A judge has ordered a July hearing on a lawsuit brought by two women, including a 56-year-old Irvine resident, who claim they were traumatized by the surprise appearance of a naked man during the taping of the Dr. Phil show.
Shirley Rae Dieu, the Irvine woman, and Crystal Matchett, 26, of Michigan are alleging fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress in their complaint against Phil McGraw and CBS Television over the 2007 incident inside "The Dr. Phil House."
The women seek unspecified monetary damages. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Fahey asked both sides to try to come up with a settlement before the next hearing scheduled for July 27.
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Dieu, Matchett and four other guests of the show agreed to spend a week in the house wired with cameras and microphones so they could work out issues involving interacting with others. On the third night inside the house, the occupants were told they would be joined by a special dinner guest. A fully naked man later appeared at the front door, according to court documents.
"As a naked man ran into the house, I was in shock and total disbelief of what was happening, feeling violated and disgusted," Matchett says in a sworn declaration (via City News Service). "I heard . . . Dieu scream, 'How dare you' while covering her eyes and running into the bedroom.'"
McGraw and CBS, through their attorney, claim the house guests willfully participated in an exercise in tolerance, having signed liability releases. Citing that and freedom of speech, the show's mouthpieces previously sought to have the case dismissed.
However, in January, a three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles upheld most of Dieu and Matchett's cases, which were later consolidated into the one before Fahey.