This being Hollywood, it wasn't unusual for Irena Medavoy to visit her Beverly Hills dermatologist for wrinkle-foiling Botox shots. But when she mentioned her migraines to Dr. Arnold Klein, she says he offered to treat them with Botox too. Three rounds of injections to her temples and neck apparently didn't help. In fact Medavoy, 44, an erstwhile actress, says she began suffering hives, fever and fatigue. "She couldn't leave her bed," contends her lawyer Arthur Leeds.
Ten months later Medavoy—whose husband, Mike, 62, is a noted film producer—sued both Klein, 57, and Allergan, Botox's manufacturer. Mike Medavoy joined the suit, claiming Irena's illness cost him her "comfort, companionship, intimacy [and] services."
Bunk, say both defendants. Klein was "well within medical guidelines," says his lawyer Howard Weitzman. Medavoy's dermatologist since she was 17, Klein has also treated Michael Jackson, whose ex-wife Debbie Rowe was Klein's nurse. Allergan spokeswoman Christine Cassiano adds, "Botox has a 20-year safety record."
Approved by the FDA in 1989 for muscle spasms, Botox was okayed to fight wrinkles last April. It's been used on migraines since the early 1990s, albeit without official sanction.
Meanwhile Weitzman challenges Irena's "bedridden" claim. The day after her last shots she visited Disneyland with son Nicholas, 5. And this month, notes Weitzman, "she was at the Rolling Stones concert, having a great time." Barring a settlement, the parties are expected to meet face-to-face in June.
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