Takedown Of "Malibu Rehab Guru" Christopher Bathum Chronicled In Amazon Series

By Victoria Kim 06/04/19

Ahead of its May 30th release, a former business partner of Bathum's tried halting the publication of Bad Therapist.

"Malibu Rehab Guru" Christopher Bathum
Photo via YouTube

The story of the “predatory Malibu rehab guru” who sexually assaulted clients under the care of his Community Recovery chain of treatment facilities is chronicled in a new publication—and it’s already whipping up controversy.

Bad Therapist is the first of a 6-part series called Exposure published by Amazon Original Stories. But ahead of its May 30th release, a person who was interviewed for the book tried halting its publication.

The Blast reported on May 28 that it obtained a cease and desist letter sent to Amazon by Cliff Brodsky, a former business partner of Christopher Bathum. After being cheated out of a significant investment, Brodsky helped bring down Bathum, a fraud who was once respected in the addiction-recovery community.

Brodsky was interviewed by author Evan Wright for the book, but later claimed that Wright did not have his permission to publish the information that he provided.

Despite his efforts, Amazon went ahead and published Bad Therapist.

“I’m not sure why Brodsky feels I need his permission to write about him,” Wright told The Blast. “He sought out and spoke to journalists—to me and others—for a story that he has been a part of for years through his business ties with Bathum, civil litigation, his social media campaigns and his prior interviews that appeared in print, on TV and in other media.”

Meanwhile, Bathum is awaiting trial for an alleged $176 million insurance fraud. The luxury rehab "guru" was convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting seven women while operating the Los Angeles-based Community Recovery.

Bathum built Community Recovery—one of the fastest growing rehab chains in the U.S.—as a “luxury rehab for the people” and gained respect in the industry. But it began to come undone after a 2015 exposé by LA Weekly reporter Hillel Aron revealed that Bathum had quite a few skeletons in his closet. Bathum was never a psychotherapist. He never completed college. He was a pool cleaner before working in the rehab industry.

And even as he appeared to help clients overcome substance use disorder, he himself abused meth and heroin. Wright claimed that not long before Aron’s story had published, “Bathum had overdosed in a Malibu motel while shooting drugs with patients.”

Bathum’s sexual misconduct—allegations of abuse and sexual assault—was also revealed in Aron’s report, including a claim by a former patient that he offered her drugs in exchange for sex.

Other Community Recovery clients also came forward with allegations of sexual assault.

Wright warns, “Absent reforms, there are countless Bathums out there, running their rehabs, waiting to help a loved one close to you.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr