Dr. Drew Pinsky, the host of the VH1 series "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," tells The New York Times that he’s baffled when people hold him accountable for the actions — and deaths — of some of his former patients on the show.
"They think I’m a millionaire and they think I am, like, rampaging or exploiting people to maintain that,” Pinsky said. “And that could not be farther from the truth.”
He recounted a recent show when an audience member grilled him about a pornographic tape made by Farrah Abraham, who was on MTV’s "Teen Mom." Pinsky had served as a guest host on the show.
"Somebody went, ‘How about your teen mom Farrah and her porn tape?’” Pinsky said. “I went, ‘My teen mom Farrah?’ I’ve spent maybe three hours with her, probably 45 minutes across three different shows I hosted. I know her. I’m available to her. I care what happens to that young lady. But I don’t produce that show. I’m not her doctor.”
The backlash against Pinsky intensified after the death earlier this year of singer Mindy McCready. She was the fifth participant on Pinsky’s show to die within two years, the story notes. Pinsky said that McCready had stopped being his patient, but that he had urged her a few weeks before her death to seek help.
Pinsky said that his reason for working on "Celebrity Rehab," which he has said he won’t return to, is to illustrate to the public the dangers of unchecked addictions.
"If doctors are not allowing ourselves to participate in the entertainment aspects, we are not going to have any impact,” he said. “The medical practice is not getting better.”