por Natalie Finn | Traducido por | lun., 14 abr. 2008 5:10 PM
As Britney Spears knows all too well, Dr. Phil is ever ready to lend an ear and an opinion to those in distress. The TV doc is not in the practice of lending money, however.
A rep for Phil McGraw's syndicated talk-it-out fest says certain staffers, in anticipation of featuring the case on Dr. Phil, "went beyond" the show's guidelines by bailing out one of eight Central Florida teens jailed on suspicion of participating in a videotaped beating of a female classmate.
"We have helped guests and potential guests in the past when they need financial assistance to come on the show—assisting with clothing allowance, lost wages, accommodations, travel and necessities," Dr. Phil spokeswoman Terri Corigliano said in a statement obtained by E! News.
"In this case, certain staff members went beyond our guidelines (re the bail being paid). These staff members have been spoken to and our policies reiterated. In addition, we have decided not to go forward with the story as our guidelines have been compromised."
Dr. Phil employees posted bond for 17-year-old Mercades Nichols on Saturday, according to the Polk County Sherriff's Office. A judge had set bail amounts Friday of between $30,000 and $37,000 for the eight charged in the attack, all of whom are expected to be tried as adults.
The teens, six girls and two boys ranging in age from 14 to 18, are facing felony counts of witness tampering and kidnapping as well as misdemeanor battery charges stemming from the March 30 attack in Lakeland, Fla., footage of which ended up on MySpace, YouTube and other Internet sites.
TMZ has reported it was a seasoned Dr. Phil producer and a rather green production assistant who gave a bail bondsman $3,300—or, 10 percent of the $33,000 it cost to get Nichols out of jail, and that someone not affiliated with the show put up the rest of the collateral.
McGraw came under fire earlier this year for seemingly butting into the Britney Spears saga by paying her a visit while she was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and then dishing out the details of their meeting to hungry reporters.
"The family basically extended an invitation of trust for him to come in as a resource to support them, not to go out and make public statements," Spears family spokesman Lou Taylor said on the Today show regarding the psychologist's loose-lipped ways. "Any statements publicly that he made, because he was brought in under this cloak of trust, are just inappropriate. We feel like, to set the record straight, we need to say that."
Needless to say, plans for an hour-long special about Spears' ongoing troubles were immediately scrapped.
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