Losing It: Domestic Disputes

Part 1: A famous Houston hand doctor was accused of assaulting women.
9:20 | 04/05/13

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Transcript for Losing It: Domestic Disputes
major case still in the headlines tonight. A doctor accused of losing it. Authorities say he's not the doctor patients fell in love with. Not at home, anyway. Is he suffering from a kind of serial rage? Tonight, see the tapes for yourself. His family friendly tv commercials and the tapes his wife recorded away from the office. Here's my co-anchor elizabeth vargas. Reporter: Losing it at 30,000 feet isn't pretty. Like these twin sisters settling a family dispute in the aisles of coach class. Or these dudes duking it out in the not so friendly skies earlier this year. But last winter, when houstonians heard the news that a local doctor had allegedly used his surgically trained hands to choke a flight attendant, you might have to excuse them if they thought, oh no, not again. You see, this isn't just any doctor. His name is michael brown. This is ridiculous. Reporter: And in recent years, he's had more appointments in courtrooms than operating rooms. I believe he never sees himself as anything but a victim. And that he feels anyone that disagrees with him must be punished. And I think he's a very angry man. Reporter: At one time, michael brown was one of america's leading hand surgeons. An innovator in a treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, with a taste for finer things. For the doctor, that meant a life of texas excess and ex-es. He'd already been through two wives by the time he met 20-year-old darlina in 1993. What was it about him that did captivate you? He was very sweet. Just very attentive to me, treated me like a princess in the beginning. Reporter: Did he buy you gifts? Yeah, absolutely. Spoiled me in the beginning. Reporter: After two weeks they were living together. Married just about a year later. Though it almost didn't happen except for her mother stepping in. When they decided to get married, and it was my fault, she decided on the wedding day. No. I don't want to get married. And I thought it was the jitters. Reporter: To the outside world, brown looked like a big-hearted healer. His tv commercials brought patients from around the nation to his houston offices. He had fame. He had fortune. I personally train the doctors in the brown procedure and the brown hand center will care for you just as I care for my own family. Daddy's baby girl! Reporter: But darlina says she soon found out house brown treated his actual family. He would be very, very sweet, very atennive to my needs. Abnormally sweet to me at all times. And then we get married and things change. Reporter: It was on the honeymoon that you saw the first example of mike and his temper? We fought the entire time. We went to maui, which was supposed to be -- and it is gorgeous. However, we fought every single day. Reporter: Back home, darlina says her husband's volcanic tempter often erupted when she'd go out clubbing with her gi rlfriends, suspecting she was cheating, especially when he drank. Add to that volatile mix -- the doctor's beloved gun collection. Darlina was frightened. And after an early separation, she says things only got worse. So, what happened when you moved back in? Oh, that's when the abuse started. He slapped me, he pushed me, he grabbed my hair, hit my head up against the wall. Reporter: Why did you stay in that house? He mentally brainwashed me. If i, if I told him I was going to leave, he'd threaten me. I didn't think that anybody would believe it. Why did you fix this? This tastes like slop. You keep doing that to a person and it's mental abuse. I didn't think that anybody would believe me because he's the one that had all the money, he's the one that had all the power. They're in love, they feel like they can change the person, and the abuser makes the woman feel like it's her fault and if you feel guilty and you feel vulnerable and you feel like it's something you've done, then there is this fear about leaving. Reporter: By the year 2000, darlina and dr. Brown were still a couple with one baby and another on the way. Darlina figured that, being pregnant, she'd get a break from her husband's scalding rage. She figured wrong. So, what happened toward the end of your pregnancy, the incident that finally blew the lid off? I'm watching a show on tv at about 10:00 and here he comes into the door. Mike comes in and he immediately starts yelling that I don't love him. I go into the kitchen to grab the phone, like I always did to call my mom. And he grabs the phone from me and starts beating me over the head with the phone. Reporter: She claims he grabbed her by the hair, dragged her into the bedroom. We had a four poster bed. And I saw the bedpost on the floor and I'm like, oh, no, this is going to be bad. And -- I was so used to it, though. Reporter: Really? Yeah. I was used to it, which is just crazy. The next thing I know, I'm on the ground and he's sitting on my stomach, being seven months pregnant, telling me that I'm effing not going to have that baby. He took the bedpost and just started beating me over the back with that bedpost. Reporter: She managed to peesca, but says he now started shooting one of those guns. Luckily he missed. She's able to call 911. I can't even open my right eye. I'm bleeding. I'm seven months pregnant. Her face was all swollen. Her mouth was huge and where he beat her on her head. Had the long bed posts that were on their bed, had this huge bed postmark -- I'm sorry. All the way down her back. Reporter: Soon after, dr. Brown was arrested. This is police video right after dr. Brown was taken into custody. We're probably going to have to restrain him further. Reporter: Smashing his head against the squad car window. The very last abuse he did on me made it totally public. I was in the hospital for three days and, at that time, I felt that, you know what, everybody knows about it, this is my way out. Reporter: Brown was charged with assault and darlina filed for divorce. As the separate proceedings worked their way through the courts, evidence turned up showing dr. Brown's alleged behavior going from the be-lidge rent to the bizarre. I think we put a gun to our head to get attention. Maybe a little bit. But we know it's you. Reporter: That's dr. Brown recorded on his own video camera in 2001. Why is he holding a gun to his own head? He claimed he was simply working on a hollywood script. People that do commit suicide, they don't do it to hurt people or because they want to do it or because they're cowards. They do they do it because they are being tortured in agony and that's the only way to stop the pain. Reporter: But darlina doesn't buy it. She says it's evidence of a man on the edge. So, that scene we see on this videotape was actually what you were seeing on a pretty regular basis inside this house? Yes. Reporter: This, the prominent houston doctor, what he was really doing behind closed doors? Yes. Pretty scary. Reporter: Dr. Brown claims he acted in self-defense the night he was arrested, but the jury doesn't believe him. Darlina won a $3 million divorce settlement. He can't hurt me this time, because everybody knows. I think if you had to describe mike in one word, it would probably be misunderstood. Reporter: Brown's lawyer is brian weiss. It was his continuing bad choice in women. Particularly a profile, if you will, of the same woman, who would repeatedly show up in his life. Somebody looking to get paid. Somebody who viewed mike as an atm. Reporter: Though he turned down our request for an interview, dr. Brown did speak in this deposition. Darlina lied on the witness stand. Her mother lied on the witness stand. The day of the trial and the jury believed darlina and not the truth. Reporter: Ultimately, he pleaded no contest to aggravated assault charges in exchange for ten years probation and set off to resume his life. But the doctor's inner demons would not be silenced. There would soon be a new wife, new accusations, more sensational headlines and another judgment day in court. He grabbed her. He's a dangerous man and i wanted him to be held accountable for what he did this

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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