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One80 Center, the troubled 3-year-old addiction treatment facility headquartered in Beverly Hills, shut its doors Friday, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The closure follows a dramatic month, which began when THR published an extensive investigative story Aug. 7 about the rehab center, which caters to the entertainment industry. Current and former employees and clients questioned its treatment practices, particularly in the cases of two people who died while under its care.
In the days that followed, lead One80 investor Edward Kislinger organized an effort to unseat CEO Alex Shohet and his wife, clinical director Bernadine Fried, whose decision-making was the focus of the article. The couple resisted, forcing a court date, but a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled against them Aug. 15, denying a preliminary injunction to prevent their termination. “We were horrified and felt like we had a moral and ethical obligation to act immediately, to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” Kislinger said soon after the expose was published.
In subsequent weeks, Kislinger and Shohet – despite his ouster still himself a significant minority stakeholder in One80 – continued to lock horns over control of the facility’s financial assets, at one point resulting in the freezing of a Wells Fargo bank account used to pay employees, according to internal staff e-mails obtained by THR. Eventually, due to the ongoing and exacerbating impasse, the dominant investor group led by Kislinger, who was appointed as interim CEO, opted to shut down the facility. “Everybody loses,” one employee said Friday.
The remaining staff, which had dwindled significantly in number over the course of August, has been working in recent days to transfer the remaining clients to other facilities. Kislinger could not be reached for comment. Fried declined to discuss the closure on the couple’s behalf.
In the meantime, the LAPD continues its probe of One80’s two on-site fatalities, Andrew Witkoff and Jean Galletta. Witkoff’s parents also have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility, citing Shohet and Fried by name, alleging negligence and fraud.
2:45 P.M. UPDATE: One of One80’s remaining administrators, Jodie Sweetin (the former Full House star and recovering alcohol and meth addict) sent out an all-staff e-mail Saturday at 12:31 p.m., which was obtained by THR. She noted: “The current plan is to cease operations of One80, and try and pay off our debt to vendors, facilitators, etc. with money that is still coming in from insurance payments.” Sweetin went on to explain that Kislinger’s investor bloc “will be evaluating just what the financial situation is and how/when we may be able to dig ourselves out of this. They hope to keep a couple of people around during this restructuring process and see if we can try and rebuild a program in time. (I’m really hoping for this!)”
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