Dr. Phil McGraw and his wife Robin McGraw are suing the National Enquirer for $250 million in a defamation and libel lawsuit.

Dr. Phil V. The National Enquirer

The McGraws filed the suit against American Media, Inc. (AMI) – the publisher that owns the National Enquirer – in Palm Beach County, Florida, July 5. In the suit, the famous couple claims that AMI magazines have published dozens of articles about them that are untrue. The McGraws are seeking $250 million, the amount they say is the “economic value of the use of their names, images, and likenesses, as well as any and all profits from AMI’s unauthorized use of their names and likenesses.”

The suit’s introduction states, “Dr. and Mrs. McGraw bring this civil action to redress years of false and defamatory accusations published against them by tabloids owned by American Media, Inc. (“AMI”), which were published primarily to unjustly enrich itself at the expense of Dr. and Mrs. McGraw’s reputations and good names developed over the course of their lives.”

Over the years, the National Enquirer and other AMI publications – which include Radar Online and Star – have accused Dr. Phil of a number of troubling actions. Per the articles, the TV personality has been an abusive and adulterous husband, and he and Robin are on the verge of divorce.

“It is because AMI’s fictional ‘stories’ of Dr. and Mrs. McGraw are so out of character with the real life McGraws that people are misled to spend their money on AMI products,” the McGraws’ attorneys wrote in the filing. “The unauthorized misappropriation of the McGraws’ names and likenesses, coupled with false and sensationalized articles about the McGraws, sells magazines.”

In response to the lawsuit, AMI has mocked the McGraws, particularly Dr. Phil. Not only does the company state that it will come out the winner in the lawsuit, but it is sticking by the veracity of its stories about the talk show host.

“It’s a delicious irony that Dr. Phil, whom a California judge has called a ‘charlatan’ and the Daily Beast has called a ‘quack’ whose ‘unseemly mélange of exploitation, celebrity parasitism and credential mining goes back years’ has filed a lawsuit against AMI and accused it of being a ‘trashy tabloid,’” AMI told TheWrap. “This from the man who visited Britney Spears in the hospital in 2008, then issued a public statement about the visit in violation of her family’s trust. AMI looks forward to successfully defending itself against Dr. Phil in a court of law, and exposing his stale and fraudulent claims for what they really are. Our titles remain committed to uncovering hard truths and stories that matter most to our millions of readers.”

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