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California doctor who says wife spiked tea with Drano suffers from acid reflux, not poisoning: lawyer

A California dermatologist appeared in court Tuesday on charges she poisoned her radiologist husband with Drano-spiked tea — but her attorney said the man’s injuries are actually from acid reflux. 

Dr. Yue “Emily” Yu was in Orange County Superior Court for her arraignment on three felony counts of poisoning and one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury — but her attorneys were granted a postponement until May 18 to review evidence.  

After the brief proceeding, Yu’s lawyer, Scott Simmons, told reporters that Jack Chen hadn’t consumed Drano but suffers from the common condition gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, which can be caused by eating fried foods. 

“As you know Drano is a caustic substance. You’d have severe injuries,” he said. “His injuries are consistent with a benign condition called GERD or acid reflux.”

CALIFORNIA DERMATOLOGIST ACCUSED OF POISONING HUSBAND’S TEA INDICTED

California dermatologist Yue "Emily" Yu in court on Tuesday. She's accused of poisoning her radiologist husband's tea with Drano in secretly recorded footage (right).

California dermatologist Yue “Emily” Yu in court on Tuesday. She’s accused of poisoning her radiologist husband’s tea with Drano in secretly recorded footage (right). (Fredrick M. Brown/Daily Mail/Pool/Orange County Superior Court)

An indictment against the Newport Beach dermatologist was announced April 5 — about eight months after she was initially arrested and released on $30,000 bond.

Simmons told Fox News Digital that Chen had set up Yu, 45, to gain an upper hand in their bitter divorce and custody battle over their two young children. 

“They had a big ant problem in the kitchen. Jack Chen tells her to put the Drano into this lemonade or tea in order to bait and kill the ants,” Simmons said. “He then sets up what he calls spy cameras to capture her pouring the Drano into the cup then falsely accuse sher of trying to poison him.” 

In a series of screengrabs from home surveillance video, Dr. Jack Chen sips from a drink he alleges that his estranged wife, Emily Yu, inset, poisoned with Drano.

In a series of screengrabs from home surveillance video, Dr. Jack Chen sips from a drink he alleges that his estranged wife, Emily Yu, inset, poisoned with Drano. (Orange County Superior Court, Irvine Police Department)

He added, “The so-called smoking gun of the video is not a smoking gun at all.” 

Chen first made the poisoning accusations in August in a request for a restraining order against his wife in family court. He filed for divorce and sole custody of their children the same day.

CALIFORNIA DERMATOLOGIST ARRESTED AFTER HUSBAND SHARED ‘COMPELLING’ VIDEO OF HER POISONING HIM, POLICE SAY

He said he became suspicious in early April 2022 when he noticed his tea and lemonade tasted strange and began feeling seriously ill. He developed two stomach ulcers, gastritis and inflammation in his esophagus, according to the filing. 

Dr. Yue Yu seen in a screengrab from video opening a red bottle in the kitchen.

Dr. Yue Yu seen in a screengrab from video opening a red bottle in the kitchen. (Orange County Superior Court)

He installed three hidden cameras in the family’s Irvine kitchen, which allegedly captured Yu on July 11, 18 and 25 grabbing a bottle of Drano from under the sink and dumping it in his drinks. 

Screen grabs of the footage included in the restraining order application show Yu picking up a large red plastic bottle and pouring its contents into a cup. Another photo shows Chen drinking from the contaminated cup.

Chen’s attorney Steve Hittleman, who didn’t return a request for comment, told The New York Post that his client has full custody of their children and Yu has visitation rights. 

Yue Yu appears in the Superior Court of California of the County of Orange Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Yu is out on bond as she awaits arraignment on three felony counts of domestic battery with corporal injury.

Yue Yu appears in the Superior Court of California of the County of Orange Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Yu is out on bond as she awaits arraignment on three felony counts of domestic battery with corporal injury. (Fredrick M. Brown/Daily Mail/Pool)

In family court documents, Chen accused Yu and her mother of emotional and verbal abuse against him and his children. 

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Yu faces up to eight years in prison if convicted, according to the Orange County Disrict Attorney’s Office.

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