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Video: Gatlinburg fire survivors clash over cyberbullying on 'Dr. Phil'

Travis Dorman, Knoxville News Sentinel • Jan 25, 2018 at 9:44 AM

Three women who survived the Gatlinburg wildfires appeared Wednesday on Dr. Phil McGraw's nationally-syndicated talk show to hurl accusations of scamming and cyberbullying at one another.

Darlene Verito Triail and Vicky Cowden accused Melinda Stites of being a "lying, mentally-unstable bully" who scammed fire victims out of $620 by using an alias to start an online fundraiser that falsely claimed she lost everything in the fire.

Stites denied starting the fundraiser and accused Triail and Cowden of "terrorizing" her by harassing her in social media posts that made her "shake with fear."

Dr. Phil shared some of those posts, including a photo of Cowden holding an assault rifle and a video of Triail, in an expletive-laced rant, telling Stites, "Your husband has no teeth because somebody probably knocked them out of his head."

More about the wildfire firestorm from our partners at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

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