(USA Today) HOLMDEL, N.J. -- The doctor is definitely not in.
Dr. Zyad K. Younan — part of a prominent local family of physicians — is being sued by a Manhattan gentlemen's club for some $135,000 in unpaid bills — and ever since the New York tabloids broke the story, Younan has been a hard man to reach.
"No comment, he's not available," a receptionist at Younan's Parlin office said in response to a request to speak to the physician in the wake of the story about the disputed bill from Scores going viral on the internet. The telephone at Younan's Holmdel office also repeatedly rang busy Thursday.
Over the past 24 hours, Younan has found himself a target of the New York tabloids, which are peppering their accounts with titillating references, including photographs of scantily clad women, presumably from the Scores website.
Younan, 41, a bachelor, is alleged to have visited Scores four times over a 10-day period in November, providing an American Express corporate card in advance, as is the club's requirement, said Stephen Hyman, a Scores spokesman. He then enjoyed the club's a la carte menu, ordering alcohol, private rooms and private dancers, Hyman said.
According to the lawsuit described in the New York papers, Younan contests the charges, alleging he was drugged or otherwise impaired and therefore could not authorize the charges for Nov. 17, 23, 26 and 28, according to court papers.
"It is rare someone doesn't pay their bill," said Hyman, noting their "very elite clientele" in Manhattan and Atlantic City can easily rack up six-figure bills and then seem content to pay them.
If he was taken advantage of by Scores employees, "why did he come back three more times?" Hyman asked. "If he didn't have a good time the first time, he should have stayed home the next three times."
Hyman said Younan's position that he was not at the club on some of the days in question rings hollow because Scores has him on surveillance tape. "Apparently he didn't know we videotape everyone" while they are approving their charges.
"It is absurd," Hyman said. "We are very careful and are a law-abiding facility. We don't serve anybody if they are intoxicated."
Ann Willets from Utopia Consulting, an expert in crisis public relations, pointed out that in this 24/7 news cycle, Younan and his family are likely going to have a rough 48 hours.
"It will flash and it will die," she predicted. "While this may be tough on him as an individual and on his family, it will pass. Will there be any ramifications? Probably a few snickers here and there. In the end, he is very good at what he does ... and I think he can weather the storm."
Younan, who specializes in clinical cardiac electrophysiology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, also practices at Bayshore Community Hospital with his twin brother and his father.
Dr. K. George Younan, Younan's father, is a former medical staff president as well as former director of the Bayshore Department of Medicine who is highly regarded for his humanitarian endeavors and his devotion to the health of the community.
Zyad Younan's brother is Dr. Shaddy Younan. All three had long pushed for the creation of a cardiac catheterization laboratory at Bayshore, which opened last October. The elder Younan two weeks later became the lab's first patient when he experienced what medical authorities describe as "the widowmaker" — a complete blockage in one of the heart's main arteries — and both his sons were instrumental in saving his life.