Kathy Hutchins/Hutchins photo
"Dr. Phil" McGraw may have to start advising himself. The TV host is having strong second thoughts about diet pills he once endorsed, according to court filings in a lawsuit alleging that the TV psychologist made false statements about the products.
In e-mails that admit he had "no expertise" in the diet field, McGraw also insist that he demanded "the STRONGEST of disclaimers" in the products' advertisements before putting his name on the now discontinued Shape Up! diet campaign, reports New York's Daily News, citing correspondence printouts that are included in Los Angeles Superior Court filings.
"This fleshes out our position that Dr. Phil was in charge ... he was rewriting the commercials," said lawyer Henry Rossbacher, who last year filed the lawsuit against McGraw on behalf of three unhappy customers.
McGraw, the TV show host and author of The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom, has denied the allegations.
"It's a pretty silly claim," said his Dallas-based lawyer, Bill Dawson, according to the Associated Press. "It's the kind of suit that makes people hate lawyers."
Manufactured by the Irving, Texas-based CSA Nutraceuticals, Shape Up! shakes, bars and multivitamins were sold in supermarkets, Target, Wal-Mart and elsewhere. The plan called for 22 pills daily at $120 a month.
CSA Nutraceuticals agreed to stop making the supplements early last year as it faced a Federal Trade Commission investigation into false-advertising concerns.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking class-action status to include thousands of potential plaintiffs, says AP. A judge could rule on that request early next year