01/07/2008 AT 7:45 PM ET
Dr. Phil McGraw is telling Britney Spears that she is not too far gone to turn her life around.
“You can make this okay,” the TV therapist, who at the request of her family briefly visited Spears while she was in the hospital, says in a message to the pop star that is posted on ETonline.com. “Your family loves you. You may not always agree with what they say, with what they do but they’ve loved you when you weren’t lovable. Turn to the people that love you and listen. You have two children and you are the one in this world to protect them. There is no sacrifice that [your mother Lynne] won’t make for you, and there is no sacrifice that your father won’t make. They are the people that want nothing from you, and everything for you.”
McGraw, a longtime Spears family friend, had planned to do a show about Britney’s condition and “the very serious issues surrounding this case. [But] because the Spears situation is too intense at this time, and out of consideration to the family, I have made the decision not to move forward with the taping at this particular time,” he announced Monday.
Still, he advises via Entertainment Tonight, “She needs to be in treatment, she needs to be in in-patient care for a period of time. Is she having a rough time right now? Yes she is. Why? I’m not really going to go into that at this point. But I can tell you this is a good person and I truly believe she’ll get back to being a good person.”
As for the criticism McGraw has encountered over his stepping into the Britney situation, particularly in the tabloids and on blogs, he hurls the brick right back.
“They are waiting for her next meltdown. These are the people that are stalking her and they want to criticize me for trying to help her, for trying to bring help to her in cooperation with the family that loves her. Get real,” he says. “Somebody needs to step up and get this young woman in to some quality care – and I do not apologize one whit, not one second, for trying to make that happen.”
‘Needs to Be in Treatment’
Expanding upon the statements released earlier, McGraw said of Spears on Monday’s The Insider and, later, on Entertainment Tonight, “What I’m hoping is to get her some help.”
Of the star’s general situation, McGraw, who likened getting into visit Spears at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center to getting into Fort Knox, says, “She needs less publicity, not more … She doesn’t need to be on television. She needs to be in treatment, she needs to be in in-patient care for a time.”
Spears, 26, was hospitalized early the morning of Jan. 4 under California’s “5150 Hold,” in which she was deemed a danger to herself or others and could be held for 72 hours for evaluation. But Spears left the hospital on Saturday, well before the 72 hours. Patients can be released early if doctors determine they no longer require treatment or evaluation.
McGraw said what he witnessed visiting Spears in Cedars-Sinai will remain private.
“People forget about Britney for all the time she was a young, talented, delightful woman,” said McGraw. “Is she having a rough time right now? Yes, she is. Why? I’m not really going to go into that at this point.”