‘Showbiz Tonight’ co-host AJ Hammer spoke with a panel of guests on Wednesday (January 9) regarding the controversy Dr. Phil McGraw has found himself in after visiting Britney Spears at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Saturday, only to offer his preliminary diagnosis to the media afterwards.
Psychology expert Dr. Cooper Lawrence said that Dr. Phil was out of line. “It`s unethical. That’s the whole idea,” Lawrence opined. “The Spears spokesperson kept saying they can’t trust him. It was really sort of shady. It’s unethical. One of the tenets in psychology – one of the tenets of the ethics is confidentiality. So it doesn’t mean that because your client is famous, it’s OK to go forward. Or because you’re famous, it’s OK to go forward. Confidentiality is confidentiality. If he’s going to treat her, which is why he was there, he can’t say a word, not even that he’s treating her.”
But Tru TV anchor Lisa Bloom disagreed. “Full disclosure. I’ve been on his show a couple of times,” Bloom admitted. “I like Dr. Phil. I don’t think he did anything wrong here. I think the family may have not been clear with him about what they were looking for. They asked him to come as a friend. I’m sure he didn’t get paid. He’s not her psychologist. He went to the hospital at their request. That’s when everybody found out about it, because the paparazzi surrounded the hospital. His statement simply said that he saw her, which everybody already knew at that point, and that she needs help. To me, that’s painfully obvious. I don’t see that Dr. Phil did anything wrong and I think the family’s anger at him is misplaced. They should focus on getting help for Britney. And by the way, this spokesperson doesn’t speak for Britney. She only speaks for Britney’s family members.”
Meanwhile, Us Weekly’s Ken Baker had some additional insights on what happened and the fallout between Britney and her father Jamie that resulted in the Dr. Phil ambush. “Well, it is really understandable. I think that they were desperate and out of desperation they called Dr. Phil,” Baker said of the Spears family call to the television advice expert. “Britney is a big personality with big problems and they felt they needed an equally big personality there. They brought him in and where things went wrong is that within hours of him seeing her he issues the press release. Guess what? He didn’t tell the family he was going to be issuing a press release. Not only that, the press release was promoting the show that he was going to be doing on Britney Spears later that week. They never agreed to do any show. They didn’t want to be a part of it. So I think at the end of the day, he really made a misstep. At the end, finally on Monday, he canceled doing the show, which was a good thing. But in that time, a lot of damage was done. And the sources are telling me that Britney’s family has zero contact, zero with Britney right now, particularly the father, Jamie who was in the hospital with her both nights when she was there, has not even talked to her since because she was so upset that she was ambushed by Dr. Phil.”