DETROIT (CBS Detroit) “Do the drugs get her and take her life, or do we get her and save her life?” With that question, TV’s Dr. Phil McGraw introduced the story of Detroit native Jael Strauss, a former “America’s Next Top Model” finalist who he said has spiraled into drug addiction.
Her story aired at 5 p.m. Thursday on CBS 62.
Strauss was a 22 year-old band manager from Detroit when she was cast on “America’s Next Top Model,” and she’s appearing on “Dr. Phil” along with her parents Lisa and Larry, and intervention specialists, for an episode titled “Top Model Intervention.”
Her parents admit doing drugs with her in the past, but say she continues to use cocaine, oxycontin, meth and vicodin. McGraw said her body is riddled with sores, her teeth missing, her once-beautiful face destroyed with the distinctive marks of meth addiction.
“We have one goal and that’s to get her to the help she needs,” McGraw said on the episode.
The show opened with family and friends trying to track Strauss down at a motel where she’s reportedly living, in an unnamed city, while dancing in a strip club. When they can’t track her down, the family lures her to their house with a story abut the family dog needing help.
Strauss arrives in a wild feathered hat, with a face obviously ravaged by drugs, and goes wild when she discovers why she was actually called to the house.
After a prolonged battle, Strauss is taken to the “Dr. Phil” studio and immediately escapes outside when she sees the audience. Distraught, she leaned against the studio building, smoked, and said she was there only “because they made me.”
“Isn’t it true that on some level you know your life sucks?” McGraw asked her. “I don’t really care that much,” Strauss said.
After confronting her about the sad state of her life, McGraw offers to send her, at his expense, to the “best facility in the country.” “This is your chance,” McGraw said. “Why don’t you stop all the drama … and get better?”
“Thank you,” a tearful Strauss said, agreeing to immediately enter treatment.
Can she be saved? Stay tuned.
“Dr. Phil” airs every at 5 p.m. every weekday on CBS 62.