Dr. Phil Guest Sues Over Public Humiliation, Mental Breakdown

By Ceylan Pumphrey, Esq. on February 12, 2019 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Generally speaking, people go on talk shows -- particularly ones like Dr. Phil or Maury Povich -- knowing that they'll be sharing some personal information. But, one guest on the Dr. Phil show claims that she agreed to appear on the show after being misled about the topic of conversation. In fact, she's suing Dr. Phil for publicly humiliating her, which she says resulted in her suffering a mental breakdown.

How an Interview Led to a Lawsuit

In her complaint, Kaden Mahaffa says that she originally agreed to be on Dr. Phil's show to discuss the alleged abuse her boyfriend suffered at the hands of his mother and grandmother. During a pre-interview, producers discovered that Mahaffa believed that she "possessed various supernatural powers, including the ability to communicate with the dead, read people's minds, see with X-ray vision, and intuitively write ancient languages, among other things." Upon this discovery, Mahaffa claims the producers decided to change the topic of conversation, which lead to Dr. Phil "aggressively interrogat[ing]" her.

Mahaffa claims that as Dr. Phil "insisted that she demonstrate her purported powers," the audience laughed and jeered at her. Once backstage, the complaint says that she suffered a mental breakdown, which led to the police being called and Mahaffa being involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. After the show aired, she claims that she's had to deal with harassment from viewers and suicidal thoughts. The complaint further claims that Mahaffa "was a mentally-ill individual in crisis," which "a clinical psychologist like [Dr. Phil] would immediately recognize."

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