I just read an extraordinary article about Eric MacLeish, the lead attorney for the clergy sex abuse scandal at the Archdiocese of Boston. After being part of the successful lawsuit against the diocese and helping to win an $85 million settlement for abuse victims, MacLeish began to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as memories of his own childhood sexual abuse began to surface. After struggling with PTSD and depression for several years, he was referred to psychologist Mary O’Neill for treatment. Within eight weeks, O’Neill had begun a sexual relationship with MacLeish. The sexual exploitation had devastating effects on MacLeish’s mental health and his marriage. MacLeish eventually filed a licensing complaint against O’Neill, which was just recently resolved: O’Neill’s license has been revoked due to “gross misconduct.”
I highly recommend reading this powerful story about MacLeish, called “The hole in the heart of a star,” by Bella English of The Boston Globe.
It was mid-2003, and Eric MacLeish was on fire.
As a lead attorney in the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston, he was in the newspapers and on TV continually. Named one of the top trial lawyers in the country by the National Law Journal, MacLeish conducted a nine-day deposition of Cardinal Bernard Law that helped lead to Law’s resignation. He and others sued the archdiocese for the release of thousands of pages of secret files on abusive priests, which broke the story wide open. When the archdiocese agreed to an $85 million settlement with 550 abuse victims, MacLeish became a very rich man.
And then his world shifted.
(Read the full article here)