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Psychologist, 65, Could Be Struck Off For Relationship With 16-Year-Old Anorexic Girl

14/08/2014 16:53 | Updated 22 May 2015

Psychologist, 65, could be struck off for relationship with 16-year-old anorexic girl

A 65-year-old woman psychologist who had a relationship with a 16-year-old girl suffering from anorexia faces being struck off for misconduct.

Gillian Levett, 65, told the vulnerable teenager that she loved her and took her on trips to the Royal Albert Hall, the opera and for dinner.

The Health and Care Professions Council heard that Levett first met Miss A as a 16-year-old in 2006 when the girl was sent for an assessment by her father.

The teenager then turned up unannounced at Levett's Harley Street clinic in November 2007 after running away from home following a row with her father.

For the next two years the vulnerable girl was Levett's patient, the Council heard.

But the pair also developed a personal relationship. Miss A claimed that Levett – who promotes herself as an expert in 'adolescent mental health' – told her to cease contact with both her father and her mother, who lives in Monaco.

It was alleged that Levett even suggested that the girl change her name to distance herself from them. Levett, who lives in Mayfair, said Miss A should ignore letters from her father, branding it a 'nasty correspondence', the panel heard.

"Miss Levett was adamant that should I want to keep seeing her, I shouldn't tell my parents," Miss A said, claiming that Levett knew she would be 'in trouble' if the relationship was exposed.

The psychologist also proposed that Miss A, now 23, be adopted by an American couple – 'Len' and 'Nan'.

They paid her school fees, the hearing was told, and she was flown out to see her 'new family' in Virginia.

However, the Americans abandoned the adoption plan after Miss A took an overdose, with the girl claiming she felt 'completely abandoned'.

Miss A told the hearing that Levett hugged her and said 'love you' during a trip to see the show Cirque du Soleil.

The hearing was read a letter that Levett sent to the girl, which said: "I am overjoyed to see the bedraggled little girl at my doorstep blossom into the beauty with glowing skin, most of all to see that you have grown inside into a lovely person who I'm proud to know and love."

The psychologist's defence rested on the claim that she had never actually treated the girl, who was a friend, not a patient.

She accused Miss A of lying and said the girl's behaviour revealed 'clinginess' and 'deception'.

"I didn't love this girl ... I didn't tell her that I was in love with her," the psychologist said.

If the panel finds Levett guilty of misconduct, she could be suspended or banned from the profession. The hearing continues.

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