George Harrison's Doctor Loses Job

01/09/2004 at 10:00 AM EST

The cancer specialist sued by George Harrison's family for allegedly coercing the dying ex-Beatle to autograph a guitar has been ousted from his job as head of the radiation oncology unit at New York's Staten Island University Hospital, according to local news reports.

According to court papers, Lederman is accused of forcing a weakened Harrison to autograph the instrument for the doctor's teenage son and sign autographs for his two daughters two weeks before the ex-Beatle died of cancer.

The suit, filed in New York's Brooklyn Federal Court, also charges Lederman with using Harrison's three weeks of treatment at the hospital to gain publicity for himself and the facility against the express wishes of Harrison, who died of cancer on Nov. 29, 2001, about two weeks after he had left Staten Island for California.

Last month, Lederman was censured by New York's Department of Health for violating Harrison's patient confidentiality and was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

Though Lederman no longer will head his department, he will retain that title until the end of year when his contact expires, a hospital spokeswoman tells New York news radio station 1010 WINS.

Anthony Ferreri, interim president and CEO of the hospital, also said that the dismissal of Lederman was unrelated to the Harrison estate lawsuit.

Lederman has denied wrongdoing involving his behavior with George Harrison and said he would give the guitar, owned by his son Ariel, to a charity, an offer that the Harrison family refused.

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