Dr. Phil McGraw may be under investigation by the California Board of Psychology for his conduct in the Britney Spears drama if a complaint reportedly filed against the TV shrink and currently floating around the Internet is legit.
The complaint, reportedly lodged by a psychologist with the California Board of Psychology, alleges that McGraw was illegally practicing without a license when he paid a visit to Spears in the hospital. It also says he violated doctor-patient privilege by discussing Spears with the media.
California authorities are compelled to investigate anytime a complaint is filed.
A Psychology Board rep told TMZ.com if the Board finds the complaint credible, it would be referred to the D.A. for review. Practicing without a license is a felony in California.
The complaint also says, "A petition is being circulated to remove the "Dr. Phil" show from the air."
Because of confidentiality regulations, Jeffery Thomas, the organization's assistant executive officer, told the New York Post that he could not confirm the existence of a complaint — nor whether the purported complaint form against Dr. Phil is authentic.
Meanwhile, McGraw said Thursday that his comments about the pop star were not "helpful to the situation."
"Was it helpful to the situation? Regrettably, no," McGraw, 57, said Thursday during a taping of "The Dr. Phil Show," reports USA Today. (The show is slated to air Monday.) "I definitely think if I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't make any statement at all. Period."
However, McGraw said he doesn't regret his attempts to help Spears, saying he would make the same visit to see her in the hospital if he had to do it all over again.
"How could you not?" he said.
He also told USA Today that he visited Spears as "a friend and ally of the family," not as a psychologist. (He is not licensed in California.)
Earlier this month, Spears spent a night at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a showdown with police and EMTs in which she allegedly refused to hand over her sons to ex-husband Kevin Federline. Dr. Phil went to visit her in the hospital and then blabbed about it to the media.
But the reported investigation into his conduct may not last long or go very far, officials told the Post.
Dr. Phil would have violated state law only if he charged Spears or her family for his services, according to state regulations.
McGraw is also not licensed to practice psychology in Texas, his home state, because of disciplinary sanctions imposed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists in 1989. A former therapy client had filed a complaint against him, claiming their relationship was inappropriate. He later admitted giving her a job but denied touching her, the Post reported.
While they maintained that McGraw was invited to visit Spears in the hospital, her family said last week that he crossed the line by not keeping his mouth shut after making a house call on the singer.
"My meeting with Britney and some family members this morning in her room at Cedars leaves me convinced more than ever that she is in dire need of both medical and psychological intervention," McGraw told "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider" after meeting with Spears in the hospital. I am very concerned for her."
McGraw later canceled a show that he planned to do on the pop star.