Bhad Bhabie claims she was abused while attending the Turn-About Ranch program for "troubled teens," which she attended after going viral on Dr. Phil. The rapper, born Danielle Bregoli, was inspired to come forward after another woman, Hannah Archuleta, filed a lawsuit against the Utah program in February. The 17-year-old Bregoli is now demanding an apology from Dr. Phil McGraw by April 5 for sending her and other teens to the program.
Archuleta, now 19, claims she was sent to the ranch after appearing on Dr. Phil in 2019. McGraw recommended the program, located at a ranch in southern Utah, to her parents, according to her lawsuit, reports the Deseret News. Archuleta claimed she was sexually abused by a man who worked at the ranch multiple times. She told three female employees about the incident and was told to write a detailed letter about the allegations, she claims. The man never faced meaningful discipline and staff did not tell the police, Archuleta claims. Instead, Archuleta claims staffers told her to sleep on a wooden plank, verbally abused her, and threatened violence. Archuleta is being represented by Gloria Allred in the lawsuit. The ranch has denied the claims.
After learning about Archuleta's lawsuit, Bregoli shared a video of Archuleta listing her allegations on Instagram. Bregoli also claimed she was abused at the ranch and called for it to be shut down immediately. Bregoli claimed she was abused, forced to do hard labor, and malnourished for a time at the ranch. She also listed some of the extreme punishments teens allegedly face at the ranch. "If children don't listen to them they don't even let them use a proper restroom or eat real food they separate them from the other children, force them to sit [at] a desk facing a wall, make them do hard labor, use a porta-potty, eat peanut butter sandwiches and cold ramen, sit it below freezing temperatures, pick weeds and put together over 20 piles of horse manure with a wheelbarrow," Bregoli wrote. "How is punishing children supposed to help them become better!!??"
On Friday, Bregoli released an eight-minute video in collaboration with the organization Breaking Code Silence, which seeks to raise awareness of the "troubled teen" industry. "When I had seen the punishments [Archuleta] was given, I knew I really had to say something... because I truly believe they did that," Bregoli explained in the clip, notes Complex. "So, Dr. Phil, I'm going to give you from now to April 5 to issue an apology, not only to me, but to Hannah, and any other child you sent to Turn-About or any other program like this. If you don't, I'm gonna handle things my way."
Bregoli said she went to Turn-About Ranch after her viral Dr. Phil moment in 2016. She noted that the ranch is located in the middle of nowhere, making it impossible for anyone to leave. She was "taken there against my will," Bregoli claimed. She described being taken there as an experience similar to kidnapping and said she was deprived of sleep, good meals, and warmth. She allegedly saw teens being physically restrained and face other harsh punishments. Bregoli recalled asking her mother to take her out of the program.
"It's just our word against the staff's word when you're there because there are no witnesses, there are no cameras, you don't have a phone; there's none of that," Bregoli said. "That's why I was so scared to speak out because I was like, 'No one's going to believe me.'"
Bregoli also referenced Jamie "Jimmy" Woolsey, a Turn-About Ranch employee who was murdered by a teen who was suicidal and battling addiction at the ranch in 2016. Woolsey's widow is suing the ranch, accusing them of not being prepared to help a teen with those struggles. "I'm not really sure why Dr. Phil still sends kids here. It really doesn't make sense," Bregoli said. "Are you trying to help them or are you trying to hurt them even more? … Don't be sending kids somewhere just to make it look like you're doing something."