Former Yale psychiatrist sues after being fired over tweets about Trump psychosis

Dr Bandy Lee once held a conference at the university about the ex-president’s mental state

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 24 March 2021 15:32
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Justice Department Drops Discrimination Lawsuit Against Yale

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A former Yale psychiatrist has sued the university claiming she was fired for her tweets calling Donald Trump a danger to the country and bashing his inner circle.

Assistant clinical professor Dr Bandy Lee alleges she was threatened with termination in January 2020 after Trump’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz wrote to the university complaining about her social media comments.

In her recently filed lawsuit she says that Yale fired her in response to her January 2020 tweet that characterised  “just about all” of the ex-president’s supporters as suffering from “shared psychosis.”

She also claimed that Mr Dershowitz, who represented Mr Trump at his first impeachment trial, had “wholly taken on Trump’s symptoms by contagion.”

Mr Dershowitz wrote to officials at the Connecticut university that Dr Lee “has publicly ‘diagnosed’ me as ‘psychotic,’ based on my legal and political views, and without ever examining or even meeting me.”

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Her federal lawsuit says that she was fired on 17 May 2020 and her termination letter said it was “because she did not have a formal teaching role.”

Dr Lee gained national attention in April 2017 when she held a conference at the university about Mr Trump’s mental state.

This in turn led to a bookThe Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.

The lawsuit seeks reinstatement to the Yale faculty, as well as economic and non-economic damages “including lost income, lost benefits, lost resources, lost privileges, lost indirect but significant remuneration, future economic losses, emotional distress, harm to reputation and loss of enjoyment of life” and punitive damages.

“I have done this with a heavy heart, only because Yale refused all my requests for a discussion, much as the American Psychiatric Association has done,” Dr Lee said in a statement to theYale Daily News.

“I love Yale, my alma mater, as I love my country, but we are falling into a dangerous culture of self-censorship and compliance with authority at all cost.”

University spokesperson Karen Peart declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

This story was amended on 24 March, 2021, to clarify that Dr Lee’s role was assistant clinical professor, not lecturer

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