Joaquin Phoenix

John Paul Filo/CBS

Is Joaquin Phoenix walking the line of sanity?

That's the view of prominent Chicago psychiatrist Paul Dobransky, who—despite never having met the allegedly retired actor—tells the Los Angeles Times that Phoenix has displayed "socially inappropriate behavior" during his recent bizarro public appearances topped by a much lampooned trip to the Late Show With David Letterman.

"There is something wrong. And it's beyond drug abuse," Dobransky told the newspaper.

Hogwash, says Phoenix's rep.

"How absolutely inappropriate for a doctor who has no personal interaction or relationship with someone to diagnose them. And to do so in a public forum," publicist Susan Patricola tells E! News.

"Hope they spelled his name right. Another 15-minute 'expert' is born! Astonishingly inappropriate! "

Dobransky, a noted pop psychologist and author of such books as The Power of Female Friendship and The Secret Psychology of How We Fall In Love, did defend Phoenix from all the mocking, notably Ben Stiller's Academy Awards parody.

"I was pretty offended by that skit at the Oscars," Dobransky says in the Times. "It struck me as potentially beating down on the mentally ill.

"The jury is not exactly in on what is happening," he. "Whatever it is, it's not funny—whether it's drug abuse, mental illness coming on, or the clumsiest attempt ever at a career change."

Of course, Dobransky fails to acknowledge the whole thing may be a put-on. Phoenix's purported career change, from Oscar-nominated actor to awful hip-hopster, is being chronicled by a camera crew helmed by brother-in-law Casey Affleck for what many consider a Borat-style production.

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