Mags Made Peter Braunstein Crazy, Says Shrink

Peter Braunstein—former W writer, fake fireman and sex attack perpetrator—is really crazy, it turns out!

Mr. Braunstein's lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, has said he would show color images of his client's brain, called positron emission tomography, or PET, scans, that he said show that Mr. Braunstein had undiagnosed and, until his arrest, untreated paranoid schizophrenia that drove him to behave as he did.
Oh, science! Didn't his former employer, W, really make him do it? Yes, of course, says one mental health professional hired by the defense!
His downward spiral began in 2002, according to court papers filed by the defense, when he was fired from Women's Wear Daily, in a dispute over free tickets to a Vogue event, and accelerated after he broke up with his girlfriend, Jane Larkworthy, the beauty editor at W magazine. "Without the stabilizing factor of a regular job, Mr. Braunstein rapidly began to unravel psychologically," Barbara R. Kirwin, a clinical psychologist hired by the defense, said in a written report. He became suicidal and felt like a "person who exists with no social identity," she said.

But the fashion press, Dr. Kirwin added, was the wrong job for Mr. Braunstein from the beginning.

"Working in the highly competitive, glitzy and sexually charged atmosphere of a celebrity-driven fashion periodical was an extremely toxic and unsuitable environment for a socially compromised and marginally compensated schizotype like Mr. Braunstein," Dr. Kirwin wrote.

"It was," she added, "in fact the proverbial recipe for disaster."

Magazines! They send you over the edge! That's why there's all those stabbings at Us Weekly every month. Who's next? —doree

Disease Drove Sex Attack, Defense Says [NYT]