Dr. Phil Sues National Enquirer, Files $250 Million Libel Lawsuit
Dr. Phil filed a $250 million lawsuit in a Palm Beach County court this week against American Media Inc., which owns the National Enquirer and a variety of other tabloids. The TV personality is suing for libel stemming from years of reports that he believes to be defamatory.
The lawsuit points to dozens of articles that have been written about him and his wife Robin, many of which accuse the TV therapist of physical abuse and alcohol problems. A few notable Enquirer cover stories have featured the headlines: “Dr. Phil: Raging Monster,” “Dr. Phil’s Wife Can’t Take It Anymore” and “Split! The Abuse, Screaming, Lies, Humiliation and More.” Dr. Phil’s complaint was also filed on behalf of his wife of 40 years.
Dr. Phil’s attorneys argue that AMI, which also owns RadarOnline, OK!, and Star, has been making money by “misappropriating and capitalizing on the McGraws’ name.” The suit further claims that AMI’s outlets have consistently portrayed the couple in a negative light, despite all of “the various causes they have spent their lives supporting.” Dr. Phil’s lawyers go on to allege the publications have set out to diminish his many achievements in an effort to make him look like a fraud.
In 2013, Dr. Phil actually signed a 2-year agreement with AMI dictating that he wouldn’t sue the company for defamation if it ceased publishing stories about him. Last February, according to Dr. Phil’s suit, the Enquirer “threatened” to run an article that alleged Dr. Phil smashed a beer mug over another man’s head during a Texas bar fight in the 1970s. The altercation never occurred, says the TV doctor’s court papers, and the bar where the brawl allegedly took place didn’t even open until years later. Dr. Phil further contends that the Enquirer fabricates its sources, and has actively tried to damage his integrity.
In a statement to Gossip Cop, AMI says, “It’s a delicious irony that Dr. Phil, whom a California judge has called a ‘charlatan’ and the Daily Beast has called a ‘quack’ whose ‘unseemly mélange of exploitation, celebrity parasitism and credential mining goes back years’ has filed a lawsuit against AMI and accused it of being a ‘trashy tabloid.’ This from the man who visited Britney Spears in the hospital in 2008, then issued a public statement about the visit in violation of her family’s trust.” The publishing conglomerate adds, “AMI looks forward to successfully defending itself against Dr. Phil in a court of law, and exposing his stale and fraudulent claims for what they really are.”