The manager of Bill Gross’s oceanfront mansion was responsible for the “Spanish-language music” that sounded from his California home in October – not the billionaire bond king, his lawyer argued in court on Wednesday.
The argument is the latest twist in a ridiculously petty legal battle unfolding in a Santa Ana courtroom between Gross, 76, and his Laguna Beach neighbor, tech entrepreneur Mark Towfiq. Towfiq, who moved to the Gross neighborhood in 2015, sued the billionaire and his girlfriend, Amy Schwartz, for harassment, claiming the couple aired various tunes, including the theme of Gilligan Island– to be repeated at any time to try to get Towfiq to file a complaint about a glass sculpture.
In retaliation, Gross and Schwarz, 51, fought back for harassment, arguing that the head of the software company was the original stalker and a “voyeur” who had set up a camera in the garden to spy on them. The two sides have asked Judge Kimberly Knill to grant restraining orders against each other.
“He’ll state that it was his music, and it’s his favorite music, and it’s definitely not mariachi music and that’s an offensive way of describing it.“
On Wednesday, a lawyer for Gross attempted to break into testimony from a local police officer that she heard mariachi music ringing so loud from the billionaire’s home on October 19 that it drowned out the sound of the Pacific Coast Highway. During cross-examination, lawyer Jill Basinger said the music actually belonged to manager Efrain Alba – who played it because he liked it, not because he wanted to annoy Towfiq.
“When the head of the house speaks, he will indicate that it was his music, and it is his favorite music, and it is definitely not mariachi music and that is an offensive way of describing it.” , Basinger said, according to Bloomberg News.
The lawyer argued that the type of music proved “that it was not played by the Grosses”, thus undermining Towfiq’s claim that it “was played to harass him”. Alba is expected to speak this week.
Basinger also insisted on Towfiq, who continued his testimony on Wednesday, why he had not contacted Alba about the music playing all day while Gross, co-founder of Pacific Investment Management Co., and his girlfriend were not at home.
“One of the reasons was that there had been all these lawsuits,” Towfiq, 56, said, according to the outlet. “I just didn’t feel comfortable contacting anyone in this house.”
When asked if he found Spanish music ‘harassing’, Towfiq reportedly replied that he liked the genre and had a ‘large collection of Latin music’, adding that he had ‘no problem. with any type of music ”.
But while Gross’s lawyer tried to punch holes in Towfiq’s complaint on October 19, he did not respond to the many other times the 59-year-old said Gross played music to “excessive” volumes. The music, he claims, was intended to pressure him and his wife to drop a city complaint about a 22-foot-long blue glass installation in front of Gross’s house, court documents show.
During the hearings, Towfiq submitted several cell phone videos showing a man he claimed to be Gross dancing on his balcony as Gilligan Island theme played, Bloomberg reported.
“Based on my personal opinion and my training as a police officer, this level of noise at the time was unreasonable,” Constable Wade Kraus said of an August 1 visit. Independent from Laguna Beach reported.
According to Bloomberg, lawyers for Gross should call a sound expert to testify that cellphone recordings are unreliable in sound levels. Basinger argued that the police are also unreliable in assessing whether the music is too loud.
The feud between Gross, who played a pivotal role in the bond market during the 2008-2010 financial crisis, and his neighbor began after Gross installed a large net on his glass installation because it had been damaged. In response, Towfiq complained to the town of Laguna Beach for blocking its view, prompting the town to send Gross a letter advising him that the net, lighting and sculpture did not have the proper permits. and were to be removed, according to Towfiq’s. trial.
In retaliation, Gross and his partner reportedly started pestering their neighbors with loud music, which also included rap and the theme song to MASH POTATOES.
“The defendant William Gross is a 76-year-old billionaire used to making do no matter what. As their behavior here proves, Gross and his decades-old girlfriend Defendant Amy Schwartz are tyrants, ”said Towfiq’s lawsuit, filed in Superior Court.
In their own lawsuit filed on October 13, Gross and his girlfriend accuse Towfiq of developing an obsession with them, installing directed cameras on their property and exhibiting “voyeuristic behavior.” In an application for a temporary restraining order in October, Gross alleged he played music because he felt “a prisoner of my own home.” Schwartz is expected to testify on Thursday.
“The accused Towfiq seems to have a particular fascination not only with Mr Gross but also with Ms Schwartz, especially when the couple swim and therefore wear minimal or no clothing,” the billionaire’s lawsuit, which accuses Towfiq of infringement to privacy, declares, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But Towfiq has reportedly disputed claims he was obsessed with Gross – whom he said others described as an angry billionaire with a “short fuse.” In his testimony on Monday, the 59-year-old said he wanted to meet Gross after he moved in and only started recording Gross’s house to prove there was loud music.
“You always want to meet your neighbors and say ‘Hello’, and have a friendly relationship,” Towfiq said, according to the Orange County Register.
#Billionaire #Bill #Gross #blames #loud #music #manager #ridiculous #legal #debate #neighbor #Mark #Towfiq