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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Oops, Dr. Phil Did It Again

Man, Oprah Winfrey isn't having much luck with doctors lately, is she? First she had a plastic surgeon named Dr. Jan Adams guest on her show--the same scandal-ridden scalpel-man who later adminstered that fateful, allegedly fatal operation on Kanye West's mother, Donda. (This week's L.A. Coroner's report on Donda was inconclusive, by the way.) And now Oprah's longtime crony Dr. Phil McGraw is getting flak over his own involvement in an almost equally tragic hospital case, that of Britney Spears.

It all started innocently enough, when Spears family matriarch Lynne invited the tough-talking celebrity shrink to visit Britney at Cedars-Sinai last weekend, where the troubled pop star was being sequestered for observation after a bizarre child-custody standoff with police on January 3. Now, Mama Spears could have phoned up any professional in L.A.'s admittedly saturated mental-health market, but of course she just had to choose the one she'd seen on the tee-vee, the one famous for colorful colloquialisms like "you don't need tight-fitting pants to laminate your shirt" and "you don't need a porcupine to tickle a gypsy." (Okay, okay we admit we got those sayings from a funny time-wasting site called the "Dr. Phil Random Quote Generator" and that Dr. Phil never actually uttered those specific words...but you get our point.)

So anyway, Dr. Phil made this housecall as a favor to Britney's beleaguered mother, who's got her hands full right now with one daughter who's knocked-up (Jamie) and one who's cracked-up (Britney). But then the infamously mouthy McGraw started blabbing to the press about this supposedly private visit, much to the chagrin of Lynne's business manager, Lou Taylor.

"The family basically extended an invitation of trust for him to come in as a resource to support them, not to go out and make public statements," an irate Lou said Wednesday on The Today Show. "Any statement publicly that he made, because he was brought in under this cloak of trust, [is] just inappropriate...he was not invited to make this part of a public display or part of the media."

Dr. Phil has since cancelled his (seemingly self-serving) plan to shoot a Britney-themed episode of his talk show, though he insists that the episode was originally her family's idea--a claim substantiated by Britney's own manager, Sam Lufti. In the doc's typical outspoken manner, Dr. Phil defended his controversial actions by declaring on Entertainment Tonight, "Somebody needs to step up and get this young woman into some quality care--and I do not apologize one whit, not one second, for trying to make that happen." Allrighty, then..