The last year has been a difficult one for me. It is always painful when someone you once considered a friend decides that they want to hurt you. I am referring to a patient who had allowed me to use their image on my website. A year ago she accused me of taking her images and using them without her knowledge or consent. I want to clearly state this is not true. I have never, nor would I ever use a patient’s pictures without getting their permission first and even discussing the pictures being used for their approval. Recently the New York Post, the Miami Herald, and Fox news has reported on this situation. I am grateful to them for getting my side of the story out. My reputation is very important to myself and I cannot begin to tell you how painful it has been to see the attacks on my practice. I also want to thank my patients for their support. It means the world to me.
Dr. Leonard M. Hochstein
The Miami Herald
September 21, 2009
Miami plastic surgeon Lenny Hochstein can’t seem to slice off this pesky lawsuit brought on by former patient, alleged escort, ex Miss Norway, Playboy model and Maxim Woman of the Year 2006, Monica Hansen, who sued the doc for using pictures of her on his practice’s website allegedly without permission. The doctor and the centerfold also briefly dated and subsequently became friends until doc got engaged and suddenly the saline hit the fan. Back in July, Hansen, who lives in LA, won a default judgement for $564,555 calling Hochstein’s use of pics an ethical infringement on her rights. Hochstein denied the charge. “The bottom line is I had permission to use her images,” he said. Not only did he have permission, he says, but he also admits to performing several surgeries on her over the course of several years at little or not cost as part of an agreement they had for him to use her images on her website. To bolster that, the doctor’s team obtained an email from Hansen to her former employer, Hollywood madam Michelle Braun, whose own issues had her on the receiving end of a sweet plea deal with the Feds, in which Hansen admitted to giving Hochstein permission to use the photos, saying “[sic] Yes honey I did let Lenny use the pictures I am so sorry for the trouble. Just become an issue with my agency is all but I am not going to sue.” But she did sue and although the doctor complied and removed the photos, two years later it’s still not settled. On August 3, photographer Keith Lander filed his own suit for copyright infringement. Good news is, the default judgement hearing is set for September 30 in Los Angeles and according to Hochstein’s team it’s likely to be lifted. The case will also be moved from California to Florida where Hochstein lives, works and performed all of Hansen’s procedures. Hochstein isn’t worried and tells us that although the situation caused him personal and professional hardships, he has faith in the legal system and believes justice will be served in the end. We asked Hansen, pictured above in before and after photos, for a comment and she directed us to her lawyer who has not returned our call.
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New York Post
By DAN MANGAN
Posted: 5:47 AM, September 21, 2009
A Norwegian-born Playboy model scored more than $550,000 from her plastic surgeon after he allegedly used photos of her on his Web site without permission — but now the doc is trying to take a scalpel to the judgment. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/doc_squeezes_bosom_buddy_aeYag32u57X6qITHX6PsBO