GASPS, red faces and jaw-dropping characterised the third day of a Health Professions Council of SA hearing in which a Cape Town psychiatrist has been accused of having sex about 300 times a year with a wealthy patient.
Sylvia Ireland, the wife of the late perfume mogul Stuart Ireland, has accused Dr Ray Berard of abusing his position as her psychiatrist by forcing her into a sexual relationship.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Yesterday the tall blonde, wearing pink pumps with a matching leopard print top and glistening diamond jewellery, was cross-examined by Berard’s counsel, advocate Graham van der Spuy.
Van der Spuy ripped into Ireland’s testimony about the alleged affair with his client, accusing her of having a fertile imagination. He said Berard would testify that not only was her evidence about their relationship untrue, but that “it borders on the absurd”.
Ireland told the committee on Tuesday they had started having sex from early 2006 to 2008 – virtually every day, “any time, whatever time he wanted to”.
Van der Spuy said: “I want to put it to you that it is untrue, that it is a total flight of your fantasy and that it is just an impossible scenario.” She responded: “He used to like being tied up. Is that also a flight of my imagination?”
Van der Spuy said having sex with a psychiatrist “300 odd times a year for two years in a row continuously”, except when one of them had gone away, was far-fetched and “beyond belief”.
“Are you doubting his ability?” she asked.
But Ireland appeared to be shaken when it was put to her that, during their third session in January, Berard apparently suggested a termination of therapy.
This, he said, was after Berard was no longer making progress during the sessions, which consisted of “chit-chat” about her shopping – she admitted earlier she spent between R750000 to R1-million a month – and gossip.
She explained she used to shop every time her late husband hurt her by lying to her. The more he did this, the more she shopped.
Van der Spuy said Ireland was so upset at Berard’s decision that she tried to seduce him by arriving for therapy without underwear and propositioning him.
“Is he completely demented? I don’t even like sex … absolutely, absolutely not,” she protested.
Van der Spuy asked how someone who did not like sex had had it daily for two years.
Ireland’s husband died in 2009 while he was in the process of divorcing her.
The matter continues in June.