By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Brittany Hendricks is what you might call a troubled woman. Her first abortion was at age 14, and she had a second abortion and a miscarriage after that. She's seen multiple doctors for depression and addiction to crystal meth. For several years before meeting Jacobs, she worked as a dancer at the Spearmint Rhino club in Las Vegas. "Brittany Hendricks is someone who brings no credibility to the table," says Michael Kelton, Jacobs's lawyer. "She's an admitted crystal-meth usershe uses it virtually every day. . . . She testified that she tried to shake Dr. Jacobs down for a couple hundred thousand dollars. She commits a felony virtually every day when she smokes. She has admitted that she has sent crystal meth through FedEx. This is a person with a history and a background that offers no credibility to any of her testimony or her allegations."
Nonetheless, Hendricks was determined to tell her story. She recently flew to New York and testified at Jacobs's Department of Health hearing, where she recounted her experiences at the hands of her former doctor. "Everything I said was true," Hendricks tells the Voice. "I wasn't hiding anything to make myself look better. I told the whole naked truth, as raw as it wasas ugly and stupid and ridiculous as it made me look, I shared it. Because Brad is really toying with people's lives. . . . That's why I didn't have any shame sharing my story."
Jacobs retorts that Hendricks was high when she spoke before the health department recently. "She was on crystal last week!" he says. "She's a blithering drug addict."
Hendricks refused to go into the details of the case with the Voice, but last year she testified in a deposition as part of a malpractice lawsuit that she filed against Jacobs; it was settled in May, with Hendricks receiving $322,000. (Jacobs claims that his former malpractice-insurance company chose to settle the case, and that he had nothing to do with the decision to pay Hendricks.) The portrait that emerges from her testimony is that of a woman with a drug problem and low self- esteem who put herself in the hands of a trusted surgeon. By the time she left his care, she'd allegedly been pressured to have sex with the doctor and his then girlfriendreeling from speed he allegedly providedand was sporting a deformed, "repulsive" nostril that ruined her life.
By the summer of 2004, Hendricks testified, she had spent months talking with Jacobs over the phone preparing for a nose and boob job. She was worried that her heavy meth use would complicate the surgery and had quit a month earlier; the withdrawal left her feeling like shit. But Jacobs seemed friendly, comforting, even spiritual. He invited her to stay at an Upper East Side apartment that he maintained (though he lived on Long Island) while she prepared for the surgery . On June 16, Hendricks arrived at the apartment. When Jacobs opened the door, Hendricks testified, he was jumpy and amped. As a long-time meth user, Hendricks knew what was up.
"He was talking kind of fast and he was applying to something, and I figured out that he was applying, you know, to drugs," Hendricks says in her idiosyncratic way of speaking. After a quick hug, she says, Jacobs asked her: "Is it going to be an issue with you if I party and you party? Do you party?"
Hendricks says she played it cool. "He was referring to, you know, pot and crystal meth. . . . In the back of my head, I was thinking, 'Whoa!' But then, in the front of my head, I said, 'Cool!' You know, because I had gotten sober a whole month before I got there, so it would have been a hard trip to make, because I wasn't feeling so great."
This kind of talk mystifies and infuriates Jacobs. He never suggested smoking crystal meth, he says, and he doesn't even have an apartment in the city. "It never existed," he says, although Hendricks's lawyer, Lawrence Karam, insists that his private investigator has confirmed that Jacobs did indeed keep the apartment. As for the speed, Jacobs claimed that when Hendricks showed up for the nose job, he could see that the drugs were taking their toll and counseled her to get off the stuff immediately. "She didn't seem that healthy to me," Jacobs said. "I read her the riot act, said she had to stay off the crystal."
Hendricks testified that Jacobs bounced up to his loft bedroom and returned with a "quag"a bong customized to smoke meth. The two took a few hits of speed, and then Jacobs left to pick up his son. Hendricks met up with a few friends and spent the night working the quag and hitting bars till six in the morning. The next day, a bleary Hendricks showed up for a consultation at Jacobs's office, where she signed a consent form for the nose and boob job. At some point, she talked to Jacobs, either in person or on the phone, and told him she'd hit the quag a little more. "Coolthat's cool," Jacobs allegedly replied. "Just save me a little."