In light of the recent suicide of country star Mindy McCready, criticisms of Dr. Drew Pinsky spread across the Internet almost as quickly as the news of the singer’s death.
McCready became the fifth cast member of Dr. Drew’s “Celebrity Rehab” series to die since appearing on the show. The previous deaths stirred up speculations as to whether or not the show has a harmful effect on its participants due to its exploitative nature.
In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday, Pinsky said that McCready’s suicide was the result of a “one-two punch” after her boyfriend, music producer David Wilson, took his own life. Less than 24 hours after Wilson’s suicide, McCready released herself from a rehab facility to return to a home that was filled with guns.
“She was doing well until the death of her boyfriend,” Pinsky said. “When he apparently killed himself, she unraveled — was really struggling. When I spoke to her, she agreed finally she needed to go into a hospital, needed to take care of herself. But she was absolutely preoccupied and mortified with how people would perceive her, judge her. Would law enforcement consider her more of suspect [in her boyfriend’s death] if she got hospitalized?”
One has to wonder if McCready’s concern with how she’d be portrayed in the media in light of her boyfriend’s suicide, would have been less so she had not participated in Pinsky’s show.
Aside from a few brief inquiries, Burnett seemed reluctant to question the doctor about the high number of deaths related to the show. CNN is owned by the same company that owns HLN, which airs Pinsky’s show Dr. Drew On Call.
“There has been some criticism,” Burnett said. “Have you ever had second thoughts?”
“We worry, of course,” Pinsky replied. “This was a documentary. We worried that the cameras would adversely affect people. We always worry about that, but we were treating people with advanced addiction. Their prognosis was the same as many cancer patients. They have a poor prognosis. I believe that those that are now actively engaged in treatment now [are] still in harm’s way. There are still potentially fatalities ahead.”
Watch Dr. Drew Pinsky’s CNN interview in the video below.