Phil McGraw is wrapped up in a new scandal after sending multiple young guests to a treatment facility that has been accused of abuse. It began with a lawsuit filed by Hannah Archuleta, who appeared on Dr. Phil in 2019 and then went to the Turn-About Ranch. Now, other past guests on the show are coming forward with similar stories, including rapper Bhad Bhabie.
According to a report by The Sun, Archuleta's lawsuit says that she was sexually assaulted multiple times while in the Turn-About Ranch program and was punished for speaking out about the abuse. Archuleta did not accuse McGraw of any wrongdoing, but Bhad Bhabie has. In a video released on Friday, she demanded a public apology from McGraw for herself and other teenagers he sent to the ranch. So far, the ranch has denied all allegations against it and its staff.
Bhad Bhabie is likely the most famous person associated with this case. Born Danielle Bregoli, she became a viral sensation in 2016 when she appeared on Dr. Phil and challenged the entire audience to a fistfight by saying: "Catch me outside, how 'bout that?" She has since turned that attention into a career in entertainment, but first, she had to go to the Turn-About Ranch on McGraw's recommendation.
Bregoli attended that program immediately after appearing on McGraw's show but did not speak out about it until Archuleta came forward. In a lawsuit filed by Archuleta's attorney, Gloria Allred, she claims that a male staff member sexually assaulted her repeatedly and other staff members at the ranch refused to believe her. Instead, they forced her to do manual labor like cleaning up horse manure in freezing temperatures. Other punishments reportedly included sleeping on a raw wooden bench with no pillows, while "no remedial action" was taken against the staff member she reported.
Archuleta said that she wants "justice and I do not want what happened to me to happen to anyone else." Bregoli seems to feel the same, saying that the ranch should be shut down immediately. She said that she suffered similar abuse to Archuleta and witnessed others getting the treatment as well.
"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!!??"
So far, Bregoli and Archuleta have not named any other victims of this alleged abuse, but Bregoli is working with an organization called Breaking Code Silence, which seeks to shed light on the entire industry of "troubled teen" treatment centers. While the issue is broad, Bregoli's main goal is to get a public acknowledgment and apology from McGraw for herself, Archuleta and all the other teenagers he has sent to the ranch.
"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," she said in the video. "If you don't, I'm gonna handle things my way."