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David S. Gingras, Esq.

My Guest Appearance On The Bachelor, I Mean Dr. Phil

Someone recently accused me (falsely) of talking about a case as an act of “self-promotion”. Um, is there something wrong with self-promotion? I think we should all promote ourselves, to a degree. Don’t be an arrogant asshole (which, in a past life, I certainly was). But if you have something useful to say to the world, why not say it?

Most people who know me are familiar with the fact that I used to do a fair amount of media appearances. I have received formal media training, and as part of handling high-profile cases, I sometimes need to go public to share information about a case.

Anyway, it occurs to me that rather than promoting myself too much, the truth is I have been too focused on work and probably haven’t promoted myself enough. After all, if people want to know what you’ve done, how will they ever know unless you tell them?

So here’s a fun story — back in 2010, on a Sunday evening I got a phone call from my client, Nik Richie. Back then, Nik had a website called which was a very early precursor to what you see on social media today. The site began purely for comedic purposes. WAY before sites like Instagram even existed, was a place where you could submit funny photos showing your friends drunk at a bar, or whatever.

Pretty quickly, BLEW UP and was, for a while, one of the most-talked about websites in existence. Traffic was around 20 million uniques per month. And although TheDirty initially began as a place to have fun, some people started to abuse it, posting really horrible stuff about other people….sometimes even strangers. Back then, 15+ years ago, this was kind of a new thing, and it made BIG news, often national news.

So one Sunday night, Nik Richie calls me and asks: “Hey are you free tomorrow? I just got a call from the Dr. Phil show and they want to know if we can come do an appearance. I need you to come with me, if you can.”

Well, of course I could, so literally about 12 hours after getting the call, we flew to LA and got picked up by a driver who took us to Dr. Phil’s TV studio. We had our own little green room, and some nice lady came and did our hair & makeup. Notably, we NEVER met Dr. Phil, never talked with any of the producers (at least not about the contents of the show). We just sat there and waited….wondering what would happen next.

At some point, a lady with a headset and clipboard comes to get us. She walks us through this dark studio, below some bleachers which were clearly filled with people sitting in the audience (they couldn’t see us).  The producer walked us up on stage, gave us some chairs, and sat us down (Nik’s wife, former Bachelor winner Shayne Lamas was also with us).

The lights come up, out comes Dr. Phil, and BOOM – the ambush began. Dr. Phil has some girl (Bruna?) sitting there who had been posted on TheDirty by a stranger. They said nasty things about her. She cried. Said her world was destroyed. The audience was PISSED. I could see people glaring at us and shaking their heads. I felt the pressure in the room building. And while I like Shayne Lamas (she and Nik have sadly split up), I don’t think Shayne’s comments helped much.

Prior to this, I had never heard anything about Bruna. Didn’t know her story. Was never given a chance to help her out. So it was a total ambush.

That’s why, in the second clip below, I started by apologizing to her. It was clear to me Dr. Phil did not understand the legal situation (under the law, website owners like Nik are not liable for what people post on their sites, just like Mark Zuckerberg is not liable for what you post on Facebook). And although the law was 100% on our side, Dr. Phil didn’t see it that way. So, I felt I needed to start by defusing the situation. I did that by telling Bruna I was sorry for what she had been through.

After my apology to this lady I had never met, I briefly sparred with Dr. Phil, trying to explain why he shouldn’t be blaming Nik for everything people posted on his website. He pushed back at first, but after a few minutes, he finally started to realize I was right.

Couple things — this was 14 years ago, and when we did the show, I am not gonna lie — I was NERVOUS. Not about being on TV…I have done tons of TV. It was more the fact that we had ZERO prep time with the producers. We did not know what Dr. Phil was going to ask. We did not know who else would be on the show. Put yourself in that situation. It’s hard to respond to an attack when you have no idea where the attack is coming from.

So if I look or sound nervous, cut me some slack. This was me doing my best to respond to a completely unprepared situation, entirely off-the-cuff. If they had given me at least 5 minutes of prep time before this, I’m sure I would have been a lot smoother.

NOTE – the main part of my discussion with Dr. Phil is in the second video below. For copyright reasons, I can’t post the whole show, but these clips give you an idea of what went down.

And fun fact – although it was clear Dr. Phil didn’t like me or Nik at first, we actually had a good talk with him back stage after this was taped, and Nik ended up being asked to return as Dr. Phil’s guest on at least two or three more shows.

P.S. is gone now, but I was their lawyer from 2007 to 2018. During that time, they were sued 42 times. My track record of results? 42 cases, 42 wins (well, more or less; I can explain some other time).



This Post Has One Comment

  1. Bobby Count Zero

    I just want to point out that you defended your client using the same BROKEN law that allows places like 4chan/8kun to evade responsibility for fomenting domestic terrorist, school shooters, and child predators. A law society all agrees needs to be amended and that members of your ex-client’s lobby pour money into in opposition. 42 wins, 42 technicalities.

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