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Lawsuit: Dr. Phil Told Staff 'If You F*** With Me, I'll F*** With You'

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on January 22, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A whistleblowing former employee filed a lawsuit against Dr. Phil alleging the popular talk show host imprisoned 300 workers and launched into a profane tirade over a leaked story. Leah Rothman claims Dr. Phil McGraw had guards lock employees of the show in a room and threatened them, saying, "If you f*** with me, I'll f*** with you."

Rothman is suing for false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, whistleblower retaliation, and wrongful termination. And the details contained in her allegations certainly paint Dr. Phil in a less-than-jovial light.

The Bad Doctor

Rothman says that on March 11, 2015 she was called into work on her day off for the mandatory meeting along with about 300 other employees. The room lacked enough seating for all of the attendees, forcing her and others to stand as Dr. Phil entered the room, demanded two security guards lock the doors, and posted the guards at the only exit.

Dr. Phil also demanded the workers turn off their phones, while he "slamming items down," berated and threatened those present, and told them that whoever leaked the story broke federal law. (The employee who had leaked the story had already been identified and fired by this point.) Rothman claims her former boss was reading from cue cards during the tirade, "making it appear like Dr. Phil had scripted the entire event."

Doctor's Orders

Rothman's lawsuit says she took her complaints to a vice president of human resources, but was told CBS let Dr. Phil get away with it because "Dr. Phil was their cash cow and that they needed him and his show on the CBS network." She also claims an executive in charge of production of the show told her they "allowed Dr. Phil to continue his interrogation of the employees ... because he got joy out of the process and in scaring his employees."

Rothman is also suing Peteski Productions, CBS Studios, Entertainment Partners, and EPSG Talent Services: "The defendants knew of Dr. Phil's inappropriate illegal conduct, knew that employees like plaintiff had complained about it and needed protection, yet did nothing to make her or other employees feel safe in the workplace or prevent or correct the illegal activity."

I wonder if imprisoning employees in a room and swearing at them is included as one of Dr. Phil's "Life Strategies."

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