Doctor had an affair with patient, court told
31 March 2009
A Southern suburbs psychiatrist is at the centre of bitter divorce and maintenance proceedings in the Cape High Court, in which it has emerged that he had an affair with a woman he had been treating.
The woman is married to Stuart Ireland, director of cosmetics company, Prestige Cosmetics.
Ireland\’s wife Sylvia laid a complaint against the psychiatrist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and made her husband fork out R18 000 to have him disbarred.
But Mrs Ireland later withdrew the complaint.
Now the details of the affair have emerged in papers filed at the Cape High Court in March in an application Mrs Ireland has lodged against her husband for monthly maintenance of R125 000.
She is also claiming medical benefits, bond instalments, household contents insurance, Botox injections every month, hairdresser visits twice a week, cosmetics products from his company to the value of R5 000 a month, a cellphone contract, the cost of running her vehicle and of two domestic workers and a gardener.
She also asked the court to order that Ireland pay R250 000 as an initial contribution towards her legal fees in the divorce action.
In an affidavit filed at the High Court this month, Mrs Ireland said she started psychiatric consultations in 2005 and that her psychiatrist quickly gained insight into her condition and prescribed medication for her.
But, according to Mrs Ireland, the psychiatrist used his position to \”embark on an obsessive sexual affair\” with her.
She said the psychiatrist became close friends with her husband and accompanied them on an overseas trip.
However, Ireland said his wife was a willing participant in the sexual affair and had boasted about having sex with the psychiatrist in every room of their home.
She also showed him explicit multi-media messages the psychiatrist had sent her as well as a video of the psychiatrist masturbating.
He said his wife was the one who had \”insinuated\” the psychiatrist into their lives and suggested he accompany them on their annual trip to Cannes.
She now has a different psychiatrist.
The Irelands\’ marriage turned sour early last year after Ireland found out about his wife\’s affair.
He moved out of their home in Claremont into rented accommodation at the Waterfront.
According to Mrs Ireland, she was accustomed to spending in excess of R500 000 a month on household and personal expenses, and sometimes up to R1-million a month.
She said she was entirely dependant on him during the marriage.
Mrs Ireland said she believed that he could afford maintenance of R150 000 a month.
Currently, she received R5 000 a week and Ireland said that was all he could afford.
He said in an affidavit filed at the court that his wife\’s spending habits had pushed his overdraft up to R6-million.
But Mrs Ireland denied this and said his financial situation seemed bleak because he had moved his wealth offshore.
She said Ireland claimed that he could not afford the amount she sought but that he still lived a luxurious lifestyle.
She added that he had been on trips to Europe and Dubai, had holiday accommodation in Plettenberg Bay and drove a R3m Bentley.
Ireland said her husband had only contributed R15 000 towards her legal costs and that she required more than R300 000 to pay the attorneys representing her in other litigation with her husband.
But Ireland said his wife was already being maintained comfortably.
She had spent more than R6-million over a period of 12 to 18 months, he said and added that she had \”not controlled her Marie Antoinette impulses\”.
He also said that she had been litigating on a \”luxurious level\”.
This article was originally published on page 10 of The Cape Argus on March 31, 2009