Lawsuit claims Dr. Phil strong-armed teenager to go to 'troubled youth' ranch where she was sexually assaulted
Dr. Phil (Shutterstock)

On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that a Colorado woman is alleging in a lawsuit that Phil McGraw, a.k.a. self-help talk show host "Dr. Phil," pressured her into attending a "troubled youth" ranch in Utah to cure her suicidal thoughts, where she ended up being sexually assaulted.

"In a complaint filed this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Hannah Archuleta says she suffered physical and emotional abuse as a result of her October 2019 appearance on the 'Dr. Phil' show and subsequent stay at Turn-About Ranch in Escalante, Utah. She is seeking unspecified damages in the suit, which was filed by women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred," reported Brittany Shammas. "'We look forward to fighting for justice for Hannah,' the attorney said in a statement."

The lawsuit states that Dr. Phil told Hannah's father that she "needs to go to the Ranch to have any chance at a good life. It's that serious we help her right now and today."

The TV doctor also said he would oversee her treatment and that his show would finance it.

Through a spokesperson, Dr. Phil denies any wrongdoing, noting that Archuleta's parents made the final decision to send her to Turn-About Ranch and that the family previously attempted to sue the ranch itself, without success.

Dr. Phil has been frequently accused of exploiting the guests on his self-help show for entertainment purposes. A Boston Globe report in 2017 alleged that a producer on his show supplied guests with alcohol and prescription drugs to prepare them to go on air.