Out of Hand

Michael Glyn Brown was recently acquitted of assaulting his wife. But that's only the latest allegation against the violent, drug-abusing doctor, long a fixture of Houston TV commercials and society.

According to Brown's writings, he was one of God's chosen few, a five-percenter both blessed and cursed with bipolar disorder. This put him in the same rarefied air as Churchill, Van Gogh and Napoleon. Because of this, he had struggled with suicidal thoughts — almost daily — since he was 18.

Brown wrote of the bipolar mind needing two things to approach stability. The first, lithium, was easy: "4 or 5 at night with milk — done."

The other pill, the one harder to find, "is the ballast, the even keel, the rock steadiness of your spouses continual support, love, encouragement & praise 3 or 4 times what most people need."

Seen leaving the courtroom during his latest trial, Dr. Michael Brown was acquitted of assaulting his latest wife.
By Mandy Oaklander
Seen leaving the courtroom during his latest trial, Dr. Michael Brown was acquitted of assaulting his latest wife.
In a dramatic gesture after the trial, attorney Dick DeGuerin cut off Brown's ankle bracelet.
By Mandy Oaklander
In a dramatic gesture after the trial, attorney Dick DeGuerin cut off Brown's ankle bracelet.

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READ MORE:
FEATURE: 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.
FESTURE: Taking His Medicine -- Troubled hand surgeon Michael Brown pursues custody of his two children
BLOG POSTS: Previous coverage of Dr. Michael Brown

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This is what he believed he had found — and lost — after meeting Darlina Hoffman in 1993.
_____________________

Although Brown wrote glowingly of his second wife Darlina in the epilogue of Safari in Tanzania, their relationship was troubled almost from the start.

A 20-year-old clerical worker for a billboard company, Darlina met the 35-year-old Brown at a pool party he threw at his Woodlands mansion. Rubbed raw from ongoing divorce proceedings from Jaramillo, Brown was apparently unafraid to show Darlina his vulnerable side. She couldn't help but fall for this smart, successful, wounded man. The relationship started immediately; he whisked her off for weekend getaways in his private jet and showered her with expensive gifts. She had no idea what she was getting herself into.

After they got married in 1995, Darlina told the Press in 2002, Brown grew more controlling. He told Darlina to drop her college plans and insisted she carry a cell phone and gun at all times. He laminated Bible passages explaining how wives must submit to their husbands and stuck them to the bathroom walls, so Darlina would never forget her role. Darlina would later allege in court that Brown demanded sex every day, whether she was in the mood or not, and that he masturbated constantly, drank excessively and abused cocaine.

In 1999, Darlina told a Montgomery County detective that Brown had assaulted her and that he "was wealthy enough and had the contacts to have her killed if she attempted to leave him with or without the baby." It wasn't the first time, Darlina told the detective.

That's when Brown summoned his attorney and friend, Rob Todd, who (according to Darlina) persuaded her to recant her story. Darlina told the Press in 2002, "Rob acted like my best friend. He could see the bruises on my neck. But he didn't want to know what happened. He didn't want to hear it. It's like he didn't care."

And in 2000, while on a weekend jaunt to Las Vegas, a drunken Brown accused Darlina of not loving him anymore, then held a knife to his throat and threatened to kill himself. Instead, Brown sawed through one of his fingers. "Parts of his finger flew up on the wall," Darlina would later testify.

A year later, things came to a head.

On the night of January 24, 2001, Darlina Brown called 911 and told the operator that her husband was trying to kill her and her unborn child.

She was cowering behind the nanny's bedroom door, which now bore gaping gunshot holes courtesy of Michael Glyn Brown, drunk and hard from a night watching tits and ass at Rick's Nightclub. It was something he liked to do. He came home expecting Darlina to submit to his carnal desire, as the Bible dictates. When she didn't, Brown flew into a rage and punched her in the face. She was eight months pregnant.

Perhaps not wanting to startle the couple's two-year-old daughter, Brown dragged Darlina up the stairs by her hair. Growing madder by the minute, he broke off part of a bedpost and used that to continue beating her.

Once Brown knew the police were coming, he fled. Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies found him, reeking of booze, in his Ford Excursion in a store parking lot. The officers handcuffed him and placed him in the squad car, then itemized the arsenal in Brown's SUV: three loaded handguns (with extra ammunition), a wooden club, two machetes, an illegal knife and an expandable baton. They also found three unopened bottles of Jack Daniel's and two flasks containing whiskey.

According to Texas Medical Board records, "the police report stated that [Brown] was continually yelling, kicking the door, and banging the windows and door. [Brown] was placed in leg restraints."

Back at the Brown home, police noted blood-smeared walls and bloody clumps of hair. They opened a safe and found a videotape and a cache of handwritten letters.

Darlina's right eye was swollen shut, partially obscuring a one-inch cut beneath it. Her lips were swollen and split; abrasions lined her neck, back, left forearm, both hands and both thighs. Brown said he had acted in self-defense. He urged police to test his blood for traces of PCP; someone must have spiked his drink at the strip club. The police declined.

The key to understanding Brown's behavior can be found in "Letters to Sophie," in which Brown presents his inner anguish like an exposed, pus-filled wound.

Houstonians knew Sophie from the most unintentionally disturbing commercial in Houston's history, a spot for the Brown Hand Center that provided irrefutable evidence that no one had the stones to stand up to Brown and tell him when he was making a mistake. The idea behind the ad was to show Brown as a good Christian man who treated his patients "like family." The spot ended with Sophie, cradled in Brown's lap, saying, "Daddy's baby girl." The ad succeeded in spreading name recognition, but observant viewers would notice just how off things seemed. Brown was wooden and seemed to treat Sophie not like his flesh and blood, but like a prop. It was like the creature from The Thing; Brown could approximate a human life form, but there was nothing underneath. This was a man's narcissistic personality disorder on display, and no one had any interest in stopping it.

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18 comments
GUEST
GUEST like.author.displayName 1 Like

No one need to think that people in his past have not tried to stop him, they have and they paid the price for crossing him. He has plenty of money and knows plenty of people to carry through on his threats! The almighty dollar has kept him from paying the consequences that any other person would have to pay. When will it be enough and when will he get what he deserves???? Will it be enough when he takes the lives of innocent people and then his own?? Unfortunately, I believe that will be the only "stop" to him and his "reign of terror"!!!

az
az

Mr. DeGuerin is an amazing lawyer. But, it stops there. His associate, Sean Buckley, has repeatedly made sexual advancements toward me. I informed Mr. DeGuerin but Mr. Buckley was not fired after I provided numerous sexually explicit text messages from Mr. Buckley in September 2011. Now, Mr. Buckley is again trying to make dates me with, buying me gifts and the firm still represents me. Mr. Buckley has put his sexual desires before his legal representation....clearly violated the Texas Bar Ethics Rules. Why has he not been fired?

Guest
Guest

Mr. DeGuerin is an amazing lawyer. But, it stops there. His associate, Sean Buckley, has repeatedly made sexual advancements toward me. I informed Mr. DeGuerin but Mr. Buckley was not fired after I provided numerous sexually explicit text messages from Mr. Buckley in September 2011. Now, Mr. Buckley is again trying to make dates me with, buying me gifts and the firm still represents me. Mr. Buckley has put his sexual desires before his legal representation....clearly violated the Texas Bar Ethics Rules. Why has he not been fired?

Vila
Vila

Everytime I saw the ad with Sophie saying "Daddy's baby girl", it gave me the creeps...he reminds me of a pedophile.

azinn
azinn

Mr. DeGuerin is an amazing lawyer. But, it stops there. His associate, Sean Buckley, has repeatedly made sexual advancements toward me. I informed Mr. DeGuerin but Mr. Buckley was not fired after I provided numerous sexually explicit text messages from Mr. Buckley in September 2011. Now, Mr. Buckley is again trying to make dates me with, buying me gifts and the firm still represents me. Mr. Buckley has put his sexual desires before his legal representation....clearly violated the Texas Bar Ethics Rules. Why has he not been fired?

EMME
EMME

Sounds like my ex-husband. Having lived it (for 8 very long months), I can say, you pegged it perfectly, what it's like to live with a narcissist. Very well done, Craig.

Fatima Foust
Fatima Foust

Reading this article made me want to throw up. I would like to know what possessed the jurors to acquit a man such as Michael Brown. Oh wait, that's right, we acquit celebrity murderers and psychotic moms. Seriously, what were they thinking? This man is evil and calculating. Whether or not his latest wife was a gold digger doesn not or should not even be a factor in the fact that he beat her and abused her. Your article was nicely done! Too bad it's such a sad story...

Count Chimerical
Count Chimerical

I've always been a big Houston Press (even though you refuse to consider any of my blogs) but when credit is due credit is due. This piece was not only riveting to read but also one of the best bits of journalistic reporting I've read in a long long time from any source. Nice job Craig.

Amy N
Amy N

I had foot surgery by an affiliate of the hand surgical place. You should see this place! there are huge marble "Roman Gladiator" busts (statues) in Brown's image. They were creepy, like his commercials, and like the vibe you get from just looking at him.

BD
BD

Great article, more people need to be the voice of those of us without the big bucks.

ShitThrowingMonkey
ShitThrowingMonkey

Of course it's biased genius! You, Michael Brown and Casey Anthony can go get your freak on in a pasture.

Dudley "Booger" Dawson
Dudley "Booger" Dawson

Dear Michael Brown: Become an hero.

Wyatt
Wyatt

Holy shit, did /b/ just invade the Houston Press comments?

p.s. I second the advice

Michellerenee68
Michellerenee68

The guy needs to be locked up! he is a nutty as a shit house rat!

MadMac
MadMac

This is like reading a psychiatric train wreck.

 
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