Few know how to savor in the decline of a famous individual more than Dr. Phil McGraw.
His latest interview, airing on November 18th, with former actress Shelley Duvall has sent the internet into a shockwave.
Duvall, 67, is seen in the following clip in an almost unrecognizable state, clearly in a state of several mental illness:
Duvall's irrational utterances include believing that Robin Williams is still alive, having "shapeshifted", and believing that aliens have implanted discs into her legs. She also claims to have been threatened by the "Sherrif of Nottingham", a character in the children's tale of Robin Hood. (Ironically, Duvall hosted a children's show called Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre. And, no, Robin Hood was not one of the tales she produced.)
She pleads with Dr. Phil with a pitiful statement: "I'm very sick. I need help."
Just the half a minute teaser clip has sent the entire rational world into an uproar. Vivian Kubrick, daughter of famed director Stanley Kubrick, has spoken out on Twitter denouncing Dr. Phil and begging him to be compassionate enough not to exploit this obviously incredibly sick woman:
— Vivian Kubrick (@ViKu1111) November 17, 2016
Stanley Kubrick directed Duvall in his adaptation of Stephen King's masterful novel The Shining with Jack Nicholson. Kubrick mistreatment and abuse of Duvall during the long shooting schedule of the movie has been well-documented. Many are now speculating that his abuse of her triggered her mental illness and decline. Making her shout until she was hoarse, even until she fainted, and instructing the cast and crew to either ignore or mistreat her to create his perfect portrait of an isolated woman driven to madness.
A man approached me, after we both commented on a social media post about Duvall, to share his interaction with Ms. Duvall with me and the moment he knew of Duvall's illness far before Dr. Phil set his cameras on her:
Steven: Thank you for sitting down for this interview, sir. For my readers, please tell us your first name, location, and age?
Jackson: I'm Jackson, from San Antonio, Texas. I'm 25-years-old.
S: Where did you first meet Shelley Duvall?
J: I met Ms. Duvall at The McDonald's drive-thru in Spring Branch, Texas where I worked at the time. I remember her sweet voice and immediately recognized that it was her. When she pulled up to the pay window (where I was at) she didn't look like herself at all, but as soon as she spoke I knew it was her.
S: Was there anything you noticed about her other than the fact that she didn't look like the actress you knew from the silver screen?
J: Her car was filled with all sorts of things ranging from unopened plastic spoons, various fast food cups, toys, and boxes that I couldn't see what was in them. She would also talk about how she always thought she was being watched and followed.
S: Did she say who she thought was watching and following her?
J: No, she never specified.
S: So, this almost goes without saying, you knew there was something "off" about her from your first meeting?
J: For sure and it only seemed to get worse from there. By the second and third visit she had trouble ordering food, often asking for items that weren't even on the menu.
S: Do you remember any of the items she asked for?
J: Stuff like pizza and fish sticks.
S: Besides asking for those items, did she display any other erratic behavior?
J: She would also sometimes have trouble counting out her money.
S: How would you describe her general appearance, in terms of dress and cleanliness?
J: She appeared fairly clean and didn't dress out of the ordinary. She just had the look of a person tired and haunted.
S: What were your feelings upon seeing her like this?
J: It was honestly heartbreaking a bit. Here was a woman who I've seen in movies throughout my childhood looking so confused and paranoid.
S: When you first saw the teaser trailer for her appearance on Dr. Phil, what was your reaction?
J: My initial reaction was relief, like I had stated in my post. I was glad that she's taking steps to getting the help she needs.
S: But, do you think that a nationally-syndicated show hosted by a pseudo-psychiatrist will help her? Wouldn't she benefit from private therapy and medication?
J: Indeed she would but she's still at step one, admittance, and I hope that her care will go beyond appearing on this show and then into private therapy. Appearing on tv, especially someone as well known as Dr. Phil is a big stretch for her after years of media silence.
S: Is there anything you'd like to say to Ms. Duvall, on the off-chance that she reads this some day?
J: I'd wonder if she remembers me or any other of the McDonald's crew and that I hope she feels safe and secure in days to come.
S: Thank you so much for your time, Jackson.
J: Thank you for the interview
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