A Glamorous Drug, an Illness, a Very Public Battle

News   ·   September 22, 2004

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September 22, 2004
Los Angeles Times

A Glamorous Drug, an Illness, a Very Public Battle
By Gina Piccalo, Times Staff Writer

In the strange trial of Irena Medavoy versus Botox, nobody is left looking perfect.

Even before “Mr. Botox” returned from Europe to take the stand and Vanna White showed up, the judge braced the jury for something special. “You’ll remember this for a long time,” he said.

Indeed, history is being made this month in Los Angeles County Superior Court, as Botox goes on trial for the first time in its brief but glamorous life as America’s favorite antiwrinkle treatment.

Hollywood socialite Irena Medavoy, wife of film producer Mike Medavoy, is suing celebrity dermatologist Arnold Klein and Botox’s manufacturer, Allergan Inc., claiming the drug caused myriad illnesses, including a four-month migraine so severe it left her bedridden, barely able to lift her head from the pillow.

The medical malpractice lawsuit, which began Sept. 3 and is expected to last through next month, threatens more than $560 million in annual Botox sales and the reputation of one the drug’s leading experts. And perhaps that’s why defense attorneys kept the first two weeks of testimony focused on the lifestyles of the rich and famous



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