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One80 Center is a popular rehabilitation center for A-list celebrities and high-profile clients located in Beverly Hills.
The facility, a former home of Elizabeth Taylor, boasts individualized care, relaxed restrictions and five star amenities, all of which may have something to do with why it has shut down.
Lead investor, Edward Kislinger, attempted to unseat Alex Shohet, CEO and Bernadine Fried, his wife and the clinical director, after an investigative article from The Hollywood Reporter sufaced, highlighting questionable practices taking place at the center.
Several articles from THR have followed, all putting together a strange story of what was truthfully going on at the One80 Center.
The investigative article notes the death of two patrons of the rehab facility, Jean Galleta and Andrew Witkoff, and questions if their deaths were partly a result of improper care. Since the article has been published, the Witkoff family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility, citing Shohet, Fried and co-founder of the facility Justin Carroll, who left in July, responsible.
The lawsuit acknowledges that eight current and former employees have come forward with frustrations towards the Department of Healthcare Services, claiming the department is ineffective and has been passive in addressing employee concerns for One80. Concerns have arrisen, such as whether every client is given the best shot at recovery. Employees have claimed that rich and famous clients are allowed special privileges, which may be detrimental to their recovery. They noted that there was quite a difference in treatment between those able to pay in cash and those who were there with insurance pay. According to LA Curbed, rooms at the One80 Center can cost up to $90,000 a month.
After the article was published, Kislingler reportedly went to the rehab center to inform the staff that Shohet and Fried would no longer be with One80. However, a disgruntled Shohet logged on to a co-workers email and sent one saying, “Eddie Kislinger has no authority over One80. Berni and I are still CEO and clinical director. Please do not listen to Eddie Kislinger or any of the people ‘claiming’ any authority.”
Police were called and it was decided that the removed staff would remain in place until legal action could be taken. Though a judge has denied a preliminary injunction to prevent termination of Shohet and Fried, they did not go down without a fight.
Shohet took to freezing bank accounts used to pay staff members and causing other kinds of problems for One80 so the investor group, with Kislinger as interim CEO, decided to shut down the facility.
Investigators are looking into the situation to try and find out more details pertaining to the death of the two patrons at the facility and whether or not Shohet and Fried were involved with unethical behavior at the One80 Center.
Their track record doesn’t look promising.
Before opening One80, Shohet and Fried partnered with Dr. Howard Samuels and ran another treatment center, Wonderland, which opened in 2004. Fried referred to Samuels as their “nemesis”. Samuels told THR of the couple, “I didn’t create the insanity that they are in. They did. I didn’t contact their partners at One80. They contacted me for help, because I’ve had to go through the same thing that they’ve now had to go through. That means dealing with the unprofessional care that [Shohet and Fried] give to clients.”
Interesting Fact: This is the same facility that Jodie Sweetin of Full House has been working as a clinical logistics coordinator. She has not checked back into rehab as many people originally thought, according to Us Weekly.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons