I never met Arnie in person, but you could say we had an intense phone relationship. Every year or so, I’d pick up the phone and could barely get “Hello” out when I’d hear him yell, “Jane, have you heard about what these doctors are doing with this new injectible? It’s criminal!” He would then rant for a good 15 minutes or so, imploring me to deliver his message, or rather messages. I’d hear all about who he thought were dangerous dermatologists, the hidden side effects of varied treatments, what he saw as the misuse of Botox (ironic, considering Irena Medavoy’s much-discussed lawsuit against him) and much, much more. “No one’s talking about the horrible things that [insert treatment] do,” Arnie would say. “People need to know about this! You have to write about this! You’re the only one I trust!” (I’ve since heard that he told at least one other beauty editor the same thing.)
Back then, I mostly wanted to get off the phone. But now, I must admit, I do feel weirdly starstruck knowing that he may very well be the father of Michael Jackson’s children. I’ll be awaiting my annual call….
See our September 2008 story about Klein’s former associate of 17 years, dermatologist Sheri G. Feldman. She had a few things to say about him.