TV therapist Dr. Phil McGraw's production company has filed a lawsuit against Gawker Media and its sports website, Deadspin.com, for posting his interview with the man behind the Manti Te'o hoax before it hit west coast markets.
The cranky afternoon television self-helper claims the website posted video of his interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo immediately after the east time zone broadcast thus swiping viewers before it could be aired in a majority of "The Dr. Phil Show" markets.
The first part of the two-part February interview left viewers with a tease, to watch the next day if Tuiasosopo would speak in the female voice he used to create the fake “Lennay Kekua.”
Tuiasosopo did speak in Kekua's voice in the second part of the interview, but the suit alleges that Deadspin stole the copyrighted material and made it available to viewers online "hours before the ‘Dr. Phil Show’ aired to over 98% of its viewers," resulting in lower ratings for the second episode.
In an eight-page complaint filed Monday in federal court in Texas, McGraw claims Deadspin posted the interview before it could get to other profiable nationwide markets.
McGraw's suit essentially says Deadspin siphoned away viewers who would have otherwise watched it on TV.
Deadspin broke the story about the "catfished" Notre Dame football player and his fake girlfriend back in January. The story brought in numbers the snarky sports website had never seen before.
Maybe Dr. Phil should just thank the site for giving him the lead and the story.