Hollywood Rehab Leaders Go Another Round in Court
Lightning-rod entrepreneur Alex Shohet has recovered attorneys' fees in his long-running dispute with former business partner Dr. Howard Samuels
Lately, addiction treatment entrepreneur Alex Shohet has been a lightning rod in Hollywood’s recovery community for the care he and his therapist wife Bernadine Fried have provided at a series of high-end rehab facilities in the Santa Monica Mountains, the multisite One80Center that shuttered a year ago, as well as Wonderland EPA, which closed Oct. 17.
But before all of that, he and Fried partnered in another facility, itself called Wonderland, with another well-known local rehab businessman, Dr. Howard Samuels, who now runs The Hills Treatment Center at the same Hollywood Hills address. It gained fame for its celebrity residents, including Mike Tyson, who stayed for close to a year, and its best-known client, Lindsay Lohan.
The acrimonious dissolution of the partnership — which has included a complex bankruptcy proceeding, ultimately decided in favor of Shohet — has woven its way through court since the beginning of the Obama administration, devolving most recently into a tit-for-tat battle over the recovery of court costs. On Oct. 6, U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee ruled that Shohet should receive his full requested $23,373.73 — as opposed to the $12,238.67 Samuels wanted. (Samuels' attorney had argued that the additional costs were accrued while deposing witnesses for purposes of discovery in separate pending litigation between the two parties.)
The Shohet-Samuels legal contretemps are not yet over. Shohet observes that his key dispute, over the initial sale of Wonderland by Samuels and other investors, which he characterizes as a "fraudulent conveyance," has yet to be resolved. "It has been delayed, delayed, delayed and delayed” in court, he says. "It is coming."