The plastic surgeon who sculpted Michael Jackson’s face and rejuvenated Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller is accused of disrobing, fondling and ridiculing anesthetized patients.
The Medical Board of California said Monday it is investigating Dr. Steven Hoefflin. It received a telephone complaint in 1996 alleging that he used drugs and fondled and photographed patients - many of them in the entertainment industry - while they were under anesthesia.
Hoefflin, 51, arguably Hollywood’s premier surgeon-to-the-stars, denied the accusations and said they stemmed from infighting between himself and two former partners, Drs. James S. Hurvitz, 50, and Wallace A. Goodstein, 51.
The allegations of unprofessional conduct also appear in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Hoefflin by four female employees in 1996. The case was settled that year and a gag order was issued, according to the women’s lawyers.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that Hurvitz supplied the board with documents in which the women allege that Hoefflin pulled the blanket off a well-known female patient and spread her legs “in a vulgar manner.” They claimed that Hoefflin disrobed a famous male patient, exposing his genitals, and stated: “You know, he never used it.”