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Bhad Bhabie Blasts Dr. Phil For Sending Her to Abusive 'Troubled Teen' Camp

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On March 19, rapper Bhad Bhabie, whose real name is Danielle Bregoli, published a video to her YouTube channel discussing the abuse that she faced while at Turn-About Ranch. Bregoli, now 17, was sent to this troubled teen camp when she was only 13 years old by Dr. Phil McGraw, who is no longer a licensed mental health professional, after appearing on his show.

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Bregoli is one of the latest people to speak up about the abuse she faced as part of the “Breaking Code Silence” movement. According to its website, Breaking Code Silence “is a social movement organized by survivors of institutional child abuse and activists to raise awareness of the problems in the Troubled Teen Industry, and the need for reform.” Paris Hilton, another survivor of the troubled teen industry has spoken in support of this campaign on Instagram. 

In her YouTube video, Bregoli spoke about the abuse that she experienced. Bregoli said she was not allowed to shower for the first three days that she was at Turn-About Ranch, and staffers would lash out and punish the “troubled teens” whenever they saw fit.

Bregoli said that she was afraid to speak out publicly because she did not think people would believe her over the staffers at Turn-About Ranch. “It’s just our word against the staff’s word when you’re there, because there’s no witnesses, there’s no cameras, you don’t have a phone, there’s none of that,” Bregoli says. “That’s why I was so scared to speak out, because I was like, ‘No one’s going to be believe me.’ A lot of things happened to me there, and it hurt me so bad because I was genuinely like confused.”

After the abuse she experienced, Bregoli is asking Dr. Phil to issue an apology for sending her and Hannah Archuleta, another “troubled teen” who was on “Dr. Phil,” to Turn-About Ranch. In the video, Bregoli asks him, “Are you trying to help them, or are you trying hurt them even more?” Dr. Phil has not issued a public apology at this time.

In recent years, Dr. Phil has faced backlash for how he has treated people who are struggling like Bregoli was when she was a guest on his show, as Buzzfeed News Reporter Scaachi Koul wrote about in an essay:

You likely know Bregoli as Bhad Bhabie, who barked at the audience, “Cash me ousside, howbow dah?” when they laughed at her absurd blaccent and put-on tough-girl attitude. But Bregoli was barely a teenager, and her first appearance on ‘Dr. Phil’ made her a cultural oddity, while the show got a viral attention injection. Bregoli, like many of the teenagers on ‘Dr. Phil,’ was referred to Turn-About Ranch, a “therapeutic boarding school” in Utah for troubled teenagers. It’s a real working ranch, as McGraw loves to remind his guests when he presents it as the last-ditch option for their kids.

Koul writes that Bregoli may have continued to lean into destructive behavior because in some way, while Bregoli was struggling, her behavior was rewarded by the attention she received. Before the YouTube video, Bregoli had previously spoken about how hopeless she felt on the ranch on an Instagram live, which she posted to her YouTube.

You can watch Bregoli’s full Breaking Code Silence video below. 

Image via YouTube/Bhab Bhabie

Originally published: March 23, 2021
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