The surgeon who presided over an operation that ultimately left comedian Joan Rivers dead took photos of her as she lay unconscious in the operating table, according to court documents from her daughter’s wrongful death lawsuit.
The New York Daily News has examined clinic records, federal reports, and other findings from the medical examiner that support allegations Dr. Lawrence Cohen was not only negligent during the August 28, 2014 procedure, but took a number of images of the 81-year-old Fashion Police star.
Dr. Renuka Bankulla, the anesthesiologist working alongside Cohen, a gastroenterologist, to examine Rivers’ vocal chords reportedly made a “clear statement in the medical records that Dr. Cohen took a photograph of Joan Rivers while she was unconscious during the procedure.”
Others working in the Upper East clinic confirmed that Cohen took images of Rivers, clinic director Daniel Adler told the star’s daughter, Melissa Rivers, according to the her attorneys.
Cohen worked the clinic’s medical director, but resigned shortly after Rivers’ death. He initially denied the accusation, but has since admitted taking the photos, per the Daily News.
Melissa Rivers is suing Yorkville Endoscopy for negligence over her mother’s death.
Joan Rivers died September 4, 2014 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, just a week after the procedure.