“You are my Sleeping Beauty.” The moderator described how Cimický attacked her in the surgery

She came to him to solve the scenario of the joint program. Psychiatrist Jan Cimický locked the office door and sexually assaulted her. It’s been twenty years. Now TV presenter Martina Hynková Vrbová has joined the testimony of women who have described harassment and assault by a well-known doctor. They responded in response to Cimický receiving a state award. The police investigated the cases and the doctor denies the allegations.

Twenty years ago, with Cimický, you presented the program “What should I do if…? on Czech television. So he was a colleague for you?

Yes, I accompanied the show, wrote the script and prepared interviews with Cimický. He advised what to do when such a thing happened. We did the teen show, dealing with things like bullying at school or divorcing parents. We worked together for about three quarters of a year, maybe a year, when I went to his office, I needed to clarify some information about the script to him. Until then, I had never been alone with him, and I always went there with members of the staff. In this case, he himself suggested that I come to the Blue Lagoon, that is, to his office in Prague 6.

Has his behavior towards you changed?

I have not yet assessed the signals arriving at the surgery as a warning. It wasn’t until later that I realized he had everything ready. When I arrived, he sent the secretary home when she left, so he locked it. And I didn’t notice if he took the keys or if they were left in the lock. I wondered why he locked up. It occurred to me that he probably wanted us to have peace of mind so people on the street wouldn’t come to his office. I didn’t care anymore. Then I had to go on a date and look forward to it. Dr. Cimický and I wanted to fix the problem quickly and leave.

What happened after he locked the door?

We went to the office, where he told me I looked terrible. I felt good, but he started convincing me that there was something wrong with me. He said I was completely tight to poke my needles. When I refused, he pushed me into the seat, letting my stiff back let go. I thought as a doctor he might see something for me that I hadn’t noticed, and I was also looking forward to the date and he delayed it.

I sat down, he sat down behind me. That’s where it started. He touched my back, then grabbed my chest and tried to stick my tongue out. When I pushed him away, he knelt down in front of me and started reciting a poem about Sleeping Beauty. He called me “you my sleeping beauty”. It occurred to me that he might have gone mad. I didn’t know what to do, I had no idea where this would all lead if he didn’t want to rape me. I was scared and shocked.

Did you try to escape from the room?

I had the keys in my head, trying to remember if he had taken them or if they had remained in the castle. I continued to stare at him, wondering if I should run out of the office. But what if it’s locked? So I told him I was claustrophobic and didn’t mind the situation that I had to go out on the air.

Women appoint a well-known psychiatrist

Photo: Wikimedia Commons – Matěj Baťha (CC BY-SA 3.0)

■ Actress and singer Jana Fabiánová was the first to denounce sexual harassment by psychiatrist and writer Jan Cimický. She decided to do so after discovering that Cimický should receive a state award from President Miloš Zeman. “A sexual predator who has been hiding behind a medical degree for decades should not receive merit awards in our country,” she said.

■ Other women also accused Cimický of harassment or assault, describing their experiences at Hospodářské noviny and on Czech television. One said that Cimický assaulted her in 1990, when she was hospitalized in the psychiatric hospital in Bohnice. He is also said to have assaulted other people in the 1980s and 1990s, when he headed the sociotherapy and rehabilitation department at Bohnice hospital. His departure in 1996 was linked to sexual harassment, Cimický’s former superior, Zdeněk Bašný, confirmed on Czech television.

■ Cimický then opened the Modrá laguna mental health center in Prague. According to the police of the Czech Republic, the sexual harassment should have continued on his part. Cimický denied Fabiánová’s accusations and did not comment on the others. He also does not answer questions from the Aktuálně.cz editorial staff and does not answer the phone. “I see the situation as a regrettable attempt to be visible at a time when the President of the Republic has decided to appreciate my life’s work,” he told ČTK.

■ Police officers from Prague are dealing with the case. “In this way, criminal investigators ask potentially injured women and witnesses to contact the investigator directly at 603457989,” Czech police say.

■ Outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (YES) told Deník N that Cimický should not receive the award. He should clear his name first. The awards ceremony was postponed to the usual January 28 due to the president’s health issues.

How did he react to this? Was he still reciting, or was he already speaking rationally?

He kept reciting or throwing himself at me. I don’t even know how long it took, it lasted at least ten minutes. At the same time, I thought it was my colleague, the doctor. It made no sense to me what was going on. And I was afraid that he would rape me. Eventually I started shaking and repeated that I was claustrophobic. He said I could go. He even offered to accompany me to the bus. I took my things and ran down the stairs. He came and turned the key. He said something else, but I flew out of the house and got on the bus alone.

Did you go on this date?

Yes, I went to see my boyfriend at the time. He knew immediately that something had happened, it was obvious to me. When I told him, he said he would find him and give him something. It didn’t seem like a good idea, I was afraid it would backfire.

“Jesus, my daughter, you’ll get used to it”, psychiatrist Jan Cimický was supposed to threaten the patient with electric shocks:

“My God, my daughter, you’ll get used to it”, psychiatrist Jan Cimický was supposed to threaten the patient with electric shocks, in case she spoke about her manners in public. | Video: Czech Television, 168 hours

Did you keep in touch with Cimický after this experience?

Shortly after, the show was filmed. When I saw it, I felt terribly sick, I wanted to vomit. I went to the manager and told him I was sick and explained to him what was going on. The mere thought of sitting next to Cimický was out of the question. The manager told me to take my things and go home which he understood. I then announced to the creators of the show that I would no longer be moderating the show. I completely cut myself off from him, I don’t even know if he continued.

But you didn’t contact the police later. Why?

I understood that Cimický is a great manipulator. He told me I was sick, just trying to get on the couch. He is a respected and publicized doctor. I saw that if he stood up to him, he would drop my accusations from the table, make me the fool who made them up. He would be able to do that. I felt it when I met him after the attack to shoot. He greeted me and pretended nothing happened, he even joked. The police have started working on the case now. I wait for them to call me.

Why, now, after twenty years, have you decided to publish your experience?

When singer Jana Fabiánová was the first to speak, I thought I should support her. That we will be two with a similar experience. Then I saw the program 168 heures, which published more testimonials from Cimický patients. He denied everything, and he was defended by sexologist Radim Uzel. They tried to make women look untrustworthy. But I’m his former colleague, not a patient. I thought my voice would give them credibility. No one can tell me that I was on medication or that I was mentally unwell. The main impetus was to support these women.

What do you say about the fact that Cimický received a state award from the hands of President Miloš Zeman?

I think the idea that he goes for the price, every woman having that experience with him has lifted him out of their chairs. Watch him receive the award when you know what he did to you? He’s completely heaven-sent that he doesn’t even have the self-reflection to turn down the award. Perhaps we are silent and do not have the courage to speak. Probably each of us wanted to forget the experience. This is a normal healthy reaction. In fact, he pushed us not to let it happen.

You said you worked with Cimický for about a year. Everything was fine during this period? For example, he hadn’t had any inappropriate clues before?

No never. He behaved completely professionally. He was very sure of his position. He was well informed and he showed me that he was an expert and I interviewed him. His attitude towards me was paternal-grandfather. He never crossed the line. Therefore, it never occurred to me that an attack might occur.

What reactions do you get after posting your experience?

I have the support of the two daughters, the husband and the parents. I also feel the public support. People write to me that we have to talk about it even after such a long time. At the time, I thought it only happened to me. That was a rare case of his failure. I didn’t know the other women. If we spoke, it would be statement against statement. He made sure no one else was there.

Did you seek professional help after this experience?

No, I took care of it myself. At the time, I only talked about it to my partner and the director of the show. I wondered a lot if I had given impetus to Cimický, if I hadn’t behaved inappropriately or perhaps dressed inappropriately. I was still dealing with what was triggering his behavior. But then I realized he had pre-prepared it, wondering how to get the better of me. So it didn’t matter if I came in a dress or a turtleneck. I realized he was an experienced manipulator. I wanted to forget this event.

And have you been successful over the years?

It’s been twenty years, I’ve lived my life and I don’t worry anymore. I take it as an experience that I pass on to my daughters. I want them to know that it’s never too late to talk about what happened. I feel like times have changed – what was swept under the rug is now opening up and resolving itself. And it’s good.

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