Malibu Rehab Owner Arrested on Drug Charges


On Tuesday, June 28, at 6 p.m., Malibu rehabilitation center founder Christopher Bathum was arrested at his home in Lost Hills —ironically — for transport or sale of a controlled substance, according to Detective Jackson of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

“He was arrested for offering a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance,” Jackson described in a brief phone interview with The Malibu Times. The next morning, at 4:40 a.m., Bathum posted a $30,000 bail and was released, according to L.A. Sheriff’s public records.

With 27 miles of scenic beauty, Malibu is a perfect setting for upscale rehabilitation centers and Christopher Bathum was one of the first entrepreneurs to see the opportunity. Several years ago, he began to populate Malibu, Los Angeles and Colorado with a collection of sober living homes and outpatient clinics. Over the course of his career, Bathum has founded and chaired over 20 sober living homes and outpatient clinics, according to a report by LA Weekly.


Bathum’s first venture was Seasons Malibu, an upscale rehab that has since distanced itself from the controversial figure.

In a phone interview, the center said it had “severed ties with Chris, over five years ago,” adding, “We are one of the highest rated rehabilitation centers in the area.”

A report by news website Broadly stated that Bathum was the subject of more than 50 lawsuits, with accusations ranging from insurance fraud to sexual battery. Investigations have been undertaken by the district attorney’s office, FBI, State of California and multiple insurance companies, according to LA Weekly.


Bathum was recently on television, where he was featured on ABC’s 20/20.

In the interview, Bathum categorically denied every accusation from sexual battery to eyewitness accounts of him overdosing at the Malibu Riviera Motel. When ABC reporter Matt Gutman brought up evidence that pointed to him overdosing at the Malibu hotel — where there are pictures of his white Tesla, hospital records and eyewitness accounts of him overdosing — he simply claimed that it was identity theft, and that one of his clients must have used his name.

So far, three women have come forward alleging that Bathum gave them drugs and made sexual advances towards them: Amanda Jester, Erica Braukis and Dana Reardon. Their stories all involved accusations of inappropriate and alarming sexual advances and include the use of heroin or meth.

Bathum’s most recent venture was Community Recovery, a company of rehabilitation centers in Malibu, Los Angeles, Denver and Orange County. Since the arrest, Bathum resigned as Chairman of Community Recovery, an organization that generates $30 million a year, according to his own estimates.


Ryan Mandell

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