Eugene Landy, Brian Wilson therapist, dead

posted 2006-03-29 13:43:49 by dmcnelis

Eugene Landy, Brian Wilson therapist, dead

Wednesday, March 29, 2006; Posted: 11:30 a.m. EST (16:30 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, Californai (AP) -- Eugene Landy, the psychologist who gained notoriety for his controversial treatment of and control over Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, died March 22 of respiratory complications from lung cancer in Honolulu, said his longtime colleague, William Flaxman. He was 71.

Landy pioneered what he called "24-hour therapy," in which he worked with patients for long, uninterrupted periods. His show business clientele included rock musician Alice Cooper and actors Richard Harris and Rod Steiger.

He was best known, however, for his treatment of Wilson, the troubled founding member of the iconic California surf band.

Wilson's wife hired Landy in 1975 at a time when the musician had withdrawn socially to an alarming degree. Landy took control of Wilson's life, constantly monitoring him to keep him away from drugs and junk food.

Under Landy's care, Wilson's physical and mental health improved enough that he performed at the Beach Boys' 15th anniversary concert on New Year's Eve 1976. Despite his success, Landy was fired around that time by the band's manager, largely over a fee dispute.

Six years later, after Wilson had regressed to drugs and obesity, Landy was rehired. The psychologist said he was paid $35,000 a month for conducting 24-hour therapy from 1983 to 1986.

The California Board of Medical Quality Assurance later accused Landy of "grossly negligent conduct," alleging that his business dealings with Wilson had caused the singer "severe emotional damage, psychological dependence and financial exploitation."

Landy denied the charges and Wilson defended him, attributing his new solo career to Landy's therapy. "Dr. Landy saved my life," Wilson said in a statement at the time.

In 1989, Landy admitted to a single charge of unlawfully prescribing drugs and surrendered his license to practice psychology in California for at least two years.

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