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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Athletic Trainer Sues Donna Karan

MANHATTAN (CN) - An athletic trainer says she was injured by a "quack" physical therapist, who performed his brand of "healing services" in the bedroom of fashion designer Donna Karan Weiss. She claims the man herniated a spinal disc and broke her jaw.

Jamie Naughright says she allowed Stephen Robbins to work on her in Karan's home at 55 Central Park West, and that Karan had converted her bedroom to look like a physical therapy room for the occasion. Naughright sued Karan Weiss, Robbins and Karan's company, Urban Zen LLC in Federal Court.

Naughright says Robbins provided "healing services" on behalf of Karan to attract investors for Urban Zen, a company Karan started to market a "unique combination of Western and Eastern cultures," according to the complaint.

On Naughright's website, the Florida-based trainer writes that she has a doctorate in health education and promotion and works on the Urban Zen Initiative Yoga Program.

During treatment, Naughright claims, Robbins told her: "Your breast is dead," "I [Stephen M. Robbins] can cure you," and "You need to be cured."

She adds: "Robbins violently and repeatedly twisted her head and neck causing, among other injuries the herniation of at least one cervical disc, the bilateral fracture of her mandibular joint, and harm to the auditory canal, as well as other personal injury and damage too numerous to mention here."

Naughright says Robbins claimed he was associated with the UCLA Medical Center and with the LAPD as a counselor, and Karan never disclosed that Robbins did not have a license to perform the physical therapies he practiced.

"At no time material to the within causes of action was Stephen M. Robbins licensed in the State of New York to provide physical, medical, massage, chiropractic, physical therapy, or health care services of the type and nature performed on November 8th, 2009, upon plaintiff Jamie A. Naughright, or if licensed Stephen M. Robbins did so in a manner not in compliance with minimum professional standards of care and conduct," according to the complaint.

Naughright says she allowed Robbins to touch her "because Donna Karan Weiss by and through Urban Zen, and otherwise, had vouched for, promoted and sanctioned Stephen M. Robbins, when in truth he was a fraud, charlatan, fake and quack."

Naughright filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in 1996 against University of Tennessee, where she used to work as a trainer. Naughright claimed, among other things, that Peyton Manning - before he became a star quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts - put his "naked butt and rectum" on her face. She sued Manning and Harper Collins for defamation in 2002, after Manning published a memoir in which he claimed he accidentally mooned Naughright, and that he "thought she had a vulgar mouth." Naughright settled both complaints, according to media coverage of the cases.

In the current lawsuit, Naughright seeks compensatory and punitive damages for 13 causes of action, including assault and battery, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation and breach of contract. Naughright is represented by Alan Futerfas of Manhattan and Dennis Durkin of Roseland, N.J.

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