Todd Herzog, an alcoholic former reality TV contestant who infamously appeared on TV drunk during a 2013 episode of "Dr. Phil," claims he was tempted with free vodka backstage before the taping.
Stat News, in a joint investigation with the Boston Globe, reports that Herzog was not actually drunk when he showed up to tape the "Dr. Phil" episode more than four years ago.
Instead, he says, a bottle of vodka was strategically placed in his dressing room. After he drank the entire bottle, he says that a staffer came in and offered him a Xanax as a way to "calm his nerves."
When he taped the show shortly after, he was visibly disheveled and slurred his words.
Herzog's story is just one of many Stat News and the Boston Globe found in which Phil McGraw's show allegedly put addicts 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 who serves as "Dr. Phil's" director of professional affairs, lashed out at the show's accusers by claiming that drug addicts regularly lie to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions.
"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."