Dr. Phil Admits Britney Statement Was Not 'Helpful'

01/18/2008 at 07:00 AM EST

Dr. Phil Admits Britney Statement Was Not 'Helpful'
Britney Spears (left) and Dr. Phil McGraw
INF; Photopro /Landov
Dr. Phil McGraw spends his days telling people how to fix their lives. This time, he admits, he's the one who got it wrong.

Earlier this month, the tough-loving talk show host sped to Britney Spears's bedside at L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after her family requested his help. After their brief visit – prompted by Spears's Jan. 4 meltdown – McGraw gave a statement to Entertainment Tonight, saying that the 26-year-old singer was in "dire need of both medical and psychological intervention."

"Was it helpful to the situation? Regrettably, no," McGraw, 57, said Thursday during a taping of the Dr. Phil Show, reports USA Today. (The show is slated to air Monday.) "I definitely think if I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't make any statement at all. Period."

The TV doc did, however, make it clear that he only regrets speaking out – not his attempts to help the increasingly erratic popstar. (McGraw originally planned to dedicate a show to Spears, but scrapped the idea, calling the situation "too intense.")

McGraw told USA Today that he visited Spears as "a friend and ally of the family," not as a psychologist. (He is not licensed in California, notes the paper.)

So would he make the same visit again, knowing the controversy it's caused? Yes, he said. "How could you not?"

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