The Good Doctor

Michael Brown made it big in the hand clinic business. But as his wife discovered, there was a much darker side to this dynamic surgeon.

Hotel security arrived minutes later, Darlina testified, and she told Brown to leave or they would take him to jail. After bandaging the wounds, he left, promising to meet his wife at the airport for the return flight, she said in court. He never showed, so the family boarded the plane without him.

Back in The Woodlands, Darlina testified, her husband called her from Vegas saying he was bleeding, that people were following him and that he'd taken 30 Vicodin tablets. She and the boyfriend of the doctor's office manager flew back and found him in his room at Caesar's Palace.

"…Mike was telling me I was the devil and to stay away from him," Darlina testified. She told a courtroom the boyfriend coaxed the doctor out by telling him they needed to leave because "they are coming to get you."

Brown's TV ads show a devoted father with daughter Sophie.
Brown's TV ads show a devoted father with daughter Sophie.

During the last full year of the marriage, Michael Brown began making homemade videotapes that provide a window into his thoughts. The cassette segments, found in his safe, were shot using a propped-up camera and occasional audio from a phone speaker. Most of the taping apparently was done during sporadic separations from his wife.

Near the beginning, Brown offers a disclaimer that "this is a Hollywood movie script I'm practicing and has no basis in truth whatsoever, I'm not suicidal." If he intended a script, the narrative then becomes indistinguishable from his life in the near future.

In one sequence Brown holds a bottle of whiskey and points a pistol to his head, all the while musing on the possibility of suicide as salvation from the hell he claims his wife has put him through. After speculating that repair work on an air conditioner was really a plot by his wife and mother-in-law to poison him with cyanide gas, Brown addresses his infant daughter, warning her to fear her mother.

"I want to believe she's a good person, a little wayward," Brown says of Darlina, "but in order to do that, I have to believe that she's stupid. Well, no, she's not stupid, but if you don't believe she's stupid, and she's doing these things, then she's deceitful at best, and at worst she's evil.

"You get away from your mother. She's got a bond with her mother that has ruined my life, and she'll ruin yours too…Your mother is making me hurt so much that it's like I am in an oven being burned, and the flames are all around me."

In a segment that records a phone conversation with Darlina, Brown's nasal voice is insistent as a petulant child as he chides his wife for failing to live up to biblical standards. The doctor quotes a passage: "You wives will submit to your husbands, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church." He pauses, then adds sarcastically, "Doesn't say anything about arguing your point ad infinitum. What's your response?"

When Darlina asks whether Brown thinks he's treating her properly, he replies, "Is that response on here? No, it doesn't say cross-examining your husband. No, I don't see that in here."

Brown warns his wife that he's "not going to have another man raising my babies."

He refers again to the biblical passage, then states, "The best I can do is beg you to come home, and try to live that kind of marriage…Now, do you want to try to come home and have a normal life or not?"

In a tired voice, Darlina answers, "What you are talking about, Mike, is not a normal life."

"So get your shit, get your baby, and come home," he continues. "And be nice. And stop running to your mother. And learn how to say 'I'm sorry' for the sake of the relationship."

Incredibly enough, she returned.

The bizarre actions, coupled with the alleged violence, raise an obvious question: How could a spouse -- especially this successful surgeon -- be capable of it?

Brown did not talk with the Press. But in legal proceedings, he and his lawyers strenuously denied the accounts put forth by his wife and others. He argued that she was the attacker, and he merely tried to defend himself.

(His attorneys have gained a gag order from a judge barring discussion of the allegations, and they cited that ruling in declining comment. All Press interviews with participants in the case were conducted before that order was issued.)

Brown has been treated in the past by several doctors for suspected bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic depression. Medication can enable those with the condition to lead normal lives. Brown took lithium, although he said in a deposition that he was uncertain if he had the condition, but didn't think he did.

A letter addressed to a daughter was found in his office safe. It was titled "The Brilliant Sensitive Personality Exposed (Formerly, bipolar) Michael G. Brown, M.D."

Darlina speculated that a contributing factor to the violent incidents was his combining lithium and alcohol.

However, hard questions focused on Darlina as well. If her husband was as brutal as she claimed, why didn't she just leave him?

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Actually Brown's first wife was Diane Christine Bates according to the Harris County Clerks office which he married in 1978 which like his others marriages didn't last long wonder why?

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