Dr. Phil’s guest made national headlines when he was accused of duping the entire country. Tim Poe recently showcased his singing on the reality TV show America's Got Talent
and claimed that he was wounded by a grenade while on active military duty in Afghanistan and suffered a traumatic brain injury, resulting in a stutter. Shortly after the show taping, reports surfaced that he might be a phony. Tim says any lies were unintentional, and that he often gets confused because of his brain injury, and he wants to clear his name. How will Tim respond when he is confronted by people who say they are certain he isn’t being honest? Decide for yourself: Is Tim the victim of lost memory, or is he victimizing others with lies?
Victim of a Lost Memory or Victimizing Others?
For the first time on national television, Tim tells his side of the story. "When I went on America’s Got Talent
, I had all my military paperwork, and it says that I was hit by a grenade, and I received a traumatic brain injury, but none of the people who criticized me saw my paperwork," he explains, but adds that the people in his military unit were told that that he left for an ear infection. "I don’t have any medical paperwork that says ear infection," Tim says. "Before Afghanistan in 2009, I never had any problems of knowing what was real and what wasn’t. I truly believed that I went to Iraq. Apparently, I got injured and broke my back in training before we even got sent."
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Tim says he truly believes the statements he has made. "I don’t know why it is that I believe something so wholeheartedly, and people who don’t even know me or have never served with me are calling me this big liar. I’m a soldier. I did my duty to the best of my ability, and I need help," he says through tears.
Tim and his wife, Carrie, join Dr. Phil, and Tim explains some of the reported inconsistencies in his story.
Alteen says she dated Tim for about five months, and she says she is convinced that Tim is lying. "Tim has been lying since day one. He just lies. I don’t think it has anything to do with the brain injury, because I knew him in 2005," she claims. "While Tim and I were dating, we’d all go out to karaoke bars, and Tim would act like he was mentally disabled. He had the limp already; he would just intensify it. If he took a drink of beer, he would let it come out of his mouth a little bit. He’d stutter."
Alteen explains why she believes Tim's military records say he has a traumatic brain injury. "The doctor writes down exactly what you say. If you say, ‘I jumped on one of my guys saving him when the grenade went off,’ that’s what they have to write. They want to know exactly what you’re saying so that they can verify the story, because you get paid for that," she says. "We had friends that got blown up, friends that have PTSD so bad they can’t even handle it, and it’s a direct slap in the face ... Tim has been lying for so long now that he probably doesn’t know right from wrong or what’s true, what’s not."
Dr. Phil questions Tim about Alteen’s claims. How does he respond?
“I know of no known neuroanatomical structure that would explain the pattern of memory deficit that you’re experiencing.”
Wounded Warrior or Liar?
Before Tim went on America’s Got Talent
, he spoke with Donna Cranston, founder and CEO of Defenders of Freedom,
a nonprofit organization which helps wounded soldiers with financial assistance. Hear what Donna has to say about her conversation with Tim. And, a member of
Tim’s National Guard Unit, Specialist Justin Doerfler, recalls the events that occurred when he and Tim were stationed in Afghanistan.
“Tim should be proud of his service, but when you start misrepresenting injuries or awards that you didn’t earn, that’s when it becomes a disgrace.”
Was there a grenade explosion? “I’ve never, ever, ever seen or heard you stutter before.”
What is the Truth?
Does Tim have a traumatic brain injury or serious psychological issues? “These are the characteristics that cause people to do things that create trouble for them in their lives.”