Dr. Phil Sued by O.J. Simpson Memorabilia Dealer

Dr. Phil is again in hot water. This time, he is being sued by Thomas Riccio — the memorabilia dealer who led O.J. Simpson to a hotel room to regain sports memorabilia. In his torts action, Riccio says that Philip McGraw and Stage 29 Media committed defamation, fraud, and infliction of emotional distress in editing his interview to leave a false impression.

Dr. Phil only recently got through allegations of violating ethical and legal rules in his pursuit of Britany Spears.

The show attacked Riccio as “the shady deal maker,” “a puppet master who would sell his soul for a coin” and “the ring leader of this crime.” Dr. Phil allegedly said that Riccio admitted that he “set O.J. Simpson up and told people to bring guns into the room.”

Riccio says that his denials of such allegations were edited out and he was even shown nodding yes to one allegation when the real tape allegedly shows him denying it. The complaint brings a new meaning to Dr. Phil’s common advice: “Sometimes you just got to give yourself what you wish someone else would give you.” Riccio insists that he never gave Dr. Phil the statements Dr. Phil wanted.

On its face, it would offer some viable claims and could make for an interesting case on the editing of such tapes. False light is a common charge in such cases as well as straight defamation. Even though Riccio is now a public figure, such changes (if proven) would probably violate even the New York Times v. Sullivan standard as showing actual knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard. If anything, Dr. Phil would appear to approve of going to court since “Awareness without action is worthless.”

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10 thoughts on “Dr. Phil Sued by O.J. Simpson Memorabilia Dealer”

  1. Dr. Pill is just another quAck except is gets to be on television. I can,t imagine what kind of connections he may have with big pharma.

  2. I agree with mr. G . Oj was not smart enough to see it coming what a well orchestrated event regardless of where it originated.

  3. This guy is trying to sue everyone; I think they call people like him “Sue Crazy”. Why doesn’t he just get a real job and earn his money in stead of suing and taking bribes from authority figures that main motive is to take down O.J. Simpson.

    I think someone needs to review the background of those who were involved in the O.J. case. I would also investigate whether he received a fair case and fair representation. The law is the law, you cannot retrial a man who already been acquitted. Bending the law to jail a person have always been one of the main problems of this country and things must change.

    I don’t like O.J. anymore than the next man, but we must be ethical and fair about this case as well as any other case similar to this one. Let’s keep the law fair!

  4. You would know!

    I see what you mean.

    Now I have to do some reading on ‘particularized determinations’ and immunity deals. It’s bothering me.

  5. Patty C:

    I believe that he is a public figure after the trial. Any national interviews are generally sufficient to convert someone into either a public figure or limited public figure.


  6. “Even though Riccio is now a public figure, such changes (if proven) would probably violate even the New York Times v. Sullivan standard as showing actual knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard.”

    I believe he means ‘not’ public figure.

    p.s. How’s your short-term memory these days…?

  7. Dr. Phil must be working hard to get ratings if he is altering interviews to suit his purpose. If they did alter the interview for this purpose, the dealer might have a cause of action. Prof. Turley, do you think this dealer would be considered a “public figure” by NYtimes v. Sullivan purposes?

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