Rita Guedes. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Rita Guedes. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

An independent film producer testified Friday that she could not rehire an actress well-known in Brazil to host the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival awards night in 2011 because of the negative results the soap opera star suffered during a facial procedure allegedly botched by a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.

Meire Fernandes, testifying via video deposition, said she was prepared to pay Rita Guedes $10,000 to repeat the hosting chores she performed in 2010, but that the swelling and reddening of the woman’s face made that impossible.

“I went to her home in Hollywood and I saw her face,” Fernandes said. “I told her that unfortunately I could not have her host because the paparazzi would be asking about what happened to her and not about my festival.”

Guedes, now 45, sued Dr. Garo Kassabian in Los Angeles Superior Court in October 2011. The suit alleges that Guedes sought botox treatments from Kassabian in July 2010 and that he instead suggested Radiesse, a dermal filler. He injected Radiesse over both of her cheekbones, saying it would give her a more youthful look, the suit states.

Kassabian repeated the procedure in January 2011, but Guedes’ face became enlarged, swollen and uneven, the suit states. He later used a laser treatment to melt the Radiesse, but that caused her facial burns, the suit states.

As a result, Guedes lost a lucrative, five-year Brazilian television deal where she would have had a leading role, her suit alleges.

During the trial of the lawsuit that began last week, jurors have been shown enlarged photos of the effects of the second procedure and the laser treatment.

In her testimony, Fernandes said Guedes was “really big in Brazil” and that in 2010 she considered the actress, known for starring in many soap operas, ideal to help promote her festival and to help attract sponsors.

“The paparazzi follow her wherever she goes,” Fernandes said.

The selection of Guedes proved to be a success, Fernandes said.

“We had a big response by having her host awards night,” Fernandes said.

But she said the damage to Guedes’ face after the procedures made a repeat performance impossible.

“That would be really bad for my festival,” Fernandes said.

Fernandes said she visited Guedes many months later in Brazil and found that the actress’ appearance had improved a little, but that the problems were still evident.

“Her face was round, her nose was big and she had scars under her eyes,” Fernandes said. “It was really strange.”

Guedes also took the stand Friday and testified about contracts she received both before and after her surgery. She will resume her testimony next week.

— City News Service

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