“There is power in forgiveness.” That’s number nine on Dr. Phil McGraw’s list of “Ten Life Laws.” But a woman interviewed on his popular TV show has chosen a different power: the court.
Kaden Mahaffa was a guest on Dr. Phil’s program in February 2017, and she was under the impression that she was going to be interviewed regarding the alleged abuse suffered by her boyfriend at the hands of his mother and grandmother, reports Courthouse News and others. During a pre-interview with the producers, however, she revealed that she believed 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,” according to the complaint. The producers then decided to switch gears on the show, and Dr. Phil “insisted that she demonstrate her purported powers” during the taping, resulting in laughs and jeers from the audience. This “aggressive” interrogation caused her “to suffer humiliation as a result,” the complaint states.
Backstage, after the taping, Mahaffa alleges she succumbed to a mental breakdown, leading to the police being called and her being involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. After the show aired, she claimed she was harassed by viewers of the segment and had to deal with thoughts of suicide.
“Any reasonable person, let alone a clinical psychologist like Defendant McGraw — would immediately recognize that Ms. Mahaffa was a mentally-ill individual in crisis, not someone to be exploited on a national TV show,” the suit asserts.
Mahaffa is suing Dr. Phil, his production company, and CBS for fraud and emotional distress. She is seeking unspecified damages.