‘Biggest Loser’ Doctor Sues Former Contestant, New York Post Over Scandalous Story

About two weeks ago, several former contestants on NBC weight-loss competition The Biggest Loser spoke to the NY Post, publicly accusing trainers, show staff, and the show’s resident physician, Dr. Robert Huizenga of a variety of questionable behaviors. Now “Dr. H” is firing back with a lawsuit against both the Post and one of the former “losers.”

In the complaint [PDF], filed Thursday in a federal court in Michigan, Dr. H. claims that his lawyers warned the Post reporter when she sought pre-publication comment on the story — which described “secret and brutal tactics, which include providing illicit drugs to contestants and submitting them to questionable medical exams” — that if published, these statement “would be defamatory and cause substantial harm” to the doctor.

Among the statements that the reporter sought comment on:

• That “contestants have passed out in Dr. H’s office right before the finale weigh-in and Dr. H would give them Gatorade.”

• That “contestants were starving themselves and using illegal drugs to lose weight rapidly,” and that Dr. H “knew exactly what we are doing and never tried to stop it.”

• “In [season two], at least five people were rushed to the hospital.”

Former contest Joelle Gwynn — a Michigan resident, which explains the filing of the lawsuit in that district — is quoted in the Post stories as claiming that an assistant for trainer Bob Harper gave her a yellow and black pill, and that afterward she “felt jittery and hyper.”

Said Gywnn in the Post — and quoted again in the complaint — “I went and told the sports medicine guy. The next day, Dr. H gave us some lame explanation of why they got added to our regimen and that it was up to us to take them.”

She then goes on to compare the scenario to Bill Cosby’s alleged use of drugs to facilitate the sexual assault of women, adding “I feel like we got raped, too.”

In the complaint, Huizenga claims that the Post reporter has also contacted former contestants — and possibly other third parties — “about the revocation of Dr. H’s medical license.”

On May 31, Dr. H’s attorneys sent letters to the defendants demanding retractions, corrections, and an apology. Since none of those have been forthcoming, he filed this complaint, alleging libel and interference with business relationships.

UPDATE: When reached for comment, a rep for the New York Post tells Consumerist, “We stand by our reporting.”