Levine claimed innocence in suicide note
ORANGE COUNTY, NC (WTVD) -- Nationally known pediatrician Mel Levine claimed in a suicide note that he was an innocent victim who saw no way out.
Levine was once a renowned doctor at Boston Hospital and co-founder of a research clinic at UNC who appeared on Oprah. Those accomplishments were overshadowed by claims he performed unnecessary genital exams on dozens of patients.
He was found dead in his Rougemont home February 18 - one day after a lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts on behalf of dozens of his former patients.
Levine left a note for his wife Bambi.
"There were no alternative. Please do what you can to remake your life into a better life," he wrote.
The police report on his death also includes what appear to be journal entries dating back to February 11 entitled "The End."
In the February 11 entry, Levine said his lawyer informed him that 30 more victims had come forward from North Carolina and Massachusetts.
"My lot is now hopeless!! There is absolutely nothing left to live or hope for. I was well on my way to becoming a "comeback kid." That's not going to happen," Levine wrote.
Levine wrote that he had concluded that even his attorney thought he was guilty and that he likely faced criminal charges.
"I could go to jail," he wrote.
He also said he felt like he would be the target of copycats.
"…there will be more people coming after me - who knows, maybe another 30 or 100 or 500! Virtually every adult who once had a physical exam performed by Mel Levine could decide to have been abused by it (especially if they're low on funds). And they would have absolutely nothing to lose by suing me," he wrote.
But Levine denied wrongdoing.
"I am hoping and expecting that my suicide will in no way be read as an admission of guilt. I continue to maintain that I did nothing that was wrong or immoral in my patient care throughout more than 40 years of practicing pediatrics," he wrote.
The police report says Levine used a shotgun to shoot himself in the head.
As ABC11 reported last month, the people who claim to be victims of Levine's abuse in North Carolina cannot sue his estate.
"In North Carolina, the statute of limitations is very different than it is in Massachusetts," attorney Elizabeth Kuniholm said February 23. "It is not as forgiving as it is in Massachusetts in situations like this where someone may have suffered abuse and molestation as a child."
Kunholm represents dozens of Levine's former patients.
"What he did to them has left them with a lifetime - in some cases - of devastation, and that is the reality," she said.
ABC11 obtained a copy of the police report and Levine's suicide note from Massachusetts attorney Carmen L. Durso who represents at least 40 former patients there and has filed a class action lawsuit on their behalf.
The lawsuit claims Levine abused as many as 5,000 young boys during his career.
"I expect to file a separate lawsuit on behalf of NC residents vs. Children’s Hospital, Boston, in the next 2 weeks," said Durso in a statement.
North Carolina victims took their claims to the state medical board three years ago, forcing Levine to give up his medical license.
orange county, local/state
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