Opera-Singing Dentist Tried to Charge Patient for Bad Yelp Review

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Not the opera singer. Photo: iStockphoto

Manhattan dentist Dr. Stacy Makhnevich seems confused. She spends her free time singing opera, which, okay, follow your heart, but as an artist, she should know how to handle bad feedback. Instead, she tried to bill a patient $100 for every day his negative Yelp review remained online. That outrageous daily price tag is the equivalent of 100 Stacy Makhnevich MP3s.

"Avoid at all cost!" ex-patient Robert Lee wrote on her Yelp page (for dentistry, not opera singing). "Scamming their customers!" Makhnevich, the self-proclaimed "Classical Singer Dentist of New York," responded by reminding Lee of their "Mutual Agreement to Maintain Privacy," which she had all her customers sign, and, she believed, banned online comments about the quality of her work.

Lee says that is suppressing free speech, and so he's suing. Lee actually filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all of the dentist's clients made to sign the agreement, which he claims to have done while in pain. "This is using these contracts to suppress the other side and deprives the consumer of valuable information," said Lee's lawyer.

Makhnevich doesn't have time for this — her European Opera CD comes out this month. But now she has some fiery material for a follow-up.