- Views & Opinions
A dermatologist whose clients included Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor is suing the state of California in a dispute over his license to practice.
Dr. Arnold Klein is suing California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the state medical board and the state department of community affairs over a state order that he undergo mental and physical examinations. Klein claims that he has asked the reason for the examinations but has been denied any details.
Klein, according to a Courthouse News Service report on the legal complaint, is a “pioneer in the field of dermatology,” founder of the Elizabeth Taylor HIV Clinic at UCLA and AmFAR and a director at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In the earliest days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Klein was among the first to diagnose a case of Kaposi’s sarcoma.
The Los Angeles Times reported in January that Klein was bankrupt, a situation he blamed on embezzling former employees who counter-claimed that the doctor’s downfall was due to his luxurious lifestyle and sexual pursuits.
At about the same time that Klein financial troubles were coming to light, the defense for Dr. Conrad Murray, who would be convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death, was seeking to call Klein to testify at Murray’s trial. The defense wanted to present evidence that Klein gave Jackson large doses of Demerol and turned the megastar into an addict. The judge barred Klein’s testimony as irrelevant and potentially confusing to a jury.
But Klein – who has claimed that Jackson had a gay affair with an assistant in the doctor’s practice – remained under scrutiny with the state medical board, which opened an investigation to determine whether the doctor’s license should be suspended.
Klein, in his suit, said the medical board apparently is questioning his competency and wants to know whether he suffers a mental or physical illness. But, the doctor said, he’s been denied any explanation.
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