for the taping and put up in a hotel room for two days, mirroring stories from other former guests who said they were provided no medical supervision as they waited to tape their appearances.
Marianne Smith, who appeared on the show in 2012 with her heroin-addicted niece, said she alerted producers that her niece began to suffer withdrawals and a producer advised her to go to L.A.’s Skid Row to procure the drug.
Joelle King-Parrish appeared on the show in 2016 with her daughter Kaitlin, who was addicted to heroin. Footage of her and her daughter attempting to find drugs was aired during their appearance, but King-Parrish said she first attempted to get medical help for her daughter from the show and was denied by a producer who told her to “take care of it.”
Reps for “Dr. Phil” did not return TheWrap’s request for comment.
Martin Greenberg, a psychologist who serves as the show’s director of professional affairs, denied to STAT and the Boston Globe that guests were given alcohol or advised where to buy drugs, calling the allegations “absolutely, unequivocally untrue.”