The Biggest Loser resident “in house doc,” Dr. Robert Huizenga, is now suing a former contestant and the New York Post for defamation, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The former NFL physician who appeared on the NBC show for 17 seasons isn’t too happy about claims made by Biggest Loser participant, Joelle Gwynn.
— New York Post (@nypost) May 22, 2016
Huizenga, also known as Dr. H., is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at UCLA. The allegations of foul play include, “claims that he encouraged unsafe and illegal weight loss methods on the show,” according to a lawsuit filed in Michigan federal court Thursday.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed Gwynn told the New York Post, her trainer, Bob Harper offered her illegal drugs to help quickly shed pounds. Joelle revealed the following during the interview.
“People chastise Bill Cosby for allegedly offering meds to women, but it’s acceptable to do to fat people to make them lose weight. I feel like we got raped, too.” Joelle continues, “I went and told the sports medicine guy. The next day, Dr. H gave us some lame explanation of why they got added to our regimen and that it was up to us to take them.”
— People Magazine (@people) June 1, 2016
Amid a police investigation, The Biggest Loser medical physician maintains his innocence. Dr. H. is suing the New York Post for publishing the “fictitious” story. A story which quoted several Biggest Loser participants’ claims of trainers administering dangerous weight loss drugs. NY Daily News reported the suit was filed in a Michigan federal court and called the Post’s account of the scandal “fabricated, fictitious and outright libelous.”
Huizenga maintains he never placed the The Biggest Loser contestants in danger and TMZ stated that Gwynn is shattering his reputation. According to the The Wrap, Dr. Huizenga denied all claims in an email sent to the New York Post.
“Contestants are told at the start of the show that there is zero tolerance for any weight-loss drugs. Urine drug screens and the evaluation of serial weights are repeatedly used to flush out possible illicit use.”
The Hollywood Reporter revealed details of the lawsuit, noting Dr. H was contacted by Maureen Callahan, a Post reporter, who requested an interview. Dr. Huizenga’s attorney informed Callahan the claims were in fact false and defamatory towards the medical professional. These claims say Huizenga intentionally starved the Biggest Loser participants and administered illegal drugs.
“Among other things, the Defamatory Posts falsely state that the Show employs ‘secret and brutal tactics, which include providing illicit drugs to contestants and submitting them to questionable medical exams by the [S]how’s resident doctor, Robert Huizenga, known as ‘Dr. H.'”
“The safety and well-being of our contestants is, and always has been, paramount…We prohibit the use of any illegal substances, in addition to the many other rules and procedures of the show that are designed to ensure safety.”
Bob Harper also denies the Biggest Loser drug allegations telling People the following.
“These allegations are absolutely false and are in direct conflict with my lifelong devotion to health and fitness. Safety is paramount in my training regimen and, while demanding, my approach has always focused on the overall well-being of contestants as they lose significant weight and educate themselves, for the first time, on living a healthy lifestyle.”
— Sarah Gilbert (@thesarahgilbert) February 24, 2016
According to NBC’s website, Dr. Huizenga’s father Robert Huizenga was a former basketball and baseball player before serving for the Manhattan Project. His dad made a huge scientific contribution in nuclear physics for his nuclear fusion research, receiving the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award (the U.S. Nobel prize).
NBC and the show’s producers declined to comment on the The Biggest Loser lawsuit. Investigations from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have confirmed their search into illegal drug use on The Biggest Loser.
[Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]