HOLLYWOOD — George Clooney may be making plans to get married, but he’s still stirring things up. He’ll take on Rupert Murdock (owner of the Fox Network) when he directs “Hack Attack,” an adaption of journalist Nick Davies’ book about “The News of the World.” Murdock’s British newspaper was at the root of the voicemail hacking scandal of politicians, celebrities, even murder victims and terrorist survivors. The paper’s former editor was sent to prison, and Murdock closed down the 168-year-old tabloid. Clooney and partner Grant Heslov are more than likely writing the script as you read this.
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And speaking of scandals, word around Hollywood is that Dr. Phil (McGraw), no stranger to lawsuits, soon will be on the receiving end of yet another one. We first heard of Phil McGraw when he was hired as a consultant by Oprah Winfrey, when she was being sued by Texas cattle ranchers for dissing beef. She featured him on her show and launched his TV career.
In 2003, Dr. Phil entered the weight-loss business … but his products didn’t stimulate weight loss. He settled the suit in 2006 for $10.5 million. That same year, two brothers sued Dr. Phil for “manipulating and later broadcasting our interview as being accurate,” portraying them “as engaging in criminal activity against Natalie Holloway.” In 2008, he was sued by Thomas Riccio, the man who taped the Las Vegas robbery that led to O.J. Simpson being convicted. His lawsuit accused Dr. Phil of “defamation, fraud and intentional deceitful editing ‘The Dr. Phil Show.’”
Now, Matthew Barasch, a Los Angeles lawyer, is in the process of suing Dr. Phil. Barasch went to Dr. Phil for help because he believed he was the victim of stalking, both on the Internet and in his everyday life. When he appeared on “The Dr. Phil Show,” he felt his appearance was “manipulated, and Dr. Phil showed so little compassion, and he bullied me. The show was edited to make me look bad. He turned out to be worse than the people who are stalking me!”
Word is Dr. Phil has not renewed his license as a psychologist to give himself more freedom dispensing advice on his show. The next time you sit down to watch this program, try to add what you’ve just read here to the mix.
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Even though “The Big Bang Theory” was renewed through its 10th season, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting wouldn’t report for season eight because of a salary dispute. My theory is that “The Big Bang” will explode now that they’re each getting $1 million an episode. Now that’s what I call “more buck for their bang”!
© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.