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Can I sue for negligent misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and stop a TV show from airing?

Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA |

I wrote the Dr Phil show asking for advice to help my 18yo daughter. A producer of a new show produced by Jay McGraw called "The Test" called me offering to help me get my daughter on the right track. After approx 30 calls with producers who lied and mislead me to believe the show had integrity, watching the promo and asking other guests online about the show, I went to LA with 2 of my other children to be on the show. The release they told me to sign contradicted what I was told, after hours of questioning it I signed it out of fear that my children and I would be stranded in LA. It wasn't until I was on stage that I realized I was mislead, the show was trash, I was attacked, harassed, humiliated, slandered, my relationship with my daughter is irreparably damaged and I now suffer PTSD.

The producer used my concerns about my daughter to manipulate her to be hostile, dramatic and aggressive for partially scripted entertainment tv. The host presented untrue statements as facts to attack my parenting and character and intentionally portrayed me as an unfit neglectful mother. When I attempted to redirect the topic to what I thought I was there for, I was cut off by the host or my words were twisted. My life revolves around my children. I host or attend children's activities daily, I volunteer with my daughters schools, I recently applied to become a guardian ad litem and now I am very fearful of how this show will have negative ramifications on my reputation, my younger children's social activities and my families well being. This show contacted me based on advice I had requested on drphil.com I was unaware that my request would be shared so, along several conversations with producers, I was misled to believe that this new show was associated with Dr Phil and had the same integrity as his show

Attorney Answers 3


  1. But notwithstanding all of the horns and sirens you heard so loudly, you signed. You signed even though you recognized that things were not what they should be.

    I haven't seen the contract, of course, and no one can make an assessment of the specifics of your rights and obligations based on your written agreement without reviewing that document. But there you sat, head-to-head with a skilled, experienced team that does this sort of thing for a living all day every day, and they needed your signature in order to do what they wanted to do and YOU GAVE IT TO THEM. Not promising, not promising at all.

    Take your contract to an attorney. Almost inevitably you will be advised that the contract will not serve to enable an order prohibiting the broadcast. Whether you may have a sound basis for any claim of post-broadcast damages is the next issue when the potential for an Order to prevent broadcast doesn't pan out. Good luck to you.

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  2. It appears that you signed the release and should have been familiar with how the show is conducted.Even if you sue the organizer, you may end up with Ant-Slapp motion since First Amendment issues are involved here. When you state you were "attacked" I am assuming verbal attack. If there was a physical attack you amy have a claim.However, a lot depends on the nature of the release you signed. Unless the release is reviewed , these responses can only of a general nature.Good Luck.

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