The attorney of the Irvine dermatologist accused of poisoning her husband with drain cleaner claimed she was pouring Drano into a cup to fix plumbing issues.
Dr. Yue Emily Yu, a 45-year-old Southern Californian dermatologist, was arrested on Aug. 4 on suspicion of poisoning her radiologist husband, Dr. Jack Chen.
Chen submitted three videos captured by a hidden camera in July that allegedly support his claim that his wife had been poisoning him. Screenshots, which were shared with news outlets, show Yu pouring Drano brand drain cleaner into a cup.
However, David Wohl, Yu’s attorney, claimed that she was using Drano for their kitchen’s plumbing issues. Wohl said Yu would pour the drain cleaner into a cup to avoid splashing.
“The idea that my client, who is a 45-year-old well-respected dermatologist in Orange County, would destroy her life, destroy her children’s lives and try to kill her husband is just completely absurd and untrue — and for that matter defamatory,” Wohl told CBS News.
“Anytime she poured Drano into a cup it was completely empty,” Wohl added. “It was for facilitating use in the sink or any other part of the house that was clogged as far as the drainage goes, but she never poured any Drano or any chemical into any drink that her husband used or was drinking ever. That’s completely untrue.”
Steven Hittelman, Chen’s lawyer, disputed Wohl’s claim. He said that Yu can be seen pouring Drano into Chen’s lemonade once he leaves the room in the videos captured by a hidden camera.
The videos have not been released to news outlets.
Chen told police that he had been observing a chemical taste in his lemonade. Hittelman said that his client was diagnosed with physical issues, including gastritis, stomach ulcers and an inflammation of the esophagus, in March and April.
Yu, who has not been charged, was released on Aug. 5 after posting her bond of $30,000. Chen previously filed for an emergency restraining order, claiming that he and their two children are victims of physical and emotional abuse. He also filed for divorce and is seeking sole custody of their children.
“He was desperate to have reasons to gain custody of the children,” Wohl told CBS News. “We believe completely that these claims he made are all part and parcel of that effort.”