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Sunday, April 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Ex-UCLA Hospital Worker Accused Of Star Snooping

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A former administrative specialist at the UCLA Medical Center has been indicted for allegedly snooping in celebrities' medical files and selling the information to an unnamed national media outlet.

The federal indictment, unsealed Tuesday, charges 49-year-old Lawanda Jackson with one felony count of illegally obtaining individual medical records for commercial advantage.

Jackson allegedly looked at the records of at least 60 patients, including actress Farrah Fawcett and California first lady Maria Shriver, the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month.

The media company allegedly paid Jackson $4,600, in checks made out to her husband, in exchange for providing the private medical records.

Jackson acknowledged accessing the private files in an interview with the L.A. Times, but said she was "just looking" and did not sell the information.

But according to the indictment filed under seal April 9, Jackson received $4,600 - in checks made out to her husband - for providing a national media company with insider celebrity medical information.

The hospital fired 13 employees last month for reading Britney Spears' medical files without permission during the pop star's highly publicized stint in the UCLA psychiatric ward. It later fired another worker for looking at Fawcett's private medical files without consent.

Fawcett says she suspected a snoop after the National Enquirer reported news about her battle with cancer before she had a chance to tell family and friends.

Jackson faces a 10-year prison sentence if convicted. Her arraignment is scheduled for June 9.

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