CBS Settles Naked-Dinner-Guest Allegations Against Dr. Phil

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In January, the California Court of Appeal ruled in favor of two women who had sued CBS, claiming that "Dr. Phil" McGraw had falsely imprisoned them in a house into which he then released a naked man with the words, "Here's your dinner guest!" (This was supposedly for an episode of McGraw's TV show, which makes it about one percent less weird.) That sent the case back to the trial court, but it appears that the case has now settled.

The Hollywood Reporter and TMZ reported late last week that a voluntary dismissal had been filed, and infer that it settled because the defendants' lawyer "said she could not comment further," which TMZ took to mean there was a confidentiality agreement in place. That's a pretty fair inference, given that plaintiffs had won at least the initial round and so would not have had much incentive to go away quietly (at least for free). The terms of the settlement of course have not been disclosed.

There's no particular reason to think that plaintiffs got a lot of money from this, since they still had a long way to go to prove their claims, and might also have had trouble proving a significant amount of emotional distress. The sudden arrival of a naked dinner guest would certainly be startling, but how much damage it would cause (if any) probably depends a lot on the circumstances.