The former head of the USC’s prestigious medical school for years carried on an astounding double-life — married, respected eye doctor by day, and meth-smoking, philandering party animal by night, it was revealed Monday.
“He would say, ‘They love me around here. The medical students think I am God,’” 21-year-old Sarah Warren, a former prostitute and Carmen Puliafito’s ex-girlfriend, told the Los Angeles Times.
Puliafito, 66, resigned from his $1.1 million-a-year job at University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in March 2016 — three weeks after Warren overdosed in his hotel room, the paper revealed.
His gal pal survived the OD, and later spilled on their drug-fueled relationship to the Times, alongside other users in their group. The paper also cites interviews photos and videos of the Harvard-trained doc using heroin, meth and ecstasy during the benders.
Stunningly, the father of three appears to have carried on his secret life without any obvious affects on his demanding job — during his time at Keck, he helped bring in $1 billion in donations, raised the school’s prestige and profile, and oversaw hundreds of staff members and students.
Meanwhile at night, he was bringing hookers and addicts into his office at USC to party — photos show the drugged-up doc’s party posse smoking heroin in Keck School lab coats and USC merchandise, the Times reports.
And the good doctor always footed the bill for the good times, according to one person.
“He would say, ‘Money is not an issue,’” Don Stokes, 39, told the newspaper. “There was hardly a day when he wasn’t around.”
Stokes, a karaoke DJ and recovering addict, said Puliafito even bought him meth when he was in rehab.
But the good times came to a halt when Warren overdosed. Puliafito called 911 and said she’d just had too much to drink. Warren says it was GHB — the “date rape” drug, which some also use to get high.
The Pasedena Police Department says it found more than a gram of meth in the room — although cops didn’t arrest Puliafito for possession and mysteriously failed to prepare a report on the OD until the Times inquired.
Puliafito left his gig shortly after the incident to work for New York pharma firm Ophthotech — which laid him off in December when its drugs failed clinical trials.
Now Puliafito is back representing USC at public events — and seeing patients at the university’s eye clinics, the Times reports.