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Dr. Drew Pinsky's Celebrity Rehab reality series is aimed at helping celebrities get over addiction. However, five alumni have died since appearing on the show. This has raised new questions and forced Pinsky to defend his show.
McCready, a country singer who battled with addiction throughout her life, died on Saturday of a self-inflicted gun wound. Joey Kovar, Rodney King, Jeff Conaway and Mike Starr also appeared on the show, but later lost their battles with addiction. McCready appeared on the show in 2009.
According to the Associated Press, her death has brought Pinsky under the microscope again. After her death, singer Richard Marx took two Twitter to compare Pinsky with Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He has since backed down, but wrote “It is, however, my opinion that what Dr. D does is exploitation and his TV track record is not good.”
Bob Forrest, a chemical dependency counselor, appeared on Celebrity Rehab in 2009, and told the AP that if you attack Pinsky, you are just taking attention from real problems. “Regardless of your feelings about how we do it with the TV show, calling Dr. Drew 'Dr. Kevorkian,' what kind of dialogue is that?” Forrest explained. “It's a good headline. We're going through a growth spurt in regards to who we are as a country. I really feel there's something going on in America beyond Mindy McCready's death.”
Pinsky, who did offer his condolences in a statement Monday, called The View to defend the show.
He said he thought “Dr. Drew lost another one” when he heard the news. “I wish I could be more responsible for them...I've received yesterday about 10 emails and texts from those that are doing well that are so grateful and wanted to reassure me.”
Pinsky said that McCready was “severely shattered” by her boyfriend’s apparent suicide in January. “She was in trouble...She was really struggling and she knew it,” he said, adding that the “last straw” came when she lost her children.