Dr. Oz gets grilled by Congress

Posted: June 19, 2014

UNDER PRESSURE from Congress, TV physician Mehmet Oz yesterday offered to help "drain the swamp" of unscrupulous marketers using his name to peddle so-called miracle pills and cure-alls to millions of Americans desperate to lose weight.

Oz appeared before the Senate's consumer-protection panel and was scolded by chairwoman Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., for claims he made about weight-loss aids on "The Dr. Oz Show."

Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon, acknowledged that although he never endorsed specific companies or brands, he did, perhaps, gush a bit too much about green coffee and other supplements. He therefore has promised to publish a list of specific products he thinks can help America shed pounds and get healthy - beyond eating less and moving more.

McCaskill took Oz to task for a 2012 show in which he proclaimed that green-coffee extract was a "magic weight-loss cure for every body type."

"I get that you do a lot of good on your show," McCaskill told Oz, "but I don't get why you need to say this stuff because you know it's not true."

Oz insisted he believes in the supplements he talks about as short-term crutches, and even has his family try them. But there's no long-term miracle pill out there without diet and exercise, he said.

That's why there's Kimberly Garrison, Next Page.

Cosplay may cost him

One of the costumed characters who roam NYC's Times Square went on trial yesterday in the Big Apple. Philip Williams, dressed as your not-so-friendly neighborhood Spider-Man - is accused of hitting a passer-by who didn't tip him for posing for a photo with her children in February 2013.

In a story that led the Daily Bugle, Victoria Goreaciuc says Williams cursed at her and later punched her in the temple.

She acknowledges confronting him and flinging a handful of snow at him. Williams says he reacted in self-defense after his spidey senses felt a cold, hard chunk hit his head.

The defense had questioned whether Williams was actually the costumed figure who allegedly insulted Goreaciuc. But he later acknowledged in testimony that he was.

It's among several criminal cases in recent years against Times Square's costumed characters.

* As a warm-up to Wizard Con Philly (see our supplement inside today's paper), legendary comic-book artist Neal Adams is appearing at Fat Jack's (2006 Sansom St.) today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fans are encouraged to come in for their Wednesday new-book purchases and meet Adams. Best news? The first autograph is FREE. (Additional autographs are $10 each.) In addition, portfolios, art prints, books and sketches will be available for purchase.


Katy Perry is starting her own record label.

Katy announced the launch of Metamorphosis Music yesterday. It's a joint venture with her current label, Capitol Records, and maybe Franz Kafka.

Katy's first signee is pop singer Ferras, who released his Katy-executive-produced EP yesterday. The five-song self-titled effort includes the track "Legends Never Die," which features Katy.

Ferras will join Katy for the North American leg of her Prismatic World Tour, which kicks off June 22 in Raleigh, N.C. It wraps Oct. 11 in Houston.

* Prosecutors said yesterday that they were dropping a disorderly conduct case against Paul Simon and his wife, Edie Brickell, that stemmed from a fight at the couple's home.

Simon, 72, and Brickell, 48, did not appear in Norwalk Superior Court, where prosecutors told a judge they were declining to pursue the case, meaning the charges will be dropped and eventually erased after 13 months.

* If Harry Potter can do Broadway, why not Ron Weasley?

Producers of Terrence McNally's Broadway-bound revival of "It's Only a Play" have added Rupert Grint to the cast.

Grint will make his Broadway debut alongside a cast of heavy hitters including Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham and Emmy winner Megan Mullally.

The revival will play at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Opening night is Oct. 9.

"It's Only a Play," which previously appeared off-Broadway in 1986, is a send-up of show business. It is set on the eve of a play's opening night and its anxious playwright has to deal with Broadway showbiz types as they await the first reviews.

* A New York state location of country-music star Toby Keith's chain of restaurants owes more than a quarter-million dollars in taxes to the state.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that a tax warrant filed by the state earlier this month seeks $107,000 owed by Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill at the Destiny USA shopping mall.

Keith's Syracuse bar, which opened last year, also owes more than $145,000 in sales taxes from earlier in 2013.

The musician's chain of restaurants, named for the title of one of his hit songs, features guitar-shaped bars, beer in mason jars and traditional southern food.

The Phoenix-based chain has 16 locations in 12 states, with five more restaurants planned.

A call to the chain's corporate office wasn't returned.

The problem? The restaurant's accountant may have gotten his degree from Keith's "Honkytonk University."

- Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

Email: gensleh@phillynews.com

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