A MAKEUP artist and former stripper sued a Sydney cosmetic surgeon after a nose-job which she claims “destroyed” her life.
In court documents seen by news.com.au, Melbourne’s Melissa Demaj claimed the only medical consultation she had before undergoing the operation was a quick conversation with a Sydney surgeon, Dr William Mooney, in a strip club.
The documents show that Ms Demaj was working as a tabletop dancer at the Showgirls Bar 20 in King Street, Melbourne when she briefly spoke to Mooney.
In her statement of claim against the Sydney surgeon, she claims that the conversation at about 1am in August 2005 was the only medical consultation she had before undergoing cosmetic surgery.
She asked Dr Mooney, who claims to be “Australia’s leading ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon”, whether he thought she should get a nose-job.
He said, “Yes”, and added that, “your eyes would look bigger, your lips would look bigger and you would look a lot better,” — according to Ms Demaj’s statement filed in the Victorian County Court.
She claims that Dr Mooney gave her his business card and told her that he could perform the operation.
However, in his defence documents, Dr Mooney denied that the conversation at the strip club was a medical consultation and the claim that he gave Ms Demaj his business card.
Ms Demaj called his office and booked in for surgery roughly two weeks later.
In the court documents, it is alleged that Dr Mooney saw her briefly before her operation at St Vincent’s and Mercy Private Hospital in Melbourne on September 16, 2005.
Ms Demaj claimed that, at no time, did he inform her of any risks or possible risks of the procedure.
He took no pre-operative photographs nor made plaster casts of her nose before performing the operation, she said.
Dr Mooney also did not tell her that he would not be looking after her post-operatively — a task left to was left to Dr Mooney’s father, who is a medical practitioner in Melbourne, she said.
And, after the surgery, Ms Demaj claims in her court statement that she suffered from skin discolouration, breathing difficulties and permanent swelling of the nasal tip. She also claimed that too much of her nasal bridge was removed in the operation.
On November 11, 2005 Dr Mooney saw Ms Demaj and noted the swelling of her nose. He recommended steroids and suggested she tape her nose at night.
In May 2006, Dr Mooney performed a second operation. However, Ms Demaj claims this did not address the issues she claims were caused by the first nose-job.
In his defence statement, Dr Mooney says he acted in a manner which was “widely accepted by a significant number of respected practitioners in his field as competent professional practice in the circumstances”. Therefore, it is claimed, he had “not been negligent”.
However, Dr Mooney told news.com.au: “The comments made are grossly inaccurate and untrue,” adding that he would take action against Fairfax for defamation.
Ms Demaj has gone on to build her own freelance make-up business, Melissa Helena.
Ms Demaj did not want to comment any further on the case.