Lawsuit Aimed at Dr. Phil Advertisement
Lawsuit Aimed at Dr. Phil Advertisement
Kris De Leon
Kris De Leon
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Dr. Phil is a talk show popularly known for covering a wide variety of human issues, including weight loss, marital problems, financial planning, delinquent children, and other topics. Given its popularity, it has been in syndication throughout the United States, and other counties as well. With its increasing number of viewers, people behind the promotions of the show have come up with an ad to handle and cover the millions of inquiries for its host Dr. Phil McGraw.

"Dr. Phil viewers can be your clients," the advertisement states in a California trade publication for psychotherapists. "Dr. Frank Lawlis, the principal content adviser to the Dr. Phil Show, is developing a national network of therapists to handle the millions of inquiries from Dr. Phil's on-air TV promotions and DrPhil.com," says the ad.

The opportunity to tap into the immensely popular show and website has caught the eye of Michele Honeck, a San Francisco therapist in the midst of building her practice. The licensed marriage and family therapist spent about $500 to gain admittance to the said network. Unfortunately, the referrals have never materialized. Consequently, Honeck has filed a lawsuit claiming fraud and breach of contract, which is intended for Dr. Phil's longtime mentor, Lawlis.

Filed on May 18, 2007 in the San Francisco Superior Court, the lawsuit describes how Lawlis has exploited his friendship with Dr. Phil into a lucrative endeavor. Furthermore, it claims that at least 300 therapists acquired the training, but has never gotten a referral.

Honeck has declined to speak about the issue. However, her husband Steve Baughman, who is a lawyer but is not representing her, has revealed that she felt victimized. "If you get promised a lot of referrals, it's enticing," says Baughman. "It feels like a scam."

-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

Source: LA Daily News

(Photo Courtesy of King World)

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