Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Watch Janet Jackson's New Music Video for 'Dammn Baby' Following Pregnancy Reports
- Read the Cover Story: Prince Harry: Finding My Purpose
- WATCH: Gwen Stefani Lets George Clooney and Julia Roberts Hitch a Ride for Her Carpool Karaoke with James Corden
- Former Presidents George Bush Sr. and Son Bush Jr. Will Not Endorse Donald Trump as a Presidential Candidate
- Chrissy Teigen Shows off Her Envy-Inducing Three-Week Post-Baby Body
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- December 06, 2004
- Vol. 62
- No. 23
A Beverly Hills Beauty Scam?
Feds Say the 'Doc' Wasn't Licensed and the Wrinkle Treatment Was Illegal. Now Lionel Richie's Wife Has Been Arrested
But the charm hid a darker reality. On Nov. 15 federal agents arrested Serrano, who may have been licensed as a doctor in Argentina but is only a nurse in the U.S., and charged him with importing and distributing Artecoll, a combination of synthetic collagen and tiny solid beads that is a legal wrinkle filler in Canada, Mexico and Europe but has not been approved by the FDA (see box). His unlikely partner in crime, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles: Diane Richie, 38, who is Lionel's estranged wife. "He was arrested in a clinic he was using in Beverly Hills," according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office. "He called [Diane], and she was taken into custody outside the clinic."
Serrano, considered a flight risk and a danger to the community, is being held without bond at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles. Richie spent a night in jail but is now out on $25,000 bond. If convicted of the two current charges, each could face up to six years in prison—a fate Richie's outraged friends say she doesn't deserve. "If she's guilty of anything," says Lavinthal, "she's guilty of letting this guy come into her life and wreak havoc. He took advantage of her emotionally. He's very good at taking advantage of women."
It's unclear how Richie and Serrano first met. Serrano is married to Walter Matthau's niece Michelle Matthau ("He told Diane and me he married her for a green card," says Lavinthal). But by last year Richie was inviting him to the home she and Lionel, whom she married in 1996, then shared in Beverly Hills to perform Artecoll injections for friends. According to an affidavit given by Richie's house manager, during the period between July and December 2003 up to 40 people came to the house to see Serrano.
Fabulous endorsements notwithstanding, he didn't always get good results. Larry King's wife, Shawn, who had injections to her lips, temples, smile lines and around her eyes, told investigators that her lower lip developed "an aesthetically displeasing bump" which became hard, making it difficult to drink and speak. Lavinthal had several shots to her cheeks and upper lip. Afterward, she said in her affidavit, three holes formed in her face. (The damage, she now says, has been repaired by a doctor.)
At least one of Serrano's clients became suspicious about his qualifications long before his arrest. "I started getting a bad feeling about him—that he wasn't on the up-and-up," says celebrity stylist Vivian Turner. "I started to realize he was scamming people."
An anonymous tip to the FBI 14 months ago led to an investigation by the Medical Board of California. Following Serrano's and Richie's arrests, agents confiscated safety-deposit boxes, one in his name and one in hers, containing nearly $2 million in cash as well as jewelry.
A preliminary hearing on the case is set for Dec. 6. Lavinthal, for one, is convinced that her friend will be cleared of all charges. "She will cooperate with the authorities," Lavinthal says. "She hasn't seen Daniel in three months. She doesn't like the person he is." As for Serrano, says Turner, "he deserves to be in jail."
Allison Adato. Lorenzo Benet, Champ Clark and Len Hochberg in Los Angeles
- Lorenzo Benet,
- Champ Clark,
- Len Hochberg.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!