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One of the strangest lawsuits we’ve seen in awhile has been filed against Dr. Phil, claiming he falsely imprisoned and “brainwashed” a California woman.
In a crazy-sounding complaint filed yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Shirley Dieu claims that she was held captive by “Dr. Phil” McGraw on October 11, 2007 in a residence on Santa Monica Blvd. She says that the building was surrounded by 12-feet walls and fences, restraining her from trying to escape. During the alleged captivity, Dieu says she was “forced to be in the same room with a completely naked live man while he exposed his entire naked body, genitals and all” (paranoid underlining not ours).
Dieu claims personal and mental injuries and cites “brainwashing” as a cause of action too, having been programmed to believe she was getting real therapy from a real licensed doctor. We’re pretty sure “brainwashing” isn’t a legitimate cause of action, and if that’s not weird enough, Dieu also says that Dr. Phil touched her on her left breast during a therapy session two days earlier.
It’s probably not a shock that the woman is representing herself in court. But whether Dr. Phil is really a licensed doctor and whether his license has been revoked for having a sexual relationship with a teenage client has been subject to a lot of Internet chatter.
Last year, a complaint was filed against the talk show host with the California Board of Psychology claiming that Dr. Phil was practicing without a license when he got involved in the hospitalization of Britney Spears. Dr. Phil’s “practice” was examined in a column for The New York TImes and reportedly, participants who go on his show sign a contract that includes a provision that he is not actually medically treating them.
CBS, which distributes his show, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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