A Beverly Hills psychiatrist named Charles Sophy who treated Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger until the fall of 2013 is a showbiz figure who’s been criticized for letting media appearances interfere with his work in a public role for Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services. From the Hollywood Reporter:
His client list is said to have included Paris Hilton, former Spice Girl Mel B and the late Russell Armstrong (whose suicide after battering wife Taylor was central to an early season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills). At the same time, he has provided on-air expertise on programs ranging from Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew to Flipping Out.
Sophy’s work with the Armstrongs—he appeared with the couple in footage that aired after Russell Armstrong’s suicide—was particularly controverial, provoking a 2011 Los Angeles Times piece about his involvement with celebrities:
“He’s a guy who is preoccupied. I think the county comes second. Why is he involved in all this outside work when he has a house that is not in order at DCFS?” asked Aubrey Manual, president of a local foster parent association…
In 2007, he took extended lunch breaks from his county job to visit Hilton in jail and meet with sheriff’s officials to tell them that the Lynwood lockup was imperiling her mental health. Sophy said the trips were approved by Trish Ploehn, the agency’s director at the time.
Sophy has not commented publicly since the incident involving Rodger, who appears to have been a private client.