Orange County doctor charged with poisoning her husband with Drano faces new allegations

An Orange County doctor charged with poisoning her husband with Drano now faces allegations in her upcoming divorce proceedings and criminal case of trying to coach her children to lie about their father.

Yue "Emily" Yu was charged in 2022 with poisoning her husband, Jack Chen, who has filed for divorce and is seeking custody of their two children. The next court date on the divorce proceedings is April 30, while the criminal case is scheduled to return to court in late May.

Yu lost in-person visitation rights with their children late last year, after her daughter told a school therapist that she was afraid her mother would poison her as well and that Yu had coached her to say she wanted to be with her mother "24-7," according to a recently published statement by the therapist.

The daughter "appeared distressed and looked tearful when she was explaining feeling conflicted about lying because if she didn't, 'she would make her mom angry.' I asked [her] why she was so afraid to make her mom angry. [She] responded: 'Because what if she does what she did to my dad to me?'" according to the statement.

"'Are you afraid that your mom would kill you?'," the therapist asked.

The daughter, whom The Times is not naming because she is an alleged victim of child abuse, replied, "Yes," according to the affidavit.

The court documents were reported on Monday by the Daily Mail.

The filings are part of the divorce and domestic violence proceedings between Yu and Chen, both of whom are doctors in Irvine.

Chen became suspicious when he started suffering from stomach ulcers and a swollen esophagus, and noticed a "chemical taste" in his morning hot lemonade. Yu was arrested and charged with three counts of poisoning and one count of corporal injury on a spouse and released on $30,000 bail.

While Chen had already accused Yu in court documents of physically abusing their children, the conversation with the therapist was the first time either child was known to have directly accused their mother of abuse.

The 10-year-old daughter said that her mother would beat her with the leg of a chair and that her maternal grandmother would do the same, chasing the children around the house to hit them with it, according to the statement by therapist Patricia Ramsey.

Yu also coached the children, telling them to lie about why the family had Drano in the house. She instructed them to say was because there was an ant infestation and Chen had refused to get ant traps, according to the statement.

The coaching occurred during scheduled visits with monitors, but Yu took steps to instruct the children while the monitors were not paying attention, according to the therapist's statement.

The allegations led to the judge in the case suspending Yu's ability to meet in person with her kids.

Yu's attorneys have argued that the allegations are made up and that the children enjoy their time with Yu.

"That the children enjoy their parenting time with their Mother, and even want additional time, is entirely at odds with Father's current allegations of impropriety," Yu's attorney Danielle Struwe wrote in court papers.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.