Plastic Surgeon to the Scars

Brad Jacobs went from shaping Playboy bunnies to defending himself against charges of butchery

Jacobs may have paid Hendricks money to go away, but that's not necessarily an indication of guilt, he says. His attorney Michael Kelton adds that he's procured dozens of statements from patients who celebrate Jacobs's work. "People say things like, 'He save my life,' 'He saved my body,' " Kelton says. "People came to him who were horribly scarred, deformed by bad plastic surgeries. . . . He transformed them."

So just who is Brad Jacobs? Is he what so many former patients and their lawyers claim—a reckless, arrogant man who disfigures women and takes drugs before dashing off to the office? Or a family man maligned by ungrateful patients and opportunistic lawyers? Who is the man behind the lawsuits?

A cropped screenshot of Brad Jacobs's former profile on

Jacobs insists that his predicament is the result of a few greedy lawyers who had the names of a few reporters in their Rolodexes. After one or two lawyers floated a few horror stories in the tabloids, more and more attorneys and journalists jumped on an easy, lurid story, until now he's the poster child for bad doctors. He just can't catch a break. "I'm one of the best plastic surgeons on the planet, and that's what people don't like about me," Jacobs says. "My competitors—but a lot of them are coming to my aid now. . . . This morning, I had a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgeons on the phone, saying, 'Jesus, we've gotta help you on this.' He called me in support, said I needed to know what's happening to me is wrong, and offered to help any way he could." (An assistant to Alan Matarasso, the doctor Jacobs cited, denied that Matarasso was a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, but didn't elaborate further .)

We'll find out what the State of New York thinks of Jacobs shortly, when the Department of Health rules whether he can ever practice medicine again. Jacobs claims that the case is going well; his lawyer has impeached the testimony of witnesses over and over, and he fully expects to be back at work soon. However, he adds, his reputation and his family may never recover from the toll that's been taken. Asked how he was feeling, Jacobs replies: "Distraught. Despondent. Depressed. Anything else? I have a 10-year-old son who doesn't know how to look at his daddy anymore."

On the other hand, over two dozen women claim to have been disfigured and mutilated by a reckless, arrogant butcher who ruined their bodies and then cashed their checks. Over the course of at least eight years, they and their lawyers say, Jacobs hacked his way to the top of his profession and left a trail of scar tissue in his wake. Brittany Hendricks is one of these women. She says she's sad to see it come to this, but she thinks it's time for one of the most famous plastic surgeons in history to find another line of work. "I think he's a human being," she says. "I think he made some bad mistakes. I don't wish him any ill will. But I don't think he should perform surgery again."

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