Dr. Phil's consultation meant to be private: Spears family

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A spokesperson for the parents of Britney Spears went on The Today Show to speak out against television psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw, whom they feel exploited the family's trust.

Lou Taylor went on the NBC morning show to say that when they "extended trust" to "Dr. Phil", as he's known, it was as a medical professional and not as a television personality. They say he was to keep the matters private.

McGraw was "not invited to make this part of the public display, part of the media," said Taylor on behalf of father Jamie Spears and mother Lynne Spears.

Taylor was responding to McGraw realizing a statement about Spears, and then appearing for an interview on the Entertainment Tonight entertainment news program. McGraw's statement read:

My meeting with Britney and some of her family members this morning in her room at Cedars leaves me convinced more than ever that she is in dire need of both medical and psychological intervention. She was released moments before my arrival and was packing when I entered the room. We visited for about an hour before I walked with her to her car. I am very concerned for her.
Because the Spears situation is too intense at this time, and out of consideration to the family, I have made the decision not to move forward with the taping at this particular time. Britney and her family are in our prayers and we ask that they be in yours.

Originally it was rumored that the family would appear on Dr. Phil for one of the news headline-based special episodes. Taylor also told interviewer Meredith Viera that the family had never discussed such plans. They had only hired McGraw to talk privately to Spears, one of "many professionals and many resources surrounding the family."

According to Taylor, the Spears parents, along with pregnant daughter Jamie Lynn "are people who love their daughter, and know what's going on," praying every day for her well-being. They are broken hearted regarding "the morbidity of people watching" the breakdown.

Spears was hospitalized after being deemed a safety risk to herself, but released within 24 hours, instead of the 72 hour norm.