The California doctor who claims he became gravely ill and nearly died when his wife spiked his hot lemonade with liquid Drano has described his daily torture – including the one time he denied her a massage and said, ‘she stepped on my head until I did it.’
The violent act was allegedly the start of years of emotional, and verbal torment Dr. Jack Chen, 53, endured from his dermatologist wife Yue ‘Emily’ Yu, according to court documents and Chen’s attorney Steven Heittelman who spoke with DailyMail.com.
According to Heittelman, Chen planted a Nanny cam in the kitchen of their Irvine, California, home after he grew suspicious that his wife of 11 years was poisoning him with a toxic, chemical substance used to unclog drains.
The lawyer said that Chen was the first person he told and he urged him to report the heinous act to the authorities.
Heittelman said the first time he spoke with Chen was sometime after July 18 when Chen told him that his wife tried to poison him and handed him video evidence of the act.
After watching the shocking video Heittleman described Yu as ‘very methodical,’ and said it was ‘just unnerving to actually see it.’
‘It is very intimate to commit murder to know what her husband’s patterns and preferences are and seamlessly introduce poison into his routine,’ he said.
Chen then planted a nanny cam in the kitchen of their Irvine, California home in hopes of catching his wife of 11 years in the heinous act
On August 4 Yue ‘Emily’ Yu was arrested by Irvine Police Department. Before posting the $30,000 bail, she was served with divorce papers and a domestic violence restraining order
Heittelman said Chen called him last month to share video evidence that his wife of 11 years tried to spike his hot lemonade with Drano, the chemical substance typically used to rid clogs in drains
Chen a radiologist said that he and Yu started dating in 2011 and married a year later and had two children, a daughter, now 8 and a son, 7.
It was early into their courtship when he saw his wife’s rage and erratic behavior begin to emerge.
‘After the children were born I became concerned about Emily’s behavior. Not only was she was very demanding of me that I give her massages, one time when I could not because I was sick she stepped on my head until I did it,’ according to the court documents.
He added: ‘[She] also began hiding money from me.’
Chen said, Yu along with his mother-in-law, Yuqin ‘Amy’ Gu, started abusing their children named Lauren and Ryan, when they were as young as two-years-old.
He said the children were screamed at, slapped, insulted and deprived of sleep, and locked in their rooms.
Yu would commonly use a Chinese phrase towards the kids that means ‘go die!’
She would tell the children, according to court documents ‘your head is sick,’ ‘go f*** yourself,’ ‘stupid a*******,’ and ‘get the f*** out of my way,’ ‘f****** idiot.’
He said the children learned early on that ‘Emily’s rule is everything.’
‘Emily’s parenting if you could call it that revolves around yelling, insulting, verbally abusing, hitting, pushing, pulling and being emotionally abusive,’ he wrote.
Chen said that Yu tried to turn the children against him. ‘If our children let Emily know that they enjoyed spending time with me, or showed affection toward me then Emily would put them in their room and yell at them until they assured her they would not show affection toward me,’ he said.
He said his mother-in-law was in on it too. She’d tell me’ ‘I act like a thug,’ and ‘I don’t act like a man,’ he shared in the court documents.
‘Emily would called me a f*** a******, and other insults,’ he said. ‘Currently she minimizes my existence by telling the children in front of me ‘tell him’ to do something for them without addressing me. She would have the children do menial tasks for her like getting a piece of tissue for her.’
Chen added that when the children attended preschool the school was ‘concerned’ with how ‘rough’ the grandmother acted towards her grandchildren.
He said that his mother-in-law created a scene after learning what school officials thought and that she doesn’t speak English, the court documents reveal.
Other issues emerged at the school between Yu and the children’s grandmother, according to the court documents.
Both mother and daughter started ‘bad mouthing one of the teachers, and then withdrew both children from the school.
The children were also interrogated and called ‘dumb’ ‘f****** stupid.’
When they started at a the new school, a Chinese emersion school, school officials observed Ryan started beating-up other children, the documents reveal.
Chen said: ‘On July 13, 2022 Emily was so unhappy with Ryan’s piano play8ing that she kept yelling at him, calling him a f******* idiot!’ She yelled so loud and so close to Ryan that she was spitting on him and made him cry.’
Despite the taunting and abuse, Chen said that the children were ‘supposed to put on a ‘happy face’ around their mother and grandmother.
‘They are not allowed to express their feelings and even if they are feeling down both Emily and Amy will yell at them saying, ‘you are so ugly, you look like a pig,’ or tell Rayn ‘you are a sissy.’
Chen explained in the court documents that his children never had any socialization or playdates because their mother would pack their schedules with activities.
‘The kids are not allowed to have much contact with friends. Amy would bad mouth the kid’s friend. She bad-mouthed my own family so the kids do not want to got to my family functions. They have virtually no contact with their cousins.’
He added: ‘ The kids are isolated in their own little bubble with only four family members: Emily, Amy, Lauren and Ryan,’ he wrote. ‘I am ignored and not recognized as a family member. When the kids wrote letters to Santa to excluded my name for fear that Emily would get mad.’
Then things grew increasingly worse.
In July, Chen grew suspicious that Yu may be poisoning him.
Hittelman said that he set up a nanny camera in the kitchen and caught his wife pouring Drano into his hot lemonade.
The lawyer called Yu’s actions very ‘methodical.’
‘She knew his morning routine,’ he said.
On July 11 the first time video he caught her pouring the liquid Drano into his hot lemonade that was the day [Chen] stopped eating and drinking anything that was left unattended.’
‘He wasn’t satisfied with the first video since the cutting board was in the way and caught her again on July 18 and again on July 25th pouring the Drano into his hot tea.’
At one point Chen placed a piece of Saran Wrap over his beverage left it in the kitchen counter and walked out of the room and in the video Yu is seen peeling off the Saran Wrap holding the container of Drano and pouring it into his beverage.’
Chen said around March-April he started noticing an odd chemical taste in his mouth.
When he started feeling very sick, early summer he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with esophageal, gastritis and stomach ulcers.
The lawyer was not sure if Chen was given a blood test to detect any poison in his bloodstream.
‘We don’t know how far back Mr. Chen had been ingesting the Drano,’ the lawyer said.
Chen then planted a nanny cam in the kitchen of their Irvine, California home in hopes of catching his wife of 11 years in the heinous act.
During the month of July, Chen collected surveillance footage of Yu, while alone in their kitchen, surreptitiously opening the plastic container of liquid Drano in the kitchen and pouring the poison into his cup of hot lemonade.
Heittelman said Chen called him last month to share video evidence that his wife of 11 years tried to spike his hot lemonade with Drano, the chemical substance typically used to rid clogs in drains.
The three dates he captured the alleged criminal act was July 11, July 18 and July 25.
”Chen approached me sometime after July 18 the second time she tried to poison him. He put two and two together and started recording his wife after suspecting something,’ he said.
‘Chen hadn’t gone to the authorities yet so I urged him to go to the police,’ Heittelman said.
Despite the harrowing ordeal, Heitelman said Chen appeared remarkably composed and was just very concerned for the welfare and safety of his two children.
On August 4 Yu was arrested by Irvine Police Department. Before posting the $30,000 bail, Heittelman served Chen’s wife with divorce papers and a domestic violence restraining.
When he handed Yu the papers, Yu asked Heittelman: ‘What is this about?’
Hittleman said: ‘ This is about you poisoning Mr. Chen.’
She said: ‘I deny that.’
‘It had no affect on her whatsoever,’ the lawyer said. ‘She did not express any emotion. She didn’t appear scared had no fear she was in jail.’
Heittelman said that before Chen suspected his wife was poisoning him, he said their relationship was ongoing. Their was no mention of divorce until, he said, Chen caught her poisoning him.
A copy of the domestic violence restraining order given to Yu on August 5
The Spanish style home Chen shared with his wife and two children in Irvine, California. Yu has a restraining order against her. She is not allowed to be near their home Chen, their children, Chen’s place of work, and the children’s school
Heittelman said that, ‘Dr. Chen said the domestic violence was going on for years and this (the poisoning) was the tipping point to get protections for himself and his children.’
He described Yu as ‘very methodical,’ and he said when viewing the video that Chen handed over was ‘just very unnerving.’
The restraining order prevents Yu from coming between 100 yards of him and their children. The lawyer said that she is living in another property that they own also in Irvine, California.
‘If she breaks the restraining order, Chen will call 911 and have her arrested.’
Kimberly Edds, the public information officer with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that Yu’s arraignment is November 3 at Orange County Superior Court and is only based on the suspicion of poisoning not on domestic violence.
‘We don’t have any charges filed against Ms. Yu,’ Ebbs said, ‘Orange County prosecutors are reviewing the evidence to see if there are sufficient facts to file criminal charges against her.’
At that point she will plead guilty or not guilty.
Heittleman said that in his years of working with victims of domestic abuse many are led to believe that there is no escape out of the relationship after being brow beaten and manipulated.
‘I have had university professors, engineers, doctors, high end real estate agents who are mortified that they allowed themselves to be victims of domestic violence. They will suffer through years of horrific treatment because they have been manipulated to believe there is no way out.’
He explained ‘there is no approach that works unless the victim is ready to leave the abusive relationship.’
In Chen’s case, Chen is hoping to get sole custody of their two children, the lawyer said.
He told DailyMail.com that we have a saying in family law: ‘You can’t write this.’