Dr. Phil McGraw and his wife, Robin, are suing the National Enquirer for $250 million over lies about their marriage that have carried on for years.
The McGraws are always the picture of a happily married couple, but that doesn’t stop tabloids from printing negative reports about them. Sometimes, celebrities just get fed up and want to fight back.
Daily Mail published an exclusive in which Dr. Phil issued a blistering statement to the Enquirer. For 13 years, the tabloid has written over 80 false stories about him and Robin, claiming the couple are on the brink of divorce and that they’re splitting up. Dr. Phil says it’s time for the magazine to “own up” and take responsibility.
“Enough is enough, it’s time for them to own up.”
“As a member of the media, I have a deep respect for the First Amendment. But it does not protect these people who knowingly print lies for money, particularly lies about my wife.”
Dr. Phil McGraw’s lawyer, L. Lin Wood, said he wants to see the “scoundrels” who run American Media (AMI) be put out of business so they can’t print anymore “lies” about celebrities. AMI is also the parent company of RadarOnline and Star magazine Wood says those publications and the Enquirer “serve no legitimate purpose in society.”
— Gossip Cop (@GossipCop) July 11, 2016
Although Dr. Phil is suing Enquirer for $250 million, his lawyer says the final tabulation could be even higher since they’re asking for punitive damages as well.
The McGraws filed a 42-page complaint in West Palm Beach, Florida; they assert that since 2003, AMI has published an average of one false story about them every two months. The McGraws celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary next month. Wood says the couple are “role models for the happily married.” He says there hasn’t ever been a conversation about separation or divorce. So, it’s infuriating that the AMI allows for these types of stories to go through.
The McGraws reveal that the company agreed to stop featuring them as a means of avoiding a libel suit, but broke their end of the deal because it said it sold more magazines with Dr. Phil’s face on the cover.
Wood, who has represented many other clients against AMI, says while most celebrities just ignore the lies printed about them and consider it part of being a star, someone has to stand up and say “no more.” The lawyer for Dr.Phil says that the “line has been crossed” and now they want to right the wrongs.
The case isn’t about money, Wood says. It’s about principle for the McGraws and stopping the Enquirer and the other tabloids from constantly publishing false stories about them because it “attacks their family, their integrity and their characters” after a lifetime of “building their reputation and their service to the community.” It’s “purely personal” for the McGraws. They simply want the lies to cease.
Dr. Phil sues American Media Inc. (owner of the National Enquirer) in new $250 million lawsuit https://t.co/dzRHGQbyGK
— ET Canada (@ETCanada) July 11, 2016
It’s noted in the report that Dr. Phil’s report is on the heels of Hulk Hogan’s huge win of $140 million in damages from Gawker Media after it published a sex tape of him online. The site soon filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after the ruling and is now for sale.
The McGraws have tried working with AMI in the aftermath of false stories written about them. When they were in breach of the agreement, Dr. Phil and his wife decided to sue the owners of the National Enquirer. As their lawyer adds, the lawsuit will be “an inspiration to others who find themselves the targets of this kind of false reporting.”
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]