Dr. Oz and His Wife Insult Journalist Who Inadvertently Heard Their Conversation
A political writer for New York magazine spun straw into reporter’s gold after an awkward phone encounter with U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa Oz.
While reporting on Dr. Oz’s campaign in Pennsylvania, Olivia Nuzzi had some trouble getting a hold of her subject. “I was trying to speak to someone — anyone — from the campaign, which had so far proved elusive,” she writes at the start of her story headlined “The Political Life of Dr. Oz.”
Nuzzi was in Montgomery County, where Oz’s campaign headquarters are “in a patch of strip mall next to a Mexican restaurant,” she writes. There, she hoped to find the Republican candidate who announced his run in November. Although she had no luck at the offices and was not able to reach him by phone, she decided to call his wife.
A hang-up and a call-back later, Mrs. Oz was on the line asking, “How did you get my number?” After Nuzzi said the number was publicly listed, Mrs. Oz wished her a “nice day” and hung up.
“Or she thought she did,” Nuzzi writes. The reporter was still on the line — but it was clear that Mrs. Oz didn’t realize that Nuzzi could still hear her as she began to speak with her husband.
“Lisa Oz had mistakenly connected her device to what sounded like the sound system of a vehicle, meaning that as they engaged in paranoid conversation and argument for more than four minutes, I remained on the line, hearing every word of it,” Nuzzi writes.
In the exchange between Dr. and Mrs. Oz that followed, the candidate called Nuzzi a “liar” for saying she had an appointment with him, although she writes that she never made that claim.
Meanwhile, Nuzzi heard his wife called her a “reporter from The New Yorker,” which is also not true (Nuzzi writes for New York magazine), and a “f—ing girl reporter.”
“Did someone lock the door?” Dr. Oz said, according to Nuzzi.
“No,” Mrs. Oz replied.
“We’ve got to do it,” Dr. Oz said.
The insults and curse words continued while Nuzzi listened to the Ozes’ accusations that she “broke into some guy’s house and stole all his photo albums,” a claim Nuzzi said was “made up by disgraced ex-Trump aide Corey Lewandowski,” and that she was writing a “hit piece,” which she also said is not the case.
They also seemingly worried that Nuzzi had already spoken to an associate of the couple named Michelle Bouchard. “She said s— she shouldn’t have said! That I was going to be the next leader of the Republican Party,” Nuzzi quotes Dr. Oz as saying in reference to the source.
“That Michelle told her I’m going to be the next leader of the Republican Party, s— like that, that’s what you told me she said!” Dr. Oz also said while Nuzzi listened in.
Nuzzi writes that Bouchard did say that, though it’s unclear why Dr. Oz, who is running for senate as a Republican, would find that troubling.
A spokesperson for Dr. Oz did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment regarding the overheard conversation.
The controversial TV personality, 61, made the official announcement that he is launching a Republican campaign for Senate in November, penning an op-ed for The Washington Examiner in which he wrote that he is launching his campaign “to help fix the problems and to help us heal.”