Phil McGraw’s production company has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Gawker Media, claiming "Dr. Phil" suffered ratings losses after Gawker’s Deadspin website posted footage of his interview with the man behind the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood Esq.
The lawsuit filed Monday by McGraw’s Peteski Productions claims that Deadspin posted the juiciest parts of the interview online before it had aired in most "Dr. Phil" markets.
Part one of the two-part interview, broadcast over two days, ended on a cliffhanger, with viewers unsure whether the hoaxster, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, would speak in the female voice he used to allegedly trick Te’o into thinking he was having a relationship with a woman called Lennay Kekua, the story says. In reality, Kekua did not exist.
In the second part of the interview, the hoaxter used the female voice.
According to the lawsuit, Deadspin allegedly stole copyrighted material and posted it online, resulting in lower ratings for the second episode.
Gawker Media didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, the piece adds.