Doctor’s Joan Rivers’ selfie?: Joan Rivers Selfie
Published: July 16, 2015
Doctor’s Joan Rivers’ selfie?: Joan Rivers Selfie, The doctor in charge of the endoscopy that led to Joan Rivers’s death last year did take photos of the sedated comedian in the operating room – despite his denial, new court papers reveal.
Dr Lawrence Cohen is accused in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit of taking snapshots of Rivers as she underwent the botched throat surgery at Yorkville Endoscopy in Manhattan, New York, in August.
He has denied capturing images of Rivers’s personal doctor, Dr Gwen Korovin, working on the star, while Korovin has lashed out at claims she took a ‘selfie’ with her client during the procedure.
But now, court documents show that Cohen did actually photograph Rivers at the clinic, where the 81-year-old comedian suffered a cardiac arrest and fell into a coma, from which she never awoke.
According to the papers, obtained by the New York Daily News, anesthesiologist Dr Renuka Bankulla, who was involved in the surgery, admitted in medical records that photos were taken.
And interestingly, despite Cohen’s denial that he captured images of Rivers on his cellphone, the doctor has refused to submit testimony under oath regarding the claims, the documents show.
‘Notably, despite Dr. Bankulla’s clear statement in the medical records that Dr Cohen took a photograph of Joan Rivers while she was unconscious during the procedure, Dr Cohen’s unverified response … denies this fact,’ say the documents on Rivers’s death, filed in court on Tuesday.
According to lawyers for Rivers’s daughter Melissa – who is behind the lawsuit against Yorkville Endonscopy – the clinic’s director has also provided evidence that Cohen took photos of Rivers.
Director Daniel Adler reportedly admitted in a letter to Melissa Rivers, 47, last October that several employees who were present during the surgery had told him Cohen had photographed her mother.
Melissa Rivers’s lawyers claim that the gastroenterologis took the images on his cellphone because he believed Rivers would like to see them after she awoke from the routine throat procedure.
However, the star fell into a coma and died a week after the operation.
Melissa Rivers opens up about her mothers death
The attorneys are now requesting that Cohen has to provide a sworn answer to the allegations.
‘The conduct is unfortunately outrageous,’ said one of Melissa Rivers’s lawyers, Ben Rubinowitz. ‘You have a situation where doctors are taking photos of a patient when she needed assistance.’
The papers acquired by the New York Daily News were based on records from the medical examiner, a federal regulatory agency and the clinic itself, situated in the Upper East Side.
There was apparently no mention of the ‘selfie’ allegations against Korovin.
In her lawsuit, Melissa Rivers claims that Cohen, Korovin, 56, and other doctors involved in her mother’s August 28 surgery acted negligently and recklessly, leading to the comedian’s death.
Dr Bankulla’s clear statement in the medical records [says] that Dr Cohen took a photograph of Joan Rivers while she was unconscious during the procedure
Melissa Rivers, via her lawyers
The suit alleges that Korovin – the ‘throat specialist to the stars’ – was in the room at the time, despite not being authorized to be so, and even took a ‘selfie’ with sedated Rivers.
It also states that Korovin ‘did not object to the defendant Cohen’ taking photos of the star.
Korovin has denied the photo allegations, saying she ‘was unaware of any pictures being taken’ during the surgery, according to court papers, previously obtained by the News.
She ‘categorically denies’ the ‘selfie’ allegation in particular,CNN reported. But she has reportedly admitted that Cohen ‘invited’ her to operate on Rivers on the fateful day – and no one objected.
Korovin, who counts Hugh Jackman, Julie Andrews, Lady Gaga, and Ariana Grande among her celebrity patients, is an esteemed ear, nose and throat specialist based in Manhattan.
She has even been involved in a documentary with singer Celine Dion.
Following Rivers’s death, the ENT was said to be ‘devastated’ and ‘unable to sleep’ over the reports that she was involved in the death of her client, whom she considered ‘family’, Radar reported.
The botched surgery on August 28 was intended to help diagnose Rivers’s hoarse voice and sore throat, and involved the insertion of a camera down her throat.
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