June 04, 2023


Dr. Phil and 2016 Shelley Duvall interview: ‘I don't regret what I did’

Dr Phil regrets ‘that it was promoted in a way that people thought was unbecoming’

By Ellen James June 04, 2023
Dr. Phil and 2016 Shelley Duvall interview: ‘I dont regret what I did’
Dr. Phil and 2016 Shelley Duvall interview: ‘I don't regret what I did’

Dr Phil is standing up against the fake support.

The criticism of Dr Phil McGraw's contentious interview with Shelley Duvall in 2016 has been addressed.

The TV personality, who earlier this year announced the end of his chat show, was questioned if he regretted the way he handled the episode in which the Shining actress admitted she had a mental disorder.

"I don't regret what I did," he said in an interview with journalist Chris Wallace on Friday's episode of CNN's Who's Talking to Chris Wallace. "I regret that it was promoted in a way that people thought was unbecoming."

McGraw continued, "There are parts of that story that I haven't talked about and won't talk about in specific, but I can say generally that we worked with her family [and] with her for over a year off camera, after the fact, providing her opportunities for inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care. I can't tell you the extent we went through."

However, the talk show host had a retort for fans who berated the episode and criticised Dr Phil for "showboating the visibly ill."

"And the people that were critical of it, nobody ever asked them what they ever did to try and help her," he said. "And the answer is not a damn thing."

What happened in the Shelley Duvall interview?

Duvall asserted several things during her one-on-one conversation with McCraw, including the existence of a "whirring disc" inside of her and the continued existence of her Popeye co-star Robin Williams as a shape-shifter. "I'm very sick", she admitted. "I need help."

After the programme aired, Duvall's fanbase immediately denounced it. The Shining director Stanley Kubrick's daughter Vivian Kubrick criticised its lack of "compassionate healing" in a tweet at the time.

Duvall admitted to agreeing to the interview with McGraw in 2021, saying she "found out the kind of person he is the hard way."

She added, "My mother didn't like him, either. A lot of people, like Dan [Gilroy, her partner], said, 'You shouldn't have done that, Shelley.'"

Duval, who returned to acting this year with the slasher flick The Forest Hills, claimed that McGraw made numerous attempts to get in touch with her after the episode aired.

"He started calling my mother," she said. "She told him, 'Don't call my daughter anymore.' But he started calling my mother all the time trying to get her to let me talk to him again."

A Dr. Phil representative at the time told The Hollywood Reporter that the show sees every episode as "an opportunity to share relatable, useful information and perspective with our audiences."

"We don't attach the stigma associated with mental illness which many do," the spokesperson added. 

"With no one else offering help, our goal was to document the struggle and bring amazing resources to change her trajectory as we have for so many over 19 years. Unfortunately, she declined our initial offer for inpatient treatment that would have included full physical and mental evaluations, giving her a chance to privately manage her challenges. After many months of follow-up, in collaboration with her mother, she ultimately refused assistance. We were of course very disappointed, but those offers for help remain open today."