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Dr. Drew Says Custody Issues Were "Last Straw" for Mindy McCready Before Suicide; Defends "Celebrity Rehab"

Image courtesy of Music City Media (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Music City Media (via ABC News Radio)

Fans are still grappling with the fact that country singer Mindy McCready was found dead Sunday of an apparent suicide. On Tuesday's episode of The View, Dr. Drew Pinsky explained how he reached out to Mindy, who he once treated on Celebrity Rehab , after the recent death of her boyfriend, David Wilson .  He also defended the show in the wake of McCready's death -- the fifth death in the last two years among people who have appeared on the show.

Dr. Drew said David's death and the subsequent loss of custody of her children pushed an already troubled Mindy over the edge.  "She had been doing well until the death of her boyfriend...She was so extremely shattered by that experience," Dr. Drew told the co-hosts by phone.

"We discussed the fact that she needed to be hospitalized and head to a psychiatric hospital, but she was so mortified about the stigma and judgement of the public and the press that it really took some convincing," he continued. "She eventually did go to the hospital, which is where she should've stayed, but unfortunately...she left prematurely and that's when things really unraveled."

"She then lost custody of her children and that was the last straw," he added.

About a month ago, Mindy's boyfriend David, 34, died of what appears to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound, though his death is still under investigation.  Mindy denied any involvement in his death.  Not long afterwards, her two sons, Zander and Zayne , were taken into care by authorities, and E! Online reported that Mindy was ordered to enter a facility for a mental health and alcohol abuse evaluation.  According to court documents cited by E!, a judge wrote that there was cause to believe the singer was suicidal; however, a few days later, she received the OK to undergo outpatient treatment instead.

Although some have been placing blame for Mindy's death on the very public struggle with her demons that played out on his reality show, Dr. Drew defended Celebrity Rehab  noting that despite the public deaths, many who have been treated on the show have been helped.  On The View he said he had received " about ten emails and texts from those [past patients] who are doing well, who were so grateful and wanted to reassure me," he said Tuesday. "And I said, 'Wow, we're doing something right.'"

Mindy was found dead Sunday in Heber Springs, Arkansas, according to the Cleburne County Sheriff's department. The 37-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene from what appeared to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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