Keith Ablow, a prominent Boston-area psychiatrist, best-selling self-help author and former Fox News contributor, has been accused of sexually exploiting three patients, according to a report Thursday from the Boston Globe.
The Globe cited lawsuits filed by three separate women over the span of one year. According to the women’s suits, Ablow abused his position while treating them for depression by engaging in physically harmful and manipulative sexual relationships.
Ablow denied the allegations of the three women in a tweet posted Thursday afternoon. “Categorically, completely deny the allegations lodged against me. I look forward to the court proceedings and will continue to offer excellent care to any patient who needs my help,” he wrote.
“He began to hit me when we engaged in sexual activities,” one plaintiff wrote in a sworn affidavit filed with her lawsuit. “He would have me on my knees and begin to beat me with his hands on my breasts, occasionally saying, ‘I own you,’ or ‘You are my slave.'”
According to The Globe, Albow used a controversial treatment for depression on the women which relied heavily on infusions of Ketamine, an anesthetic that can induce a trance-like state, memory loss and hallucinations.
The Globe cited one expert who said it appeared Ablow was using Ketamine in conjunction with talk therapy to gain control over a third patient, a woman from Ohio. “The patient appears to have become very dependent on this medication and dependent on Dr. Ablow to supply it,” wrote chairman of the psychiatry department at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Jeffrey Lieberman in an expert testimony filed with the lawsuits.
Lexington psychoanalyst, Andrea Celenza, who was hired by the plaintiffs as an expert witness, said that Ablow’s behavior in the case of one of the women “was sadomasochistic, anti-therapeutic, and constitutes a perverse use of his status and power,” she wrote in a letter filed with the lawsuits.
Persuaded by Albow, each of the three women moved away from their home state to be closer to the doctor’s office. The Ohio woman, in her affidavit, said he offered discounts for the Ketamine infusions and promised to arrange job interviews if she agreed to relocate.
Three women who worked for Albow also wrote affidavits that were included in the lawsuits. The affidavits said that Ablow often came off as threatening and would display his handgun or give subtle hints that he would take action if they provided anyone with negative information about his practice.
“Dr. Ablow has been a respected and highly regarded psychiatrist who has for decades helped countless patients,” Ablow’s attorney A. Bernard Guekguezian told The Globe. “He denies any and all allegations of improper behavior or substandard care in their entirety.”