Was a Dr. Phil Interview the Remedy These Stars Needed?

The show presents an opportunity for celebrities to redeem their reputations, but has it always worked out in their favor?

By Samantha Schnurr Mar 30, 2017 8:17 PMTags

Amid personal turmoil, many stars have turned to Dr. Phil to air their grievances and, on some occasions, seek a solution to their distress. However, in hindsight, was it the remedy they wanted it to be?

This question can also apply to a new interview between the longtime daytime talk show star and Mischa Barton, who has been making headlines as of late because of erratic behavior in her backyard and a subsequent hospitalization, which she has since attributed to being drugged with GHB.

Additionally, she is in the process of trying to legally block the sale and release of an intimate video she claims was shot without her knowledge. 

Celebrity Rehabbers

As their sit-down is not set to air until Monday, there's no telling what direction their televised conversation will go.

In previous celebrity interviews the host has conducted over the years, what began as an opportunity for the star to share their story and redeem their reputation often ended up shining a darker light on their personal and professional life—or in other instances, landed Dr. Phil in hot water. 

The Dr. Phil Show

Take, for example, silver screen icon Shelley Duvall. After years of living out of the spotlight, the 67-year-old resurfaced on the show, revealing she was suffering from mental illness and added that she believes the late Robin Williams is still alive and shape-shifting. 

The interview incited an uproar from fans and colleagues alike, many who claimed Dr. Phil had exploited the star by airing the interview. 

"Unquestionably, this is purely a form of lurid and exploitive entertainment—it's appallingly cruel," she wrote. 

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"Whatever dignity a mere unfortunate creature might have in this world is denied by your displaying her in this way," Vivian Kubrick, her Shining director Stanley Kubrick's daughter, wrote on social media. "I recoil in complete disgust. I hope others will join me in boycotting your utterly heartless form of entertainment, because it has nothing to do with compassionate healing."

"She had been forgotten by the world and we could not walk away from her," Dr. Phil explained. 

While the interview included a trip to a clinic, the star rejected the treatment. Though the host said he was now working with her mother, boyfriend and local mental-health professionals to use alternative methods of treatment, updates on any progress have not been made public.

Meanwhile, colleagues like Stanley have made efforts to help the actress through GoFundMe campaigns and other fundraising methods. 

While an emotional interview on Dr. Phil did result in Nick Gordon completing rehab treatment in 2015, his admissions to suffering with substance abuse did not help clean up his public image. Instead, according to the host, Gordon seemed to be in a life-or-death situation. 

"When we arrived, we realized this is a serious situation and if Nick didn't get help, he could end up dead," Dr. Phil explained before questioning Gordon's alcohol intake.

Though Dr. Phil agreed to fly the then-25 year old to Atlanta if Bobbi Kristina Brown—who was in a coma at the time—woke up, Gordon was ultimately banned from attending her funeral a few months later. In 2015, Gordon was found legally responsible for Bobbi Kristina's death in a wrongful death lawsuit after he failed to appear in court. 

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Former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reality star Kim Richards also had the opportunity to seek treatment for alcoholism with the help of Phil when she participated in her own sit-down, but the child star, who had been arrested earlier that month for public intoxication, resisted the host's help and feared he and her three children had actually staged an intervention.

"Her kids were starting to talk like it was an intervention and Kim couldn't handle it," a source told E! News at the time. "You could tell she felt cornered and hadn't realized what she had signed up for. She got up, and left in a huff yelling and cursing—anyone who was around her at the time could hear her shouting obscenities as she made her way out."

While Richards' exit from the interview—and away from Dr. Phil's rehab invitation—raised further concern at the time, she did ultimately seek treatment on several occasions following the segment and maintains she is sober today. 

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Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham was another star who regretted opening up on the show after Dr. Phil questioned her about her controversial sex tape, which at the time she claimed was a leaked personal video, and recent DUI arrest. Abraham got defensive about the details of her arrest and claimed she was technically not driving while drunk when the arrest occurred. 

"You would argue with a fence post," Dr. Phil told the star as the audience applauded his remark.

"I'm sorry I'm here," she told the host. 

The following year, a second sex tape was released and the star alluded to having signed some kind of contract while appearing on Couples Therapy.