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The Dr. Phil Show has posted bond, set at $33,000, for Mercades Nichols, the alleged ringleader of the eight Florida teenagers accused of the videotaped “animalistic” beating of fellow classmate Victoria Lindsay.A producer for the show, who accompanied Nichols from the Polk County jail, claimed “exclusivity” in the case, instructing the girl and her family not to answer questions from local reporters on the scene.

A spokesperson for the Dr. Phil Show issued the following statement:

“We have helped guests and potential guests in the past when they need financial assistance to come on the show – assisting with clothing allowance, lost wages, accommodations, travel and necessities. In this case, certain staff members went beyond our guidelines (re: the bail being paid). These staff members have been spoken to and our policies reiterated. In addition, we have decided not to go forward with the story as our guidelines have been compromised.”

Although the statement would seem to absolve Dr. Phil, TMZ has this to say about the issue:

Dr. Phil’s statement suggests some sort of rogue producer went down to Florida and went “beyond their guidelines.” We’re not buying it.

Here’s how it works …

We’re told the bail was $33,000. In order to bail the teen out, the bondsman or woman would get 10% in cash, and the rest must be guaranteed by collateral. That’s a lot of dough! So who approved the money? We’re told some higher up — Terry Wood (the big boss at CBS/Paramount TV) or even Dr. Phil himself — would have to OK that kind of cash … not some freelancer who “went beyond the guidelines.”

Interestingly there is a gag order on all involved in the case and no one would have been able to talk to Dr. Phil anyway. Perhaps a certain staff member should have investigated the matter before jetting off to Florida. I think a question of ethics comes into play here as well.

This isn’t the first time Dr. Phil has been accused of exploitation. In January, the good Dr. barged into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center under the guise of “helping” Britney Spears. That didn’t work out so well either.

Here is a link to the videotaped beating for those of you who want to see it. I have not seen the video, and don’t care to. I’m sure it is quite disturbing. (Click HERE for link)