In a rare interview, “The Shining” actress Shelley Duvall is speaking out on her appearance on an episode of “Dr. Phil”.
The reclusive actress was featured on a 2016 episode with Phil McGraw that was widely condemned for exploiting Duvall’s untreated mental illness. The troubling appearance remained her last interview until The Hollywood Reporter tracked her down for a lengthy profile with the purpose of allowing the 71-year-old actress to not have “Dr. Phil” be “the final word on her legacy.”
In a socially distanced interview near her Texas home, THR notes the actress became “visibly distressed at the mention of McGraw’s name” when discussing how one of the show’s producers contacted her in 2016. She consented to the interview without discussing it with her partner Dan Gilroy or mother.
“I found out the kind of person he is the hard way,” she says. “My mother didn’t like him, either. A lot of people, like Dan, said, ‘You shouldn’t have done that, Shelley.'”
As part of an episode on mental illness, Duvall’s interview was disturbing as she rambled about the Bermuda Triangle, hornets attacking her spinal cord, and that her late “Popeye” co-star Robin Williams was alive as a “shape-shifter.” McGraw and the show were met with instant outrage over exploiting Duvall, who reveals he made repeated attempts to contact her after the episode aired.
“He started calling my mother. She told him, ‘Don’t call my daughter anymore.’ But he started calling my mother all the time trying to get her to let me talk to him again,” Duvall explains.
A spokesperson for the “Dr. Phil” show responded to THR by saying their “goal was to document the struggle and bring amazing resources to change her trajectory” and that Duvall “declined our initial offer for inpatient treatment that would have included full physical and mental evaluations, giving her a chance to privately manage her challenges.”
The episode shows McGraw trying to get help for Duvall but she refused.
“After many months of followup, in collaboration with her mother, she ultimately refused assistance,” the show’s statement reads, adding that the offers of help “remain open today.”