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Dr. Phil defends his controversial Shelley Duvall interview years after he was accused of exploiting her

Dr. Phil defends his controversial Shelley Duvall interview years after he was accused of exploiting her

The controversial interview led to accusations of exploitation

Dr Phil has defended the controversial interview he conducted with Shelley Duvall in 2016, insisting he has 'no regrets'.

Duvall was best known for her roles in films like The Shining, Popeye and Annie Hall, but kept out of spotlight after the early 2000s.

When Dr Phil interviewed her on his show in 2016, it was evident that the 67-year-old actor was struggling with her mental health.

Duvall, who had become a recluse in her later years, aired her paranoid thoughts during the interview, such as the belief she was being harassed by 'the sheriff of Nottingham'.

Perhaps most troubling was Duvall's insistence that her Popeye co-star Robin Williams wasn't actually dead.

When Dr Phil asked Duvall where Williams - who committed suicide in 2014 - was, Duvall replied: "Shapeshifting. He looks good in some forms, not so much in others.

"I have [seen him]."

At the time of the interview, Dr Phil was slammed by many who felt that he had taken advantage of a vulnerable woman for ratings.

However, six years later, Dr Phil is defiant that he still has no regrets about interviewing the former Hollywood star.

Shelley Duvall's interview on Dr Phil drew lots of criticism.

Whilst being interviewed on CNN, Dr Phil said: "Oh, I don't regret what I did. What I did regret is that it was promoted in a way that people thought was unbecoming.

"There are parts of that story I haven’t talked about and won’t talk about in specifics, but I can say generally that we worked with her family."

Addressing his critics, the TV presenter added: "And the people that were critical of it, nobody ever asked them what they ever did to try and help her and the answer is not a damn thing."

In the episode, Duvall is seen being taken to a centre for treatment - but she left after three days.

Dr Phil explained at the time: "Shelley still refused to take any medications and she would not sign the paperwork required to treat her.

"She was accompanied by trained professionals and was safely returned to her family and boyfriend at home."

Shelley Duvall is best known for her role in The Shining.
Warner Bros

The inclusion of Duvall on the show was criticised by Mia Farrow, who branded Dr Phil a 'talk show predator' on Twitter.

Elsewhere, Vivian Kubrick, the daughter of The Shining director Stanley Kubrick, posted an open letter condemning the 'shameful' episode.

Kubrick wrote: "This is purely a form of lurid and exploitative entertainment - it's appalling cruel."

Duvall herself has even expressed regrets about appearing on the show, saying in a 2021 interview with The Hollywood Reporter: "I found out the kind of person he is the hard way."

UNILAD has contacted a representative for Dr Phil for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: CBS

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV, Mental Health